e99 Online Shopping Mall

Geometry.Net - the online learning center Help  
Home  - Book Author - Stout Rex (Books)

  1-20 of 28 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

 
$2.90
1. Stout, Rex (1886-1975): An entry
$9.95
2. Biography - Stout, Rex (Todhunter)
$5.50
3. Some Buried Caesar/The Golden
$8.83
4. The Rubber Band/The Red Box 2-in-1
$18.26
5. Not Quite Dead Enough and Booby
 
$24.00
6. The Rex Stout Reader: Her Forbidden
$7.99
7. The Hand in the Glove (Mystery
$14.80
8. Some Buried Caesar: A Nero Wolfe
$23.08
9. The Father Hunt: A Nero Wolfe
$17.95
10. Gambit: A Nero Wolfe Mystery
$17.15
11. Before Midnight: A Nero Wolfe
 
12. REX STOUT PRIMARY BIBLIO (Garland
 
13. Rex Stout (Recognitions)
$16.97
14. A Right to Die: A Nero Wolfe Mystery
$22.76
15. Murder by the Book: A Nero Wolfe
$12.98
16. Where There's a Will
$24.17
17. The Final Deduction: A Nero Wolfe
$19.77
18. The Black Mountain: A Nero Wolfe
$16.25
19. Fer-De-Lance: A Nero Wolfe Mystery
$16.28
20. Plot It Yourself: A Nero Wolfe

1. Stout, Rex (1886-1975): An entry from SJP's <i>St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture</i>
by Joan Gajadhar
 Digital: 2 Pages (2000)
list price: US$2.90 -- used & new: US$2.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0027YVCBS
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This digital document is an article from St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, brought to you by Gale®, a part of Cengage Learning, a world leader in e-research and educational publishing for libraries, schools and businesses.The length of the article is 535 words.The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Amazon.com Digital Locker immediately after purchase.You can view it with any web browser.Signed essays ranging from 500 to 2,500 words, written by subject experts and edited to form a consistent, readable, and straightforward reference. Entries include subject-specific bibliographies and textual cross-references to related essays. ... Read more


2. Biography - Stout, Rex (Todhunter) (1886-1975): An article from: Contemporary Authors
by Gale Reference Team
Digital: 14 Pages (2003-01-01)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007SFJWY
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This digital document, covering the life and work of Rex (Todhunter) Stout, is an entry from Contemporary Authors, a reference volume published by Thompson Gale. The length of the entry is 3913 words. The page length listed above is based on a typical 300-word page. Although the exact content of each entry from this volume can vary, typical entries include the following information:

  • Place and date of birth and death (if deceased)
  • Family members
  • Education
  • Professional associations and honors
  • Employment
  • Writings, including books and periodicals
  • A description of the author's work
  • References to further readings about the author
... Read more

3. Some Buried Caesar/The Golden Spiders (Nero Wolfe Mysteries)
by Rex Stout
Paperback: 512 Pages (2008-09-30)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$5.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553385674
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
“Nero Wolfe towers over his rivals...he is an exceptional character creation.” —New Yorker

A grand master of the form, Rex Stout is one of America’s greatest mystery writers, and his literary creation Nero Wolfe is one of fiction’s greatest detectives. Here, in this special double edition, the arrogant, gourmandizing, sedentary sleuth and his trusty man-about-town, Archie Goodwin, solve two of their most bizarre cases.

Some Buried Caesar
A prize bull destined for the barbecue is found pawing the corpse of a late restaurateur. Wolfe is certain that Hickory Caesar Grindon, the soon-to-be-beefsteak bull, isn’t the murderer. But who among a veritable stampede of suspects—including a young woman who’s caught Archie’s eye—turned the tables on Hickory’s would-be butcher? It’s a crime that wins a blue ribbon for sheer audacity—and Nero Wolfe is the one detective audacious enough to solve it.

The Golden Spiders

A twelve-year-old boy shows up at Wolfe’s brownstone with an incredible story. Soon the great detective finds himself hired for the grand sum of $4.30 and faced with the question of why the last two people to hire him were murdered. To keep it from becoming three, Wolfe must discover the unlikely connection between a gray Cadillac, a mysterious woman, and a pair of earrings shaped like spiders dipped in gold. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars Comfort Food for the Mind
I think I've figured out the appeal of 'crime fiction' for intelligent readers ... but wait! 'intelligent readers' is a redundancy, isn't it? Anyway, the appeal of a series of murder mysteries is that they are soothing. Soothingly predictable, especially a series like the Nero Wolfes, running to 48-plus volumes! Obviously, some of the series will be masterly, some workmanly at best, and some barely worthy of an apprentice. I seem to have stumbled upon one of each rather quickly. The first Nero Wolfe I read, Too Many Cooks, was master-crafted, quick-paced and witty. The second, Champagne for One, came in the same twofer volume so I skimmed it quickly; it was a waste of eye-movement, all formula and no zest. "Some Buried Caesar" belongs in the middle rank, a workmanly diversion that should have been edited and trimmed by a third. Frankly, I'm already bored with Nero Wolfe, so I suppose I'll set the second half of this twofer, The Golden Spiders, aside for a cruise I don't plan to take or a jail sentence I don't plan to serve.

