This is an essential book to the Nero Wolfe canon, but that said, it is not like the others. Wolfe's best friend from their native Montenegro, Marko Vukcic, is murdered in New York, and Wolfe feels obliged to find his murderer. This takes Wolfe and Archie to 1953 Montenegro, and therein lies my problem with the story. If I hadn't read almost every other Wolfe mystery, which are so saturated with New York City, I would have enjoyed this better. However, taking them to such a different place, where Archie doesn't even speak the language, takes a lot of wind out of the story's sails.