In Rex Stout's fifth book in the series, Wolfe engages in two activites he detests: leaving the confines of his home and travel by any type of machinery (a train in this case). Wolfe and Archie travel to Kanawha Spa, West Virginia, where Wolfe has been invited to speak before a group of master chefs. Wolfe encounters more than just gourmet food when one of the chefs is murdered.
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.