I have realised that I have not said very much about the plot of Fer-De-Lance.
If I carry on with behaviour like that I might be put on the review panel for Anne Enright's next novel. The Booker Prize was discussed over at Crime Always Pays, here and here, by Declan Burke, the Irish Elmore Leonard or should that be the Irish Carl Hiaasen, and the erudite and passionate Crimficreader.
As someone who last last read a fiction non crime novel in 1959 I don't feel qualified to comment.
Rex Stout is certainly no prose stylist, and there is nothing lyrical about Fer-De -Lance but the story does whiz along.
Fred Durkin, one of Wolfe's irregulars, introduces Maria Maffei to Nero Wolfe and she asks the overwieght sleuth to help in finding her brother Carlo, a metal worker.
On the afternoon of Sunday, June 4, 1933, Peter Oliver Barstow, president of Holland University was playing golf on the links of Green meadow Club, 30 miles north of New York City. Barstow was playing a foursome with his son ,Lawrence, his neighbour E.D.Kimball and Kimball's son Manuel.
At the first tee Barstow was apparently stung by a wasp on his stomach, and 30 minutes later he collapsed and died.
When Carlo Maffei is discovered stabbed to death, only Wolfe the sedentary genius can connect these two events and eventually solve the crime , surviving along the way an attack by a dreaded snake, the Fer-De-Lance.
"Your name is Goodwin. Are you a genius too?"
"Yes , sir." I grinned. "I caught it from Nero Wolfe......."