And usually (almost always) I go along with that slightly overweight, beer-drinking orchid-planter who happens to be (in my estimation) the world's shrewdest sleuth. His Name (of course) is Nero Wolfe and with my collaboration he has solved some of the most peculiar puzzles. This one I call . . .
THE DUBIOUS DAUGHTER
When the Balkan princess batted her black lashes and begged Wolfe for help, her plea almost melted me on the spot. Naturally I was disturbed that our future together would be cut short by Wolfe's refusal to take her case. According to the princess , a friend of hers - Neya Tormic - was in a heap of trouble and only zee great Nero Wolfe could assist her. Why Wolfe? Simple, the princess declared, after all, Neya was Nero's daughter . . .
That was the first piece of a puzzle that involved a lot more than paternity charges - diamonds, international intrigue, and murder most foul soon complicated the game!
"War doesn't mature men; it merely pickles them in the brine of disgust and dread. Pfui!"(119)
Introduction of Wolfe's daughter. First, and hilarious, interaction of Wolfe with G-men. Features a fulsomely patriotic rant by Wolfe, whose birthplace is given as the US (later books make his Montenegrin birth clear). As compensation, however, there is banter from Archie concerning Wolfe's fatherhood, and a thoroughly gratifying denouement: the first reported death in Wolfe's office. The mystery opens with the startling news of Wolfe's family; his adopted daughter is accused of theft at a fencing salon.
"We learn the Lambeth Walk in twenty minutes, we teach it to rich people in five lessons, and they pay high, and Nikola Miltan takes the money and pays us only not so high."