What could make Nero Wolfe so determined to solve a crime that he would be willing to work entirely without fee or client? What would it take to put him, for the first time, at a loss for words? What would make him so angry about a case that he would refuse to speak to the police, even if he has to spend fifty-one hours in jail as a result? Never before in the Nero Wolfe books has Rex Stout shown us the extremes to which the greatest detective in the world can be pushed, but never before has a bomb blown up in the old brownstone on West 35th Street, murdering someone right under Wolfe's nose. When in October 1974 Pierre Ducos, one of Wolfe's favorite waiters at Rusterman's, Wolfe's favorite restaurant, dies just down the hall from Archie's bedroom, Wolfe is understandably eager to find the perpetrator, but when that murder somehow becomes connected with tape recorders, Washington lawyers, and maybe even a conspiracy to obstruct justice, his fury becomes so intense that even Archie is puzzled. - Jacket flap.