After reading George Kelley's comment in DAPA-EM (the mystery amateur press association) that he was starting to reread the Nero Wolfe canon after learning that the estimable Art Scott had logged an unbelievable twenty trips through the Wolfe saga (!), I tried to decide if I had ever finished reading all the Wolfe books myself. Having decided that I hadn't, I decided to start with the first book, Fer De Lance, as George had done. I have a copy of it somewhere but since it is unlikely that I could wait until it turned up, I went to the local library and was shocked to find that they didn't have a copy. I then checked a Barnes and Noble and was even more shocked to find that there weren't any Stouts on the shelves. I finally managed to locate a well-worn omnibus collection in another library. As my wife looked at Royal Flush, she gave me a look reserved for the truly deranged, which, considering the circumstances, I probably am. I'm not sure how far I'll get with the Wolfes, but I am going to try.
Long before I read the article in today's New York Times (Case of the Lawyer With a Sherlock Holmes Bent by Marc Weingarten) I have been eyeing Leslie S. Klinger's The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes (Norton), but have been saved from buying it because every single copy that I've seen so far has been sealed. Until today of course, when I came upon an opened set. A quick glance through the hefty two volume set confirmed what a monumental achievement it obviously is, and that of course I had to have it. Since half of my Baring-Gould Annotated Sherlock Holmes leaves something to be desired, having been all but ruined when my wife overwatered a plant that was resting atop one of the volumes, I could be excused if I perceived a pressing need for a replacement. I probably won't perceive a pressing need to start this anytime soon, but just knowing that I have a set will cerainly be reassuring.