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The second Nero Wolfe novel, The League of Frightened Men, provides a nice blend between the hardboiled and cozy mystery styles. Tough guy and narrator Archie Goodwin finds himself in several sticky situations throughout the novel. Meanwhile, Nero Wolfe generally stays at his office and thinks things through, when he isn't distracted by his plants, food, or beer. The highlight of the book is clearly the dialogue between Archie and Nero. The character of Paul Chapin, a cripple and suspected murderer, provides a creepy atmosphere each time he appears. This isn't a true fair play mystery as a couple of major clues are kept from the reader until the final reveal. However, the dialogue and interesting cast of characters make this a must-read from the Nero Wolfe series.
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