I’ve only read a few of Stout’s Nero Wolfe books before and liked them but I enjoyed this one just as much, it was first published in 1937. The Hand in the Glove has a lot in common with what we tend to think of as traditional British murder mysteries, involving a big country house party, and lots of murder suspects, in fact the whole thing was quite similar to Wentworth’s The Chinese Shawl which I read just before this one.
The story begins in Manhattan, where Theodolinda Bonner, Dol to her friends, is a partner in a detective agency, but the action swiftly moves to a large New England house. The house belongs to P.L. Storrs, a financier who is in control of the orphaned Dol’s money, until she comes of age – in 6 months time.
The fact that Storrs disapproves of Dol’s involvment in a detective agency doesn’t stop him from secretly hiring her to dig up some dirt on one of the other guests. George Ranth is a sort of religious guru, and Mrs Storrs has fallen under his spell, it looks like Ranth is after the Storrs’ money. When there’s a murder Dol becomes a suspect along with all the other guests and the detectives of the New York Bureau of Homicide don’t want any help from a fiesty young ‘she-dick’ – but they get it anyway.
It’s a good mystery with humour too, what more can you want on a cold dark winter night!