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Nearly Nero: The Adventures of Claudius Lyon, the Man Who Would Be Wolfe Kindle Edition
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The Chair in his Office is not the famous yellow of the Wolfe Books but orange. His sidekick takes every advantage of him, rounding off checks to the next hundred and his Cook serves pigeon and charges the Boss for chicken. Still they all rub along...Saints and Sinners.
If you are familiar with the Nero Wolfe stories this book has some laugh out loud moments. The comparisons are adroit and very colorful but not always to Claudius Lyon's advantage may I add. He has the girth of Wolfe but very little else. His problems are much smaller but they get solved in a timely way. The comparison of Lyon's townhouse to anything Wolfe is very aptly described as working out of a Motel Six.
So if you are a fan of Nero Wolfe you will like Nearly Nero very much. And even if you haven't read the Wolfe Books there are plenty of comparisons to satisfy your curiosity and keep you reading. Each story is different and I enjoyed the characters very much.
My thanks to Netgalley and Gallery Books
“Lyon loved to read mysteries, but he knew he’d never have the energy to emulate Sherlock Holmes, or the physique to withstand and deliver beatings a la Sam Spade . . . Wolfe’s obesity and sedentary habits suited him right down to his wide bottom.”
These are the adventures of Claudius Lyon, Nero Wolfe-wannabe, as told by Arnie Woodbine, his chronicler, secretary, aide, and leg man. Unfortunately, everything about Lyon, from his five-foot, overweight frame to Arnie himself, is a little skewed from any resemblance to his idol.
Though there are no murders or mayhem, and absolutely no bullets, Lyon shines, in his own way as perspicacious as his idol. Most of the mysteries are no more than riddles instead of danger-fraught thrillers. In fact, they may remind some readers of those “brainteasers” they were subjected to in school. No matter. Each one is clever, filled with puns and acerbic wit as spoken by Arnie, and good fun to read.
Nearly Nero is an anthology that will appeal to both the Nerophyte as well as any reader who may not have had the good fortune to learn of Nero Wolfe. Claudius Lyon isn’t a poor substitute; he’s simply a very accomplished mini-me version of the master. Imitation is the best form of flattery, and Loren Estleman has flattered very well indeed.
This novel was supplied by the publisher and no remuneration was involved in the writing of this review. This excerpt is taken from the full-length review written for the New York Journal of Books Online.