Still, there are a few that don't blend into the pack. The Doorbell Rang is one such because it involves Wolfe with real-life people and events. The person is J. Edgar Hoover, and the event is the publication of a book in 1964 called The FBI Nobody Knows, an expose of the FBI's shenanigans under Hoover. Wolfe's client is a rich woman who is so incensed by the book she buys a thousand copies and mails them to every congressman, editor, and pundit she can think of. Naturally, the FBI decides she's dangerous, and starts following her about. Wolfe's job is to make them stop.
It's different from the usual Wolfe book. It's the only one I can recall that impinges on the real world (and I sort of wonder about Stout's sanity in doing it). There's even a throwaway line where Archie mentions that a witness having a Beatle-like haircut. It's much more of a caper than the usual Wolfe mystery. There does turn out to be a murder that needs solving, but it's taken care of rather quickly, and really isn't the point of the whole exercise. It's about tweaking the tail of a megalomaniac.
It is fun to visit with old friends. I've missed hanging out with Archie. Fortunately, I still have a whole shelf full of books I haven't read in awhile.