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The Second Confession by Rex Stout
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U_50x66
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Jun 02, 08

bookshelves: bookaweek2008

The setup: Sperling is convinced that his daughter's boyfriend, Rony, is a Communist but has no proof. He engages Nero Wolfe to find it. Wolfe dispatches Archie (disguised as 'Andy') to spend a weekend with the family. The supposed Communist turns up dead.

The review: Subversive communism dates this book but Stout steers it neatly away from politics after the introduction and focuses it firmly on the mystery. The involvement of Zeck, the Moriarty to Wolfe's Holmes is the highlight of this book. As always, Stout manages to surprise me with Archie's flippant, breezy narration and his vivid characterisations. I think it was Raymond Chandler who said easy reading is damn hard writing and if you must fault Stout, it is that his style makes for far too easy, enjoyable and digestible reading.

Conclusion: Highly recommended for all mystery buffs.
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