It is the way in which the puzzle is solved that intrigues Nero Wolfe, who is much like Sherlock Holmes in his ability to use deductive reasoning. More than 60 million copies in 24 languages of Stout's books have been sold.
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Stout writes quickly, drawing upon a lifetime of impressions. He neither uses an outline nor revises; he lets his characters take over as the story develops. She and Marko have been involved in a movement to secure Montenegro 's independence from Yugoslavia , and she is furious at Wolfe's refusal to support the effort. Wolfe tries to question her, but she is reluctant to give any information, since she believes that he may be in league with the government of Yugoslavia or the Soviet Union.
During the three weeks following the murder, Wolfe pursues various lines of investigation and gets a second visit from Carla, enraged that the police are now looking into the movement's background. Following this meeting, he gets three updates from Paolo Telesio, an informant in Bari , Italy. The first states that Carla has returned to Bari and crossed the Adriatic Sea into Montenegro; the second is a cryptic message on the killer's location - "the man you seek is within sight of the mountain"; the last states that Carla has been killed.
The Black Mountain
The two fly to Europe, making their way to Bari and taking temporary shelter in a house owned by one of Telesio's friends. Wolfe passes himself off as a Montenegro native who has lived abroad for many years and is now returning to decide which side to support in the struggle over Yugoslavia's future, and Archie as his American-born son to explain his inability to speak Serbo-Croat.
Wolfe and Archie travel to the home of Marko's nephew Danilo, who had passed the messages on to Telesio and who has been helping Marko and Carla smuggle weapons and supplies in from the United States. From Pasic, Wolfe learns that Carla had begun to suspect that a spy had infiltrated the group; she slipped into Albania to infiltrate a Russian-controlled fort and gather information, only to be killed instead.
Wolfe and Archie sneak into the fort, where they hear screams coming from one room. Inside, they discover Peter Zov, a man they had previously seen in Stritar's office, being tortured by three Russians.
Their leader berates Zov for going to New York and killing Marko on Stritar's orders, hampering Russia's goal of taking over Yugoslavia if the Tito regime is overthrown. Carla had gained the favor of the other two Russians; when they realized who she was, they killed her. Wolfe and Archie storm the room, and Archie kills the Russians and frees Zov.
The Black Mountain (Nero Wolfe, #24) by Rex Stout
Also, this mystery presents an interesting formal problem. Not "whodunit"--we know the identity of the murderer--but a "how-do-it": Oct 31, Evgeny rated it liked it Shelves: This book has the most tragic beginning among all the stories in the series. One of the closest Wolfe's friends is killed and the police is completely baffled in the murder investigation.
The famous New York detective makes exactly the same progress in his own investigation as the police: He gets more and more frustrated and finally makes the unthinkable: His faithful sidekick Archie Goodwin goes with him posing as his son. The book has more serious undertones than a typical Nero Wolfe story as the majority of it is spent in Montenegro which according to How Rex Stout saw it was not a nice place - I really have no idea whether it was really as bad.
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Archie does not speak the local language s , so he has much less opportunities to practice his trademarked wisecracking which really adds humor to the series. On the other hand, this is one of the few books where Nero Wolfe is forced to do his own legwork as opposed to delegating it to the usual cast of operatives which really makes this book stand up among the crowd. Another thing of note: This was in sharp contrast to how they used to do things in Montenegro; again I am talking about Montenegro envisioned by Rex Stout: The mystery was fairly weak with Nero Wolfe not doing practically any mental efforts at all: One of the few books in the series where the laziest genius detective had to do his own legwork gets 3.
View all 6 comments. Un nuovo giallo, un delitto di un caro amico portano questa volta il famigerato Wolfe a lasciare la sua abitazione e a viaggiare fra taxi, aerei, scarpinando a piedi per tutto il Montenegro. Jul 01, Meredith Wemhoff rated it it was ok. Solo alcuni volumi sono tirati via, ma sospetto che la traduzione e l'editing degli anni ''60 abbiano le loro colpe.
May 05, Jill Hutchinson rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is the most atypical of all the Nero Wolfe books as Wolfe not only leaves the house for an extended period of time but crosses the ocean in search of revenge. His best friend from boyhood, Marko Vukic is gunned down in assassination style and Wolfe goes to Montenegro, the land of his and Marko's birth to hunt down the killers. He also discovers that his adopted daughter, Carla has been murdered as well.
