He passes the supreme test of being rereadable. I don’t know how many times I have reread the Nero Wolfe stories, but plenty. I know exactly what is coming and how it is all going to end, but it doesn’t matter. That’s writing.
I read this in the introduction to Death Times Three, a 1985 collection of three older novellas. It’s by John J. McAleer, who wrote the biography of Stout, which I must read soon. I’ve read almost all the Wolfe stories, but these were new to me, and they’re as good as all the rest, which is to say, excellent.
Wodehouse is dead right: Stout is wonderfully rereadable. That’s a rare treasure to find.