Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on June 28, 2015
I give this book three out of five stars. It was very readable, and kept me interested. I loved the fact the Mr. Goldsborough set it in roughly 1950. I think the early fifties were Stout's best period, and when I think of Archie and Wolfe, that is the period that comes to mind.

I have always been better at finding fault than virtue, which makes me a natural critic. Following are some of the defects in the book. Keep in mind, I read the book and liked it, and gave it three stars. Nevertheless, I had some big issues. A mystery novel consists of plot, characters, and the author's writing style. I have always found Mr. Goldsborough's plots to be good. He has portrayed the characters fairly well. The place I think he falls down is style. He never really came close to Rex Stout's writing style.

In 'Archie in the Crosshairs' I found the plot good, but it was a cut below Mr. Goldsborough's usual standard. I still enjoyed the characters. However, I found the style to be especially grating. In Stout's books, Wolfe used what I like to call 'vocabulary test' words effortlessly. You got the idea that this was the way Wolfe naturally spoke, and he was not doing it to show off or confound people. In Goldsborough's books, Archie always seems to make a point of letting you know that Wolfe has used a fancy word.

In Stout's books, if Archie makes a wise-crack, he lets it speak for itself. In Goldsborough's books, Archie tells you when he made a crack, in case you missed it. And several times, the wise-cracks were poorly enough done that I needed to be told they were funny, because otherwise I wouldn't have known.

Finally, one anachronism that really bothered me. In roughly 1950, Wolfe uses the word 'paparazzi' several times. The word was not coined until 1960. In addition, I think 'paparazzi' is the kind of neologism that Wolfe would have detested, and eschewed.
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