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The Last Coincidence

(Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe Mysteries #4)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  884 ratings  ·  69 reviews
After the heir to a frozen-food fortune gets iced, Nero Wolfe's right-hand man becomes a suspect: "Goldsborough does a masterly job with the Wolfe legacy" (Booklist).
When Lily Rowan doesn't laugh at his jokes, Archie Goodwin knows something's wrong. Her niece Noreen has been running around with Sparky Linville, a club-hopping bad boy who's the terror of Manhattan nightlif
Paperback, 206 pages
Published May 17th 2016 by Mysteriouspress.Com/Open Road (first published 1989)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  884 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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Irene Sauman
I have, over the past six weeks or so, re-read all the Rex Stout Nero Wolfe books and some of those written by his successor, Robert Goldsborough. Despite his best efforts, Goldsborough doesn’t quite get Stout’s voice. The writing is overall not as tight and Archie Goodwin’s voice isn’t always truly Archie. I’m not sure any author can seamlessly re-create another author’s work, and Rex Stout was a particularly hard act to follow with his IQ of 185
Most of the Goldsborough titles are readable, how
May 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Last Coincidence (hardcover) by Robert Goldsborough.

I am (as a fan of Nero Wolfe & Archie) indebted to first Rex Stout for his consideration of all of his many fans in naming this author for continuation in this outstanding series. Robert Goldsborough was officially and legally given Rex Stout's seal of approval in his Will. Secondly, I am indebted to Robert Goldsborough for taking on this enormous task of bringing us into the Brownstone and the lives of Nero & Archie. Well done! Rex can con
Bryan Brown
This was probably the best in the series so far. I thought the voices for Archie and for Lilly were particularly true to form.

Archie drags Nero into another murder case when he has a confrontation with the victim shortly before he is murdered. Fortunately Archie has a solid alibi but non of the other suspects do. With multiple motives and reasons for bumping him off Nero has to put the solution together.

The major reason this is not 4 stars is once again Nero waits at his desk as all the people
Gilbert Stack
Jul 07, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lily Rowan’s niece has been attacked and Archie Goodwin is determined to do something about it—even while protecting the secret that she’s been assaulted. Unfortunately, shortly after he gets on the case, the assailant is murdered. I thought Archie was going to be in some trouble over this, but things quickly take an even more dire turn when Rowan’s nephew confesses to the crime even though no one thinks he could have done it.

When Wolfe is badgered into taking the case to find the true killer, i
Kay Hudson
Apr 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, mystery
I know some Rex Stout/Nero Wolfe purists are not thrilled with Robert Goldsborough’s continuation of the series, but I’ve been enjoying his efforts. The Last Coincidence was published in 1989, and, although the characters have not aged over several decades, they are now living in the late twentieth century, and Archie is keeping the orchid records and doing other office tasks on a computer. His relationship with long-time lady friend Lily Rowan gets a bit more attention, too, although Archie rem ...more
Oct 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I fear that the most significant commentary on this book (from me) is that I just finished re-reading it and didn't realize I'd read it 8 years ago until I saw that I'd already posted a review on Goodreads. So, let's say it was NOT the most memorable of Robert Goldsborough's Nero Wolfe books.

My principal quibble with it is that is is a very contemporary story and my personal bias prefers to find Archie and Nero Wolfe in the New York of the 30's to 50's, with all the period color. A big part of t
Robert Davis
Mr. Goldsborough does an admirable job of rejuvenating the the rotund pedantic detective and his sly and quick witted right hand man. I enjoyed the updating of the scenery to the present day (that being the the late 1980's) it felt comfortable and not a manufactured period piece. The plot and characters held my interest, although I found the final solution to be somewhat simplistic. All in all... satisfactory. ...more
Diane K.
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am leery of a book that abruptly tosses in characters that we should have known about before. So Lily Rowan has a half sister? And never a mention of her previously? Cramer speaks of knowing Lily as a child, but not her sibling? Nary a mention of Lily sharing her father's vast wealth with someone else? And Goldsborough does not put in a single line explaining anything. Was Rowan married and widowed before he met Lily's mother? Married and divorced? Was he married at all?

