I read this book about 11-Oct-2006. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1953. This note was last modified Monday, 16-Oct-2006 12:58:42 PDT.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
Wolf gets drawn into a case by Archie's needling; he even brings in a neighborhood boy to dinner. The boy gets killed shortly thereafter, and his mother brings his $4.30, which is all Nero Wolf gets; well except for the $10,000 retainer from another character who's murdered soon thereafter.
My advice is, if you think you're in a Nero Wolf novel, run like hell. It's too dangerous.
The spiders of the title are a unique pair of earings, which become an important clue. I can't imagine one could track down where something like that came from today; I wonder if one really could in 1955?