The Father Hunt
Archie Goodwin's companion, Lily Rowan, has hired a new assistant. Amy Denovo is pretty, young, and fatherless. She asks Goodwin to help her find her unknown father. Archie refuses unless she hires Nero Wolfe since Archie works for Wolfe without freelancing. Amy has a legacy from her father - a bank account of the money sent to her mother every month of Amy's life until her mother died in a hit and run car accident earlier in the year. With that Amy can afford Wolfe's fee and give the detectives a starting place to find her father.
Soon Goodwin is following up leads he and Wolfe find. One of the richest men in the city seems to be involved. He is a retired banker with few friends and many enemies. Rival banking executives are glad to "give him up" to Wolfe. Yet he is not Amy's father. The obvious next choice also doesn't seem to be a candidate for hidden fatherhood. Who is Amy's father? What is being hidden?
Hurray for Rex Stout! Just about the time you, the reader, know where the author is going, he throws a twist into the story. The Nero Wolfe novels are true detective fiction, with the clues being spread along with the red herrings. This is one of his later books, so the 1960's are ever present in the background. The time period helps set the book but certainly doesn't overwhelm. This is a worthwhile read.
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