I can see why Goldsboro
Barry Will
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Roughly a decade after Rex Stout's death ended the Nero Wolfe series of books, Robert Goldsborough was hired to continue the series. There are two distinct eras of Goldsborough's books. Early Goldsborough runs from 1986 (Murder in E Minor) to 1994 (The Missing Chapter). Late Goldsborough begins in 2012 (Archie Meets Nero Wolfe) and continues to (as of this review) 2018 (The Battered Badge).

I generally find the early Goldsborough books to be superior, as he does a much better job of capturing Sto
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christopher Rush
While Goldsborough does give us a couple of nice moments, and the book is short and a fast read, this is mainly ... unpleasant. While of course murder is a repulsive, horrible thing, mystery novels and mystery shows and such (especially comedies like Psych) often enable us to navigate through the macabre aspect of a truly despicable aspect of human experience (at its worst, let's say) without letting us get too messy. The inciting action behind the murder in this book is another truly repulsive ...more
Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This author continued the Nero Wolfe Mystery series originated by Rex Stout. All of the recurring cast of characters from the original series are retained in this continuation. And they are portrayed flawlessly. You’d never know that Rex Stout wasn’t writing these mysteries. These are character driven mysteries. You’ll want to read the mysteries for both the story itself as well as to visit once again with your favorite characters. Each of the characters has unique and interesting personality. I ...more
Jan 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
To be totally fair this book may deserve more than one star, but I couldn’t finish it. Although I have enjoyed many of Goldsborough’s Wolfe books, this one didn’t feel authentic. Archie seemed out of character and lost his characteristic wit, there was none of the normal banter between characters, traditional Wolfe traits aren’t there, and Lily Rowan suddenly has a family. I made it half the way through and the mystery wasn’t holding my attention and the characters were annoying me.
Taking over
I don't envy any writer who takes over a series from another author, especially a series that includes as many entries as Nero Wolfe. Unfortunately, this book never really works for me. Goldsborough is close to capturing Rex Stout's voice, but he doesn't quite make it there, and the book includes instances where he seems to completely misunderstand a character or their relationships with other characters. Also, I'm not sure the mystery actually works....the ending was very unsatisfying, with the ...more
Paul O'Grady
I always appreciate Goldsborough's Nero Wolfe stories on one level because he capture's Rex Stout's characters so well. I hear the Archie and Nero I have always loved in these novels. And yet, like a singer who may have stayed on the circuit a little too long, I think Goldsborough can reproduce the formula but the execution leaves something to be desired. Without offering any spoilers, I found the resolution of this mystery to be quite unsatisfying and frankly, unsurprising. I recommend this boo ...more
Apparently I missed this when it came out in 1989, but it gave me a clearer idea of why I'm not crazy about the continuation, by Goldsborough, of the original Stout series. I'd noticed that Archie Goodwin's narration, in this case of the story of a date-rapist who is conclusively stopped, doesn't seem too authentic, but today I realized that there's something wrong with Wolfe, too--he isn't a genius! (For instance, the person arrested by the police for the crime, out on bail, reluctantly visits ...more
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: michael-read
3.75 stars

Robert Goldsborough's continuation of the Rex Stout Nero Wolf series is a qualified success, in my opinion. It's never the same, of course, but I feel he does a creditable job and time spent with Archie Goodwin is always wise-cracking fun.

In this one, someone messes with Goodwin's lady friend Lily Rowan's niece, and is subsequently found beaten to death with a tire iron. The niece's brother confesses, and Nero Wolfe agrees to investigate.

The best series, even if formulaic in some ways
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nero figured it out!

