March 04, 2004

Light reading

Rex Stout, Black Orchids. This is a compilation, two short stories that both involve the titular orchids. They also involve two of the most elaborate murder schemes in the Stout oeuvre, which gives them some novelty value. I'm always fond of the stories in which one of Wolfe's obsessions compels him to make an ass of himself, and the first one in the book satisfies that taste thoroughly. The second features one of the more striking of the endless parade of girls through 135 W. 35th, Maryella Tims. Together, they're slight, but adequate for late-night diner reading.

Stout, Too Many Women. Can there be such a thing for Archie? He tries to answer the question as he investigates the workings of a "stock department" staffed largely by several hundred beautiful girls. This one has some excellent humor, but the plot lingers in stasis and then is resolved abruptly without much actual assistance from clues. Stout's mysteries generally aren't masterpieces of deduction, but this one ranks down there with Death of a Dude.

Posted by Sarah T. at March 4, 2004 04:39 AM | TrackBack
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