How Rex Stout kept it fresh
Nero Wolfe has ordered Archie Goodwin to summon the trusted stable of freelance detectives whom they often use when extra manpower is called for. Fans will be familiar with the set piece. Goodwin always names the detectives, taking care to point out that Saul Panzer is the best of them. How is an author to keep such a scene, repeated so often, fresh? Here, Stout does it with a little joke:
"He spoke. `Saul and Fred and Orrie. At eight in the morning in my room.'© Peter Rozovsky 2007
"My brows went up. Saul Panzer is the best operative south of the North Pole. His rate is ten dollars and hour and he is worth twenty. Fred Durkin's rate is seven dollars and he is worth seven-fifty. Orrie Cather's rate is also seven dollars and he is worth six-fifty."