Expensive New York private detective Nero Wolfe is epicene, indolent, insufferably arrogant, and regally Stout, all descriptors that offer possibilities for humor. Archie Goodwin, his acquiescent assistant, does double duty as sarcastic narrator and as indignant victim of any physicality that might unsettle the mental or digestive processes of his employer. Much of the fun in any Nero Wolfe novel comes from the badinage between Wolfe and Goodwin, and most of the reader's involvement comes from the unlikely pleasure one gets from seeing Wolfe bully his clients. Those clients are almost always smug, self-centered rich folk -- naturally, considering Wolfe's rates -- who scream for their comeuppance. If there's an iota of social content in the writings of Rex Stout, it's plainly a kind of sardonic liberal class-consciousness of the "eat-the-rich" variety.

"Some Buried Caesar" features two purse-proud pomposities, rivals since childhood, one of whom is the father of the first murder victim. That blustering and utterly unsympathetic fool of a father hires Wolfe, despite Wolfe's warnings that an investigation will batter his ego mercilessly. Alas, the best part of the novel, for this reader at least, was the first chapter, where all the fun comes from watching the pampered porcine Nero stumble across a pasture, to be chased by another, bovine Caesar. After that it's all a little too soothingly predictable.

5-0 out of 5 stars 'Caesar' Among Stout's Top 1 or 2
Both of these are fairly early Wolfe mysteries.'Some Buried Caesar' is about as good as humorous mystery stories get--I'd probably rate it Stout's best novel.Wolfe's deductions are quicker and deeper than ever.The villain is very smart and well-drawn.Archie has one of the funniest scenes, and very possibly the two best smart-aleck lines, in all of literature [when he's released from jail] plus an impressive piece of coordinated work with Wolfe.Plus Lily Rowan appears [better used than in any of the other novels].Nonpareil.

'The Golden Spiders' is OK.Worth reading, and Archie does some good work, but a potentially interesting character is killed off too early, and it's uninspired.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Bull and the Spider
I have been a Nero Wolfe fan since I was a kid, even though I had never read any of Rex Stout's books.If that seems strange, it is because I grew up watching William Conrad's 1980s TV series and the 2001 A Nero Wolfe Mystery series.But I never went to the source and read the original books.

This two-book collection here, "Some Buried Caesar / The Golden Spiders" was my introduction to the real Nero Wolfe and his partner Archie.Reading these stories was like slipping into a pair of comfortable old shoes and going for a nice long walk.I knew the rhythm of the stories and the personality of the characters, but one gets to spend so much more time with them in book form rather than short TV shows.

Both "Some Buried Caesar" (1939) and "The Golden Spiders" (1953) were fantastic stories. I recognized "The Golden Spiders" from an episode of "A Nero Wolfe Mystery" but "Some Buried Caesar" was totally new.I love food and cooking as well, so the details of Wolfe's dinners were something I really appreciated.The story "Some Buried Caesar" also introduces the character of Lily Rowan, who would show up periodically as Archie's love interest.

The only possible disappointment with this collection is that it is noted in the introduction that "Some Buried Caesar" and "The Golden Spiders" are both very atypical Nero Wolfe stories.He is away from the brownstone, literally in the field, and not quite the house-bound genius I know.There is nothing wrong with going against type like this, and it creates some excellent dynamics and tensions, but I was hoping for something a little more "typical" for my first Nero Wolfe book.

But ah well.There shall be others.An appetite once wet is not so easily satiated.

5-0 out of 5 stars Two of the best
This is a re-issue of two of the best entries in this long running series of mysteries featuring Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin.The first, SOME BURIED CAESAR was originally written in 1938, and while some of the scientific aspects show their age has held up quite well overall.Wolfe has been lured out of his beloved brownstone to enter an orchid competition in upstate New York.On the way he has become entangled in a feud between a nouveau riche restauranteur and his neighbors over the disposition of a prize bull.When a death occurs Wolfe and Archie find themselves sorting through the web of deception to find the truth.Long time fans will be especially delighted to see the first meeting of Archie and his long time love interest, Lily Rowan.

The second, THE GOLDEN SPIDERS, was first published in 1953 and has also held up well.Although the young man's speech might seem dated his tough street wise attitude is not, and if the reader would substitute the phrase 'illegal alien' for 'displaced person' the story might have been written yesterday.A young boy has come to the brownstone to consult with Wolfe just as Archie and Wolfe were engaging in yet another battle of wits.To spite Wolfe Archie let the boy in and to spite Archie Wolfe listened to his story of a mysterious woman wearing gold earrings shaped like spiders who had made a desperate plea for help to the boy.To humor the boy Wolfe had Archie make inquiries into the matter but gave the incident little thought after the boy left.When they discovered though that the boy had been run over and killed by the same car he had described the next day they took the matter much more seriously.Before Wolfe solved this puzzle though heneeded not only Archie's skill but those of Saul, Fred and Orrie as well, making this a real treat of fans of the series.

