The thing I love about Rex Stout is that he is a writer whose work has stood the test of time. His stories are just as entertaining and exciting now as they were when they were written in the 1930s all the way up to the 1970s. His main character Nero Wolfe and his assistant Archie Goodwin are two of the most well written and interesting people you will ever have the pleasure to meet.
Stout was born in 1886 and died in 1975. I can only imagine how wonderful it was to experience life over the course of the changing of the century and millennium when there was so much technological and social changes. When we baby boomers witnessed our own century/millennium change it was without quite the same impact as the horses to jet planes that the 19th to 20th had.
The Nero Wolfe novels have everything you could want. A good mystery wrapped around wonderful characters and interesting circumstances. Gourmet food, orchid growing, clever, snappy dialogue and interplay that rivals Aaron Sorkin, and language that plays to the fact that readers are smart and ”get it.” Stout mixed social commentary into his stories too, but he did not beat the reader over the head with it. His political opinions landed him on the FBI watch list during the McCarthy era, but he continued to make his points none the less and stirred them into the mix so that the reader could take it or leave it and not miss a beat in the story. His views were not the main focus of the stories, more like asides that added to his characters more than preached to the reader.
I discovered the Stout books in college at the end of his life and was thrilled to go on a treasure hunt to find all that I could. I had a great appetite for them and cobbled them up as fast as I could find them and then re-read them again, enjoying every savory bite.
If you have not read a Stout novel, or only seen the TV shows of Nero Wolfe stories (Timothy Hutton was a great Archie Goodwin by the way) do yourself a favor and read the books, they are a treat.