If you like mysteries that are solved by a man in a chair, good thinking quiet ones, then this is your book! Most of the time I can figure them out, but this not only had me stumped, but it seemed as if Nero was also. He made an appology to his client and told her to prove who "did it" may just end in conjecture and not in a conviction. This could certainly have been anyone of many people. How would he prove who was guilty? To get the murderer to confess was the
only way! To
Hannah Belyea
When Lily asks Goodwin to look into the terrible man her neice has been seeing, he ends up on the wrong side of Inspector Cramer after the body the found, leading he and Wolfe to take on the investigation and clear the name of an innocent who has confessed to the murder. Goldsborough will please fans of the classic Stout stories with another enjoyably snarky take on the Wolfe and Goodwin teamup. How can Wolfe prove a man is innocent when the man doesn't want his help? ...more
Morgan McGuire
Mar 21, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I criticized book #3 for not adapting Goodwin's casual misogyny from the 1930s for the 1980s. Book #4 cleans up its act. Despite finding himself unable to say "rape" more than once for a plot centered around rape, Goldsborough figures out how to bring Wolfe and Goodwin to the other end of the century successfully and handles the female characters largely as you'd expect for a 1980s book, as well as adding several new elements to the Stout oevre. ...more
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Last Coincidence

When Archie’s friend, Lily tells him of the dare rape of her niece, Noreen, Archie wants to confront the braggart. Noreen persuades Archie to get her an appointment with Nero Wolfe after her brother confesses to the murder of the little braggart. Nero Wolfe is able to deduce the real murderer.
John M
Feb 05, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another nifty bit of writing by Bob.

Just so we're straight, Rex Stout is THE Nero Wolfe writer.
Robert Goldsborough adds to his version of the stories from the Brown Stone. This book, as the others written by Bob, hits all the right notes, names all the right players and sets a crime only Wolfe can solve. I was entertained and look forward to the next book.
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-kindle-books
Before this book, I don't think I've ever guessed the identity of the killer before the victim was even murdered. The fact that I was still on the edge of my seat, trying to guess how Nero & Archie would prove it speaks to just how wonderful Robert Goldsborough's Nero Wolfe Mysteries are. ...more
John F. Woodruff
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Always a good read! Kinda like a bag of hot buttered popcorn. Slightly fluffy, tasty and hard to put down before you finish the whole thing.

The mystery was a little light and fluffy but impossible to put down until you finish the whole thing. Lotsa fun!
Sue Munson
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good read

Mr. Goldsborough does a good job carrying on the Nero Wolfe stories. I enjoy them from time to time. I had a bit feeling about who the culprit would be, just had to wait for the mighty detective to fill in the details.
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the combination of characters, which centers around Lily Rowan's family. I didn't in the least believe the way Wolfe demonstrated the guilt of the culprit. I would have given my review fewer stars for that, except the unbelievable part only covered a very few pages.

Read 2 times

Brian Carney
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's not Rex Stout, but it's quite good. An enjoyable read. Goldsborough handles the date rape issue with sensitivity. It's great to see more of Lily and meet more f her family. Not the greatest mystery, but enjoyable. ...more
Mike Haxton
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
And He Scores!

I’m really enjoying Goldsborough’s take on the big man.
This no wannabe Rex Stout, he dries almost like Rex is whispering in his ear.
This one is better in that he is using the references to Nero’s, umm, waistline soaring, and so, with better effect.
Bill Suits
This wasn't that bad but it also wasn't that good. I originally was turned off by the subject matter in the very first two chapters. But I stuck it out and like many people including Archie I did not see the killer. ...more
Susan Morris
Nov 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyable mystery, and just what I needed at a stressful time! One quibble with a timeline mistake that should have been caught by an editor, but I’ll definitely be reading more Nero Wolfe! (Own)
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Robert Goldsborough is an American author of mystery novels. He was born in 1937 and grew up in the Chicago area. Although he worked for 45 years for the Chicago Tribune and Advertising Age, he first came to prominence in the 1980s with the publication, with the approval of the estate of Rex Stout, of his Nero Wolfe mystery Murder in E Minor. Written privately for his mother back in 1978, shortly ...more

Other books in the series

Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe Mysteries (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Murder in E Minor (Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe Mysteries #1)
  • Death on Deadline (Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe Mysteries #2)
  • The Bloodied Ivy (Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe Mysteries #3)
  • Fade to Black (Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe Mysteries, #5)
  • Silver Spire (Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe Mysteries #6)
  • The Missing Chapter (Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe Mysteries, #7)
  • Archie Meets Nero Wolfe (Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe Mysteries, #8)
  • Murder in the Ball Park (Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe Mysteries #9)
  • Archie in the Crosshairs (Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe Mysteries, #10)
  • Stop the Presses! (Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe Mysteries, #11)

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