In addition to the two excellent stories there are also interesting introductions to each, a biography of Stout and some other worthwhile extras.This is a great place for a newcomer to begin the series or for a fan to renew their acquaintance.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Stout, Early & Late:Bully!
This latest double-novel re-issue of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe stories is most welcome!"Some Buried Caesar" was first published 70 years ago, and it's one of Stout's best early Wolfe novels, here combined with a good later-style novel, "Golden Spiders".

"Some Buried Caesar" is an "away from the brownstone" story.Wolfe travels to rural upstate New York to exhibit his albino orchids at a county fair.Odd for an agoraphobic, or at least travel-phobic man?Yes, but Wolfe was confronting someone Archie Goodwin, Wolfe's dogsbody, calls "an enemy".In Archie's words:

"The above-mentioned enemy that Wolfe was being gracious to was a short fat person in a dirty unpressed mohair suit, with keen little black eyes and two chins, by the name of Charles E. Shanks.I watched them and listened to them as I sipped the milk, because it was instructive.Shanks knew that the reason Wolfe had busted precedent and come to Crowfield to exhibit albinos which he had got by three new crosses with Paphiopedilum lawrenceanum hyeanum was to get an award over one Shanks had produced by crossing P. callosum sanderae with a new species from Burma, that Wolfe desired and intended to make a monkey of Shanks because Shanks had fought shy of the metropolitan show and had also twice refused Wolfe's offers to trade albinos, and that one good look at the entries in direct comparison made it practically certain that the judges' decision would render Shanks not only a monkey but even a baboon.Furthermore, Wolfe knew that Shanks knew that they both knew, but hearing them gabbing away you might have thought that when a floriculturist wipes his brow it is to remove not sweat but his excess of brotherly love, which is why, knowing the stage of vindictiveness Wolfe had had to arrive at before he decided on that trip, I say it was instructive to listen to them."

As always, Archie tells the story, in his own cheeky & genuine way, with many sharp observations.It's not Stout's terse late-style, but it's still very much Archie and lots of fun!

In "Some Buried Caesar", Archie's long-term "lady friend", Lily Rowan, makes her first appearance.This isn't the Lily of later Wolfe novels, but there are several Lily-Archie sparks & dialogues, right from the beginning where she calls him, "Escamillo" -- the manly bullfighter who stole Carmen away from her solider lover in Bizet's opera, "Carmen".That has ironic bite in context, a context I won't share.I'm not giving any plot hints, because surprises start in the first chapter, and why spoil them?

But to tease you into the book, let me add some dialogues from Archie/Lilly.This begins with Archie:

"Oh, possibly Clyde's father sicked them on.I know when I mentioned your name to him last night and said you were there, he nearly popped open.I got the impression he had seen you once in a nightmare.Not that I think you belong in a nightmare, with your complexion and so on, but that was the impression I got."
"He's just a pain."She shrugged indifferently."He has no right to be talking about me.Anyway, not to you."Her eyes moved up me and over me, up from my chest over my face to the top of my head, and then slowly traveled down again."Not to you, Escamillo," she said.I wanted to slap her, because her tone, and the look in her eyes going over me, made me feel like a potato she was peeling.She asked, "What did he say?"

And a little later, again starting with Archie:
"Did you and Clyde get engaged?"
"No."She looked at me, and the corner of her mouth turned up, and I saw her breasts gently putting the weave of the jersey to more strain as she breathed a deep one."No, Escamillo."She peeled her potato again."I don't suppose I'll marry.Because marriage is really nothing but an economic arrangement, and I'm lucky because I don't have to let the economic part enter into it."

There are wonderful bits of description, plot twists & dialogues on almost every page.Highlights include the surprises in the first few chapters, Archie's time in jail, and the denouement at the end.If you want a plot summary, go to Wikipedia, which has plot summaries of all Wolfe novels.

"Golden Spiders", first published in 1953, has one of Wolfe's best chuckle-producing introductions, which I give because it won't spoil any surprises.As always, in Archie's storytelling voice:

"When the doorbell rings while Nero Wolfe and I are at dinner, in the old brownstone house on West Thirty-fifth Street, ordinarily it is left to Fritz to answer it.But that evening I went myself, knowing that Fritz was in no mood to handle a caller, no matter who it was.

"Fritz's mood should be explained.Each year around the middle of May, by arrangement, a farmer who lives up near Brewster shoots eighteen or twenty starlings, puts them in a bag, and gets in his car and drives to New York.It is understood that they are to be delivered to our door within two hours after they were winged.Fritz dresses them and sprinkles them with salt, and, at the proper moment, brushes