I read this book about 9-Sep-2002. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1973. This note was last modified Wednesday, 03-Mar-2004 11:07:50 PST.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
A very late one this time. Archie is still single, still going to parties at Lily Rowan's, but now there are people using bombs instead of cyanide, and LSD instead of "Mickey Finn". Cars are still "Herons", guns are still "Marleys". Wolfe is still Wolfe. Cramer is still Cramer. And Rowcliff finally gets it good.
There's a copy-edit glitch in the amount of the check Archie writes to return the retainer. Mrs. Odell has given them $20,000, and then $100,000, but they only return $100,000 (the additionaly $65,000 comes later).
I've never actually tried shooting bullets at matresses, but I don't think they're an adequate backstop. Maybe the terminal ballistics have improved somewhat since Stout got his ideas of firearms; or maybe they were never adequate.
I like the way the case is solved; roughly, Wolfe realizes from a detail embedded in a lie somebody tells him that knowledge of a key point must have existed outside the circle that he's tracked it to so far, and goes from there.