Wednesday, November 04, 2020

THE BATTERED BADGE - A Nero Wolfe Mystery

 

THE BATTERED BADGE

A Nero Wolfe Mystery

By Robert Goldsborough

Mysterious Press

234 pgs

What we love about Robert Goldsborough new Nero Wolfe stories is his willingness to break the mold established by Wolfe’s creator, the late Rex Stout. Such a statement will certainly anger the purist out there, but we stand by it completely. No writer ever wants to bore his readers and a repetitive plot structure will guarantee that malaise eventually. Meaning quite simply, had Stout lived longer and continued to write new stories about his rotund sleuth, we can easily imagine him developing many of the same new elements Goldsborough has delighted us with over the past few years.

With “The Battered Badge,” Goldsborough centers his plot around one of the series most amiable supporting figures in Inspector Lionel Cramer, Wolfe’s opposite number on the NYPD. So many times Wolfe has frustrated the veteran copper in his pursuit of his duty, only in the end to hand him the killers and let the police take all the credit. It was easy for any astute reader to see both men respected each other but neither would ever admit it.

When a popular anti-crime personality is gun downed gangland style, criticism is directed at the police immediately and the new commissioner, bowing to political pressure, has Cramer relieved of his duties. The Homicide Division replacing him is an egotistical incompetent. This is extremely bothersome to both Wolfe and Archie and invariably they are caught up in the case even before they have an actual client. Goldsborough is clever enough to make us wait for the eventual meeting between Cramer and Wolfe. The last thing in the world Wolfe wants is for Cramer to know he is manipulating events to have the dedicated lawman reinstated.

Meanwhile Archie and fellow P.I. Saul Panzer continue to interview likely suspects all of which leads to a climatic gathering in police headquarters. Not the brownstone. And that is all we’ll reveal here, daring not to spoil what was one of the most enjoyable finales this series has ever delivered. Thank you, Mr. Goldsborough, for keeping these great characters fresh and exciting. Mr. Stout would have approved.

3 comments:

John Huston (with just a hint of Karen Carpenter) said...

Ron, when you read this com-girl-t try to imagine you are Peter Bogdanovich doing his famous John Huston impersonation, then it`ll seem even more hilarious ! ! !: "During the filming of Annie in the summer of 1981 i always wished i`d been able to travel forward in time by 4 years to 1985 and return to Cork in Ireland where i was born because i knew that the truly astounding 17 year-old Pauline Hickey would`ve been waiting for me there (where she was actually born as well in 1968). I could`ve then spent 10 years tit-fucking that stunning mega-titted lust-pot senseless non-stop, 24 hours-a-day, uninterrupted (and unloading literally half-a-pint of spunk all over those mind-bogglingly amazing and totally perfect knockers every 5 minutes during the entire 10 year period of course ! ! !), if only i`d had a time machine and been 30 years younger at the time. On the day that Pauline was born the angels got together and decided to create a dream-come-true, and they succeeded beyond their wildest imaginings and essentially created THE most incredible sexual Goddess in the entire history of the universe ! ! !".

Joe Biden (expressing my rampagingly heterosexual lust) said...

Instead of having to think about all this political nonsense that i`m unfortunately involved with i wish i could find some way of magically transporting myself back in time by 35 years to 1985 and once there proceed to spend a entire year having my willy squashed and squeezed between the truly incredible 17 year-old Pauline Hickeys totally unbelievable knockers 24 hours-a-day, non-stop, uninterrupted, that would be a thousand times better than 4 years in the White house ! ! !.

Ron Fortier said...

John, Joe,: "I wholeheartedly, unequivocally and unreservedly agree with everything you both said. Tit-fucking the mind-bogglingly unbelievable 17 year-old Pauline Hickey in 1985 would`ve
been like a literal, living, breathing visit to a real heaven here on earth...WOW...what a babe that bird was 35 years ago ! ! !.