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The Missing Chapter Hardcover – December 1, 1993

4.4 out of 5 stars 449 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Life imitates art imitates life. In his seventh Nero Wolfe/Archie Goodwin caper, the writer responsible for continuing the noted series after the death of originator Rex Stout plots a case around the corpse of an author who has continued a mystery series after the original writer's demise. A publisher hires Wolfe and Goodwin to investigate the death, labeled a suicide, of Charles Childress, an ill-tempered author who had recently angered several people, including his agent, his editor and the possibly corrupt reviewer who had lambasted the latest Childress novel. Yet for all that, Childress also had a pretty fiancee, a loyal friend in a fellow author and the devotion of many fans. Goldsborough carefully draws Wolfe and company into the '90s (computers figure in the plot and hold records of Wolfe's beloved orchids), yet the corpulent sleuth still abandons himself to Fritz Brenner's high-fat meals. As always, Archie does the legwork, which in this instance takes him to rural Indiana, Childress's home state, to unearth secrets that Wolfe pieces together in an assured and effective conclusion. Goldsborough ( Fade to Black ) may not recruit new fans to the anachronistic and bulky Wolfe, but he's likely to satisfy the old Rex Stout faithful.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Goldsborough's seventh Nero Wolfe novel is both a very clever mystery and a sort of insider's joke on the whole idea of one author continuing a mystery series after the original author dies. Charles Childress was the author chosen to continue the Orville Barnstable mystery series after the originator died. When Childress is found dead in his Greenwich Village apartment, the police say suicide. His publisher and editor, Horace Vinson, disagrees and hires his Hugeness, Nero Wolfe, to investigate. Among the suspects questioned by leg man Archie Goodwin are a fired agent, an angry editor, and a snippy critic. Goldsborough, as the "continuator" of Rex Stout's Wolfe series, delights in poking fun at the continuation phenomenon--the readers who delight in pointing out small errors of trivial detail in the continuator's work; the cacophony of critical voices, some hailing Childress as a worthy successor, some denouncing him as a greedy vulture; the editors who tinker needlessly; the publishers who exploit Childress in order to boost sales of the dead author's reprints. The publishing details ring true, and--as always--Goldsborough does a masterly job with the Wolfe legacy. Here's a continuator with no reason to kill himself or to be killed. Wes Lukowsky
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Bantam (December 1, 1993)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 229 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0553072412
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0553072419
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.55 x 5.59 x 1.02 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 449 ratings

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Robert Goldsborough (b. 1937) is an American author best known for continuing Rex Stout’s famous Nero Wolfe series. Born in Chicago, he attended Northwestern University, and upon graduation went to work for the Associated Press, beginning a lifelong career in journalism that would include long periods at the Chicago Tribune and Advertising Age. Goldsborough’s first novel starring Wolfe, Murder in E Minor (1986), was met with acclaim from both critics and devoted fans, winning a Nero Award from the Wolfe Pack. Six more Nero Wolfe novels followed, including most recently, Archie Goodwin Meets Nero Wolfe: A Prequel to Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe Mysteries (2012).

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
449 global ratings

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