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The Last Coincidence

(Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe Mysteries #4)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  649 ratings  ·  51 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 nightlife, and t(
Paperback, 206 pages
Published May 17th 2016 by Mysteriouspress.Com/Open Road (first published 1989)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  649 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It turns out Archie Goodwin's girlfriend Lily Rowan had a niece called Noreen. The latter started dating a guy who had a fairly nasty reputation despite the fact that she was supposed to be very level-headed and smart.
Bad Boy
She was sexually assaulted by him and after a while Archie got a wind of it. Before he was able to do anything in this situation (and even our narrator himself had no plan on how to handle this) the bad guy ended up beaten to death. Noreen's brother confessed to the murder.

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 readabl
Kay Hudson
Apr 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, e-books
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 remains a gent ...more
Jan 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book quite a lot and while I agree Robert Goldsborough is not Rex Stout I think he has done a pretty fair job of capturing the essence of Archie, Nero and Lily and really, in fact, probably all of the recurring characters. I think it's quite appropriate to move the time frame up to the 80's although this does create a bit of an anomaly with the ages of all the characters but I guess that's artistic licence or something. Anyway this one had a fair plot, all the clues in place and the ...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 b
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.
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 w
Barry Scott 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 Stout's tone. The Last Coincidence, unfortunately, does(The(Archie(The(Murder
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
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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
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 w
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?
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.
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.
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!
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-kindle
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.
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

John Breidinger
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great yarn!

Goldsborough keeps up the Rex Stout tradition with a interesting, complicated who dunnit! Very enjoyable! Keep it going, Robert! Thanks!
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love all the books in the Nero Wolfe series!
Virginia Tican
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This deals with date rape. The client here was the victim of said rape, Noreen James, Lily Rowan's niece and her half~sister's kid. Noreen's brother, Michael was accused of bludgeoning to death her rapist for revenge and Wolfe was hired by Noreen to prove her brother did not do the deed. The story centers on the Jameses, how they deal with the crisis in their midst ~ some heroically like Michael and Noreen, some hysterically and mean as well as noisy like Megan (Noreen's mom), some with confiden ...more
Dueep Jyot
Dec 26, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Being a lifelong fan of Rex Stout, I really hate it when another author takes up the load of writing like the master, and makes a hash of it. I have all the Nero Wolfe books, and this was the most colorless And boring book, with my favorite characters, Archie and Mr. Wolfe. Archie has to be snappy, witty, With a dry sort of humor, which shows in his reports. Mr. Goldsborough's Archie is thoroughly boring, and does not have the chemistry with Lily Rowan, we are supposed to think that he has that ...more
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#4 in the Robert Goldsborough continuation of the 47 entry Nero Wolfe series by Rex Stout. Original series fans will be pleased to see the series continued, if not as robustly as when written by Stout. I picked the murderer early on in the book, although I admit it was a guess with no evidence in sight. Archie Goodwin later picks the same person with no more evidence than I had, although he has spent a couple hundred pages eliminating everyone else. Enjoyable but not great, extra points if you'r ...more
A.G. Lindsay
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I think this is the best of the Goldsborough Nero Wolfe books I've read so far. I probably would have rated it four and a half stars since it's not as good as the better Stout offerings, but, surprisingly, it *is* as good as some of the worse ones.

The characters seem consistent with their Stout originations, the interaction between Archie and Lily was fun and made the book. The mystery could have been a little better (I didn't like the fact that the murder was actually strong-armed t
Danielle Sheppard
Lily Rowan has a family situation it seems like her niece Noreen and Lily's favorite member of the family has been raped. Sparky is accused of the rape and Archie Goodwin is mad enough to approach his employer Nero Wolfe to undertake the case. Noreen James is the client, and as the suspects pile up the coincidence become many because every suspect does not have an alibi and every suspect wanted Sparky Linville dead.He is beaten by a tire iron in a parking garage and Lily's family is not only dys ...more
Hattie M
Sep 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like Nero Wolf
Shelves: noir, detective, mystery
It was weird. Archie in the late 80s, with a computer. He was incredibly anachronistic. (He still was a noir detective, but he helped develop the stereotype of the noir detective and well... the 80s wasn't all that noir.) But I think he's about to the point where the anachronism could be a character choice as much as that's how he's always been.

I tend to think of all books like this, written by someone who is not the original author without the original author's input, as really luck
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I recently read the new book by above author, about how Archie met Nero Wolfe and really enjoyed it, so I looked forward to starting this book. I was a bit disappointed. Set in modern times, (1989, when the book was written), it still tried to be a bit 1940's. It didn't work for me, I guess. I didn't find the characters very engaging or care who the killer was. I was not at all caught up in the story.
Archie and Nero Wolfe are very true to form. I do like that, however, I will not be look
Alice Segura
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rex Stout Would be Proud

This is really a five star story, but I'm partial to Stout. Archie and Nero are perfectly portrayed, even Fitz is spot on. Nero is tasked by a young woman to find the true killer of the man who took advantage of her. Her brother has confessed and the whole family is in an uproar. Lily takes a more visible part in the mystery and Archie, is once again gathering clues, yet clueless about the solution. Fun, fun for Nero Wolf and Archie fans.
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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 14 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: A Prequel to Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe Mysteries (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)