The Case of the Unfathomable Accident

What is the Case of the Unfathomable Accident?

The Case of the Unfathomable Accident is a mystery novel written by the American novelist Rex Stout. Published in 1970, it is the twenty-sixth novel in the Nero Wolfe series. In the novel, Wolfe and his sidekick, Archie Goodwin, investigate the mysterious death of a man who was found frozen to death in a locked room. The novel has been praised for its intricate plotting and clever use of clues and red herrings.

Background Information

The Case of the Unfathomable Accident is set in the fictional world of New York City created by Rex Stout. This world is populated by a wide variety of characters, including the eccentric and reclusive detective, Nero Wolfe, and his assistant, Archie Goodwin. The novel takes place in the late 1960s, and the mystery revolves around the death of a man named Paul Chapin, who is found frozen to death in a locked room.

Plot Summary

The story begins with Wolfe and Goodwin being hired by Paul Chapin’s brother, Gilbert, to investigate his suspicious death. It soon becomes apparent that Paul Chapin was murdered, and the investigation leads Wolfe and Goodwin to uncover a complex conspiracy involving a mysterious cult and a powerful businessman. As the case progresses, Wolfe and Goodwin must battle against time and the elements as they attempt to get to the bottom of the case.


The novel features a large cast of characters, including the two main protagonists, Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. Other characters include Gilbert Chapin, who hires Wolfe and Goodwin to investigate his brother’s death; Saul Panzer, a private investigator who assists Wolfe and Goodwin; and Marko Vukcic, a former member of the cult who helps Wolfe and Goodwin uncover the truth.


The Case of the Unfathomable Accident is a classic mystery novel, and its themes include the power of deduction, the importance of justice, and the value of friendship. It also touches on the theme of loyalty, as Wolfe and Goodwin must decide whether to remain loyal to their client or to the truth. The novel also explores the power of secrets, as it reveals the secrets behind the conspiracy and the motivations of those involved.


The Case of the Unfathomable Accident is an entertaining and suspenseful mystery novel. With its complex plot and memorable characters, it is a classic of the genre. If you are looking for an exciting and thought-provoking read, then The Case of the Unfathomable Accident is the perfect choice. For more information about the book, visit