I recently picked this up in an ebook sale, and while I have read it before it happens to be one I did not own in paperback so I’ve probably only read it once, many years ago. It’s a fine later (1968) entry in the series.
The client is a young woman whose mother died a few months ago in a hit-and-run car accident. After her mother’s death, Amy Denovo finds a box full of cash and a note from her mom that says, “This is from your father.” But she has no idea who her father is, and she suspects her mother was using an assumed name all these years so how can even the great Nero Wolfe and his trusty legman Archie Goodwin trace her into the past? Complicating matters, at least for Archie, is that Amy works as an editorial assistant for his paramour, Lily Rowan, but Amy insists that he not tell Lily that he and Wolfe are working for her, leading to some semi-comical misunderstanding about why Amy suddenly starts calling him Archie instead of Mr. Goodwin. It all gets sorted in the end, of course, and in a satisfactory fashion. Not many 1960s-era Wolfe novels favorites of mine, as Stout seemed determined to make up for decades of writing in a more prudish atmosphere when crafting plots that involve sex and other tawdry topics. Still, an afternoon spent with Archie Goodwin is never wasted.