Murder in E Minor Author:Robert Goldsborough Murder in E Minor is a 1986 Nero Wolfe novel written by Robert Goldsborough. The action takes place in New York City. — Goldsborough's first Wolfe novel extends a long string of Rex Stout Nero Wolfe stories stretching back 40 years. Goldsborough has adopted Stout's premises very closely, and so adopts the extensive collection of people in the Ner... more »o Wolfe universe.
The final Wolfe book written by Stout, A Family Affair, ends with the disgrace and suicide of one of the Wolfe team. As the new book opens, Wolfe has been in a state of virtual retirement for a while, although a good word from Inspector Cramer has allowed them to remain licensed private investigators in good standing, although inactive.
Several of Stout's Wolfe novels made it clear that Wolfe was Montenegrin, and had once been involved in what would today be called terrorist activities against the oppressors of his homeland . A few of his comrades from that era also survive: the present conductor of the New York Symphony Orchestra, Milan Stevans (name now anglicized from Milos Stefanović), and Milan's long-estranged wife, Alexandra Adjari, now living in London. Stevans became the guardian of his great-niece Maria Radovich after the death of her parents.
The niece appeals to Wolfe to help her solve a problem. Her great-uncle has been receiving threatening notes. He has thrown them away, but she recovered them and has brought them to Wolfe. Since Wolfe is semi-retired, she gives Archie an ancient photograph showing her uncle, Wolfe, and other comrades. Although Maria's uncle saved Wolfe's life in a shootout at Cetinje fifty years earlier, a love triangle also developed between Wolfe, Milos, and Alexandra, with the result that Wolfe and Stefanović have had no contact for many years even though they have been living in the same borough for the past few years. Therefore, it is up to Maria to seek help. Archie slides the photo into the stack of morning mail and is gratified at Wolfe's reaction when he finds it. Wolfe sees Maria and undertakes to try to help, but is skeptical of what he can accomplish without her uncle's cooperation. Wolfe feels honor-bound to accept Maria as a token client because of Milos' action in Cetinje despite the rancor that developed in later years« less