It's amazing how comfortable you can become with the never-changing routine of the occupants of Nero Wolfe's brownstone. Theodore tends the orchids, Fritz cooks, Archie does the investigative legwork, and Wolfe never leaves the brownstone. Visitors come and go, and Wolfe interrogates them, manipulates them, and occasionally exposes one of them as a murderer. Wolfe's universe existed almost unchanged through seventy three stories. In one of them, however, the entire structure of Wolfe's, Theodore's, Archie's, and Fritz's world was completely destroyed. "In the Best of Families" is that story.
A homely heiress asks Wolfe to check up on her husband. Arnold Zeck warns Wolfe off the case. Wolfe refuses. His home is bombed, the heiress is killed, and Wolfe disappears without a trace. Theodore takes a job in the country, Fritz goes to work in a restaurant, and Archie opens up his own detective agency. We have some clues as to what Wolfe might be up to from comments he made in "And be a Villain" and "The Second Confession," the first two Arnold Zeck stories. This much is certain: Wolfe must utterly destroy Arnold Zeck or forever remain in hiding.