Too Many Cooks Paperback – Nov 1 1995
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Here's yet another Nero Wolfe mystery brought to life by the dramatic skills of Michael Prichard. Yes, the dialogue is dated, the plot clichéd, and the hero not altogether likable, but dropping into the milieu of a posh resort in the late thirties is glamorous and fun. Michael Prichard does a masterful job of presenting the oversized detective genius who prides himself on his discerning taste buds as well as his sleuthing. In this story Nero is invited to speak at a meeting of the world's top chefs. Naturally, a chef is found murdered. Michael Prichard gives individuality and vitality to all the suspects and makes listening to this old chestnut an indulgence. D.L.G. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
This tale takes place at a meeting of chefs and the key to the solution is being able to detect ALL the ingredients in a particular dish. This is a clever, witty and very satisfying read.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
They've hardly all gathered before the sparks fly. One of the chefs is universally despised, and it's really no surprise to the reader when he turns up dead. Not wanting to get involved in anything that might delay his return to his beloved brownstone, Wolfe vows to not get involved. In spite of his efforts, he finds himself getting sucked in. Can he stay alive, find the real killer, and still make his train?
My best friend has recently started reading these books and keeps recommending them to me, so I picked this one up. I can see why he likes them. This story is a great puzzle. I thought I had the plot figured out before the end, but I was only half right. Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin make for two interesting leads. I listened to the audio version, which made it a little hard to keep all the chefs straight. The further I went the easier it was, however. Michael Prichard does a great job of reading the story.
If this is an example of why Nero Wolfe a classic character in the mystery genre, I can see why. I will be looking for more books in this series.
Stout really has a lot of fun with the story and characters as Wolfe's confrontational manner begins to emerge in the series. The characters are always colorful, but the supporting cast of chefs, wives, servants, and others is also enjoyable. Some of the most interesting books in the series are those in which Wolfe leaves the brownstone and is absent from his comforts: the plant rooms, his cook Fritz, his beer, his office. Still, it becomes evident early on that Wolfe is in complete control. Or is he? Find out the lengths that Wolfe will go to in the attempt to obtain the recipe for saucisse minuit.
It would have been great to see them do "Fer-de-lance" and "Too Many Cooks." While resonances of this story appear in A&E's depiction of the Ten for Aristology, the idea of the Fifteen Masters convening in West Virginia to hear Wolfe's disquisition on American haute cuisine is - fantasically appealing.
The Kanawha Spa is a proxy for the Greenbrier (which is actually in West Virginia). It's wonderful to see how Archie has to balance nursemaiding Wolfe with hunting down the killer, and even better to read Wolfe's methodical, respectful quizzing of the kitchen staff. This is the book where a character is established who, many years later, returns as an older man with ingrained beliefs.
As wise as Wolfe's sayings can be, it's wonderful to see their influence on someone's entire character and philosophy. This is an all-time great book, and, if A&E ever comes back to their senses...