Andrea's Reviews > Too Many Women

Too Many Women by Rex Stout
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Jul 29, 11

bookshelves: 1900s-1950s-era, mystery, private-detective
Read from July 28 to 29, 2011

This, while rather slow-paced since the action doesn't really pick up till halfway through the novel when Archie and Wolfe stop working against each other, is an example of the kind of time-travel which can be achieved reading books written/set in the past. References to cinema as the "flat-face opera", to the number of people who not only don't lock their cars, but actually leave their keys in them, and most particularly the sheer dissonance of two men walking into a room full of secretaries and one remarking to the other: "Not a virgin among them".

While the remarker is intentionally depicted as an eccentric and nasty little man, the social considerations which come with that remark - that women are either virgin or married and if married will be off being wives instead of secretaries - is one which makes you first blink, then be immensely grateful that now is not then.

Unfortunately this book never really recovers from the "spinning the wheels" feel of no progress, even when things start happening, and it is one of those books where all the characters we meet are so difficult to like that it becomes hard to care what happens to them - and Archie's character is also dragged down by "too many women". Not an enjoyable read.
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