DALE L. GILBERT – Murder Begins at Home. Carter Winfield & Matt Doyle #3. St. Martin’s, hardcover, 1989. No paperback edition.

   Ever wonder what it would be like if Nero Wolfe and his gang were to move to San Diego, take up new identities and went back into business? Well, dream on. This isn’t it, but it’s close. Slightly whacked ouyand steamed up, but close. Blame it on Californication.

   Matt Doyle is the legman for reclusive/exclusive PI Carter Winfield, and in this case,they go to work (under duress) for a Mafia kingpin who needs a bodyguard for hi family. The writing is vaguely reminiscent of the pulps, but the characters are vividly drawn.

–Reprinted from Mystery*File #15, September 1989 (very slightly revised).

{UPDATE]   I followed this at the time with a footnote that included a detailed description of what I found to be a serious plot flaw. Reading it now, though, I found it boring and uninteresting. Deciding that you would too, in the context of a review that I now consider to be far too short, I’ve omitted it.

   What I really would like to know now is more about the Nero Wolfe-Archie Goodwin connection. I didn’t go into that very well back in 1989, and I guess the only way I’m going to be able to is to find my copy of this book and read it again.

   This was the final book in the series. It was preceded by The Black Star Murders (1988) and The Mother Murders (1989). Dale Gilbert, the author, died in 1988.