Author: Rex Stout
Narrator: Michael Prichard
Length: 5 hrs. 50 mins.
Produced and published by: Audio Go
THE GAMBIT is classic Nero Wolfe. If you have not had the pleasure of reading, watching or listening to this detective series you are missing out. DH is a huge fan so I thought we could listen to this one together and even though he was familiar with this particular case he still really enjoyed the audiobook.
Nero Wolfe is a detective whose wonderful eccentricities as well as excellent record closing cases means he is never without work. He lives in an apartment that he never leaves, so how does he work a case you might ask? He has persons in his employ that do his leg work. Even the police come to Wolfe’s home to chat about a case.
Archie Goodwin narrates the story and acts as Wolfe’s confidential assistant that carries out Wolfe’s business. Fritz Brenner mans the kitchen as Wolfe appreciates fine food and serves as butler as well. And there are a whole cast of characters that drift in an out of the various cases. Throw in that Wolfe has a greenhouse for his treasured orchards and that gives you the flavor of the big man Nero Wolfe.
THE GAMBIT is a chess move and in this case the name of a private chess club where the murder occurred. It was a cup of hot chocolate with arsenic that did in the victim Paul Jerin. Few had the opportunity to touch the cup of chocolate.
Sally Blount needs help, her father Matthew Blount has been arrested for the murder of Jerin. She believes in her father’s innocence and even though he has confessed. Neither her father’s attorney, Dan Kalmus, nor wife Anna seem to be doing much so Sally seeks out Wolfe’s help on her own. She arrives on his doorstep flush with cash. And while he is not usually inclined to assist the female gender it seemed like he was impressed with Ms. Blount. He even allows her to stay underneath his roof, of course putting others in charge of looking after her.
At times we found the narrator a little robotic in a nature when he was voicing Archie. But we were also comparing him to Timothy Hutton whom has owned this role for Archie Goodwin in our heads for many years.
In the end I always thought these stories would be perfect for the radio. Our first listen to Rex Stout’s THE GAMBIT was completely enjoyable we cannot wait to dip our toe in the Nero Wolfe audiobook waters again. And I would be remiss without mentioning the exceptional cover art concept on the AudioGO series before I end.
Special thanks to The Audio Jukebox for bringing together producers and listeners in the best of ways, Solid Gold Reviewer Program.