Friday, June 17, 2011

Three Strikes You're Dead, by Robert Goldsborough

Three Strikes You're Dead
by Robert Goldsborough

Robert Goldsborough is probably best known for the Nero Wolfe mysteries he wrote following Rex Stout's death. I've read four of these seven volumes and found then all to be worthy successors to the originals. When I picked up Three Strikes You're Dead at the local library, the Wolfe-like title led me to believe it was another installment in the adventures of Archie and the fat man, but it's not.

Three Strikes is the first in a series of Goldsborough's non-Wolfe novels. His web site indicates that the series currently numbers five volumes. The setting is the rough and tumble environs of Chicago shortly after Al Capone has been sent off to the big house. A local anti-crime activist who was planning to run for mayor is bumped off and the assumption is that the mob made it happen. Chicago Tribune reporter Steve Malek starts fishing around and finds that it might not be a mob hit after all. And the plot thickens.

I confess that once I found out that this wasn't a Nero Wolfe novel I wasn't as keen on reading it. But I forged on and found myself caught up in Goldsborough's tale, which borders on hardboiled but is not quite there. While I probably won't go back to the Malek series any time soon my time spent with this one was not wasted.

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