Millionaire Noel Hawthorne has just died in a hunting accident. In his will, he leaves his sisters (named April, May, and June) a peach, a pear, and an apple, respectively. But, to a young woman who was _not_ his wife, he leaves a huge chunk of his fortune. The sisters come to Wolfe to find out what's behind this wacky will. But Wolfe suspects that maybe the hunting accident was no accident...
I am stunned to read that other reviewers consider this book to be one of Stout's worst. I completely disagree. How can this be a bad Wolfe entry when:
Wolfe is faced with _three_ women in his house at once
Wolfe faces the threat of arrest from Cramer
Fred Durkin has his best scenes in the series so far
Archie has one of his best outings
(And finally,) Wolfe leaves the house!
Sure, this is not the _best_ Wolfe story Stout ever wrote. It does have some character inconsistencies that later stories don't have. There are also some real problems with the plot. And, true, this would not be the book to start with for first-time Wolfe readers. But should it be included in the trash pile? Definitely not. An average Nero Wolfe story, after all, is better than most writers' "above average" output. Dig in.