The Rubber Band (1936) is Rex Stout's third mystery featuring the corpulent Nero Wolfe. As always, Archie Goodwin narrates and handles the leg work, while Wolfe orchestrates the detecting while tending his orchids or drinking beer.
This time around, Wolfe drops a long-time banker client to take the case of a beautiful woman accused of stealing from the bank. With gunmen on the loose and the police closing in, Wolfe hides the lovely new client in his brownstone long enough to sort through a mystery that began with a near-lynching in the Wild West and could end with the murder – or arrest – of a visiting British nobleman.
The plot is complex, the conclusion tidy, and the prose lively. Goodwin is as wise-cracking a gum shoe as Sam Spade and Stout plays him off the eccentric pomposity of Wolfe perfectly.
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This counts as one of my my "Cherchez le Homme" choices for the Vintage Mystery Challenge hosted by My Reader's Block.