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With Archie in tow, they hike the mountains of the rough and lawless country to search f This is the most atypical of all the Nero Wolfe books as Wolfe not only leaves the house for an extended period of time but crosses the ocean in search of revenge. With Archie in tow, they hike the mountains of the rough and lawless country to search for the killers and Wolfe actually holds up very well under terrific physical effort A very different Nero Wolfe lives in the pages of this book and we get a rather personal look at the man himself.
Jun 13, Cherie rated it it was amazing Shelves: The most exciting adventure Nero and Archie have ever had! I listened to this story again March 30 and 31st of Nero goes home to the place he was born and Archie pretends to be his son to catch a killer and bring him back to NY and justice. Aug 27, Andy Weston rated it really liked it.
My first Nero Wolfe and I was a bit worried about joining the series at number 24, but I need not have been. I read it primarily because I was cycling in Montenegro where the novel is set. Jul 04, Alger rated it it was ok.
This is Rex Stout's clean-up novel. Having created a fully formed world for Nero Wolfe from the very first novel, Stout was left with something of a paradox. Every story that strayed beyond the walls of the W. Over time Wolfe began to accrete a history. Most of these began innocently, his affinity for a particular restaurant evolved into a lifelong friendship with the restauranteur Marko Vukcic, which then added This is Rex Stout's clean-up novel.
Most of these began innocently, his affinity for a particular restaurant evolved into a lifelong friendship with the restauranteur Marko Vukcic, which then added to Wolfe's adventurous youth in the Balkins. From there it was a small step for Wolfe to adopt Carla Lovchen, a daughter from that romantic past and a token of his homeland. The paradox is, the more back story Stout gave Wolfe the less eccentric and interesting he became; the more human and less of a singularity.
By the s, with that back story solidly established and twenty years in without a refresher, Stout apparently felt it was time to reboot and eliminate elements that no longer served as a source of plots, or even tied the series too firmly to its pre-WWII origins. In typical Stout style, his preferred method is remarkably direct.
In the first few pages we lose both of these legacy characters to a violent death, and Wolfe is motivated to bring the murderer to justice. As early as Fer-de-lance there were suggestions that Wolfe's extreme sloth was more pose than reality, a reputation for eccentricity works to free him up from convention and allows him to reject any demand upon a whim. This is why Wolfe so often breaks his own rules when necessary, astonishing Archie with his sudden bursts of energy really, Archie should know better after all this time.
The Black Mountain is best understood as the series extreme of this unexpected energy, where propelled by this doubly personal motivation Wolfe leaves Manhattan behind and travels to his birthplace in Montenegro. The story that follows his leaving the Brownstone is ridiculous in the extreme, owing more to James Bond than Sherlock Holmes. In the end we are confronted, suddenly, with the solution to the chase in the least believable circumstances possible.
All in all, this volume is a reboot, a palate cleanser, a clean-up novel, whatever you wish to consider it. After this, the Nero Wolfe series ossified entirely into its classic form, freed of the baggage of the earlier period, and these characters and their former importance almost vanish from our view.
Being so entirely out of step with the rest of the series is, in some ways, a virtue since it illustrates how fortunate we are that Wolfe preferred the confines of his Brownstone. Otherwise, this book is kind of an awkward embarrassment: Nero Wolfe Versus the Communist Menace. This was a real treat to get to know more of the man himself in his birth land.
Also, picturing one ton Wolfe trekking over a mountain with a knife strapped to his leg was well worth it! Though this story was darker than some of the mysteries, it was enjoyable to listen to it. May 18, Addison Braendel rated it liked it. This gets four stars against all other mysteries, but only three in the Rex Stout pantheon.
Nero just isn't as delightful out of doors, which is almost all of this book. Still a fun read, though, and Archie is at his best. Aug 25, Marie rated it it was amazing Shelves: All I can say is Wow! Considering the fact that this book was written in , it seems very prescient. Considering the fact that they believed there was always hope, if not for Montenegrins of that time, but for their children, is how Mr Stout "saw the future.
They w All I can say is Wow! They waited centuries but Montenegro finally became it's own country, under no one's rule. One of my favorite lines was when they were cold, and it was raining, and they were left standing outside under a tree and Archie surmised that the possible name of the tree was the dripping tree. There were times when the description of some of the treatment of the people, and the conditions they lived in was a little gruesome, but it was necessary for those conditions to be described because that's how things were.
Definitely worth the read. Oct 26, C. Kudos to Rex Stout for grappling with the Poirot Problem:
Related The Black Mountain (A Nero Wolfe Mystery Book 24)
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