Gambit is the first Nero Wolfe mystery that I've read. The thing that I found most interesting about it were the characters. Nero Wolfe is every bit the enigmatic genius that he is purported to be. It was hard to imagine a private detective who never leaves his house, and has another detective who does all of his leg work, but Wolfe manages to make it work. I also enjoyed the character of Cramer, who comes off as the cool, tough guy. He's a bit more stereotypical than Wolfe, but he is still well developed .
The aspect of the book that I found least interesting was the actual mystery part of this. Not being a chess player, I had no concept of the runners and go-betweens that were critical to the novel. My concept of chess is two people sitting in front of a board facing each other. All of these extraneous people seemed pointless. Also, the killing and motive for killing seems so thin and weak. I think it takes something extraordinary for a regular person to kill another. In this case, it seemed like Stout wanted to come up with a murder surrounding a chess game but ran out of good reasons to have one human being kill another and what resulted was this flimsy garbage. All the same, it was not a bad read, more in terms of character than plot.
Carl Alves - author of Two For Eternity