Nero Wolfe was almost as famous for his wealthy clients and extravagant fees as for his genius at detection. So why has he accepted a case for $4.30? And why have the last two people to hire him been ruthlessly murdered? Wolfe suspects the answers may lie in the story of a twelve-year-old boy who turns up at the door of his West Thirty-fifth Street brownstone.
In short order, Wolfe finds himself confronted by one of his most perplexing and pressing cases, involving a curious set of clues: a gray Cadillac, a mysterious woman, and a pair of earrings shaped like spiders dipped in gold/ The case is all boiling down to a strange taste of greed - and a grumpy gourmand's unappeasable appetite for truth.