Cover art: Winifred E. Lefferts
I've been touting Rex Stout (hey, it sort of rhymes!) since the very inception of this blog so why should I stop now?
These days (and those past), I'm usually re-reading a Nero Wolfe book during meals.
"You might learn if Miss Lindquist and Mr. Walsh will care to wash before dinner. It will be ready in five minutes."
She [Clara Fox] shook her head. "We don't need to eat. Or we can go out for a bite."
"Great hounds and Cerberus!" He [Wolfe] was about as close to a tantrum as he ever got. "Don't need to eat! In heaven's name, are you camels, or bears in for the winter?"
She got up and went to the front room to get them.
Not that I'm as finicky a gourmet (gourmand?) as Wolfe is, of course. He would shudder in horror at some of my food favorites. But it's the spirit of the thing.
Right now I'm re-reading THE RUBBER BAND written in 1936 which, despite the occasional anachronism, makes for mighty fine re-reading. In fact, this book actually improves with age. The more I re-read it, the more I like it. This is the one where Wolfe hides suspect Clara Fox under a bunch of sphagnum moss in the plant rooms upstairs. Remember?
He [Wolfe] sighed. "You understand, Miss Fox, this is something unprecedented. It has been many years since any woman has slept under this roof. Not that I disapprove of them, except when they attempt to function as domestic animals. When they stick to the vocations for which they are best adapted, such as chicanery, sophistry, self-adornment, cajolery, mystification and incubation, they are sometimes splendid creatures.
Well, if you don't remember, that's okay. Read (or re-read) the book anyway, or listen to it on audio.
According to the very excellent mystery/thriller author Nelson DeMille who wrote the forward on the paperback copy I own: The Rubber Band has a Holmesian quality to it that can't be missed; old secrets from a far off time and land, a pact signed in blood, unpaid debts, revenge, murder, and finally restitution....So settle into an easy chair and an easy state of mind, light a fire or at least pretend to, and welcome to the brownstone on West Thirty-fifth Street.
Yup, it has all of that and more, it also has Archie revealing some of his finest Archie-isms.
When I leave my waking up in the morning to the vagaries of nature, it's a good deal like other acts of God - you can't tell much about it ahead of time. So Tuesday at six-thirty I staggered out of bed and fought my way across the room to turn off the electric alarm clock on the table. Then I proceeded to cleanse the form and the phiz and get the figure draped for the day. By that time the bright October sun had a band across the top fronts of the houses across the street and I thought to myself it would be a pity to have to go to jail on such a fine day.
'...the form and the phiz.' Love it.
Don't forget to check in over at Patti Abbott's blog, Pattinase, to see what other forgotten or overlooked books other bloggers are talking about today.