In "The Black Mountain," perhaps the oddest Nero Wolfe novel by Rex Stout, Wolfe's oldest friend, restauranteur Marko Vukcic is shot dead on the streets of New York City, and Wolfe sets out to discover the murderer. This search takes him not only out of his comfortable brownstone on East 35th Street, but also out of North America and back to his childhood home in Montenegro, at the time of the novel a part of Yugoslavia. There, he and Archie must sort through the numerous political factions and rebel forces in order to identify the culprit and bring him to justice.... This is, as noted, perhaps the most non-canon book in the Nero Wolfe series; who would have imagined that corpulent Nero Wolfe would be capable of scrambling over mountain peaks and squeezing into crevices in single-minded pursuit of justice? The stark mountain setting and the characterization of the state of that part of the world in that time ring true to me, and I enjoyed that aspect of the novel thoroughly. We also learn that Wolfe is fluent in 8 languages, and through the course of the story we find that some of those languages include Serbian, Croat, Albanian, Russian, Italian and English, of course - one wonders what other two languages he speaks! Recommended.