Books: The Grand Race

THE DOORBELL RANG by Rex Stout. 186 pages. Viking. $3.50.

In an age when the mystery novel is designed more for the economy-class airline traveler than for the home armchair reader, Rex Stout's way has not changed. After 31 years, Nero Wolfe is still 286 Ibs. large, still guzzles at least a dozen beers and tends his orchids for precisely four hours daily, still abhors leaving his Manhattan house on business, and never goes near a sports car or chases a blonde. While thus ignoring Bondomania and its sibling rivals, Stout and Wolfe are doing just fine. If The Doorbell Rang holds...

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