My Review of The League of Frightened Men

The League of Frightened Men (Nero Wolfe, #2)

The League of Frightened Men by Rex Stout

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second in the Nero Wolfe series, and the characters come into a little better focus than in the first. The basic plot revolves around a group of men that were in college together, and one of them is crippled in a hazing accident perpetrated by the others. This has led that group of men to form a “League of Atonement” to help support the crippled man. But then several of them die under mysterious circumstances, and they start to get letters that appear to be written by the crippled man. Has he decided on revenge? Is he planning to murder all of them? Wolfe has to untangle all of this.

There are a several things that make this novel interesting within the Corpus. One is that Archie is drugged and captured, and the other is that Wolfe is kidnapped while trying to get Archie released. Neither of those happens a whole lot. And this illustrates something about the Wolfe series. Stout goes to some trouble to emphasize certain idiosyncrasies of Wolfe’s behavior, and one them is that “Wolfe never leaves the house on business.” But in fact as you go through the books Wolfe manages to get out more often than you would expect. Sometimes it is not ostensibly “business” that gets him out, but even then business find him anyway. Being a friend of Nero Wolfe could be very dangerous.

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