To save his favorite newspaper, Wolfe steps into the crossfire of a tabloid war.
Master sleuth Nero Wolfe's small circle of friends is limited to his assistant Archie Goodwin, his chef Fritz, and Lon Cohen, the head man at the New York Gazette. Cohen knows more about the city's power structure than any man in Manhattan, and for years he happily passed Wolfe information in return for the odd exclusive scoop. But now Cohen needs Wolfe's help, for the Gazette is ailing and the vultures have begun to circle.
Scottish newspaper magnate Ian MacLaren plans to gut the paper and turn it into a sex-filled conservative rag. Standing in his way is the company's chief shareholder, Gazette heir Harriet Haverhill. But when the aged Ms. Haverhill dies in an apparent suicide, no one remains to resist the Scot's advances except Wolfe. MacLaren may be fierce, but when the cause is just, Nero Wolfe knows how to play dirty, too.