I read this book about 10-Jun-2002. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1956. This note was last modified Wednesday, 03-Mar-2004 11:05:52 PST.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
I imagine the four stories in this volume were actually copyrighted in different years, but I haven't tried to research it that deeply.
Some of the ways that Nero and Archie get involved in messes are appalling, and this book seems to specialize in them. I did rather like Wolfe appearing as Santa Clause at a Christmas party, and having to run when a murder was committed. And having the woman that Wolfe arranged to have orchids stolen from murdered just before the theft -- it's just not fair! Honest orchid thieves shouldn't have to worry about things like murders!
It also has one of the better convoluted plots, in "Murder Is No Joke". Again, competing schemes go awry, but this time among the employees at Alec Gallant's fashion design establishment.
Um, if I haven't mentioned this recently, if you haven't read most of Nero Wolfe, you really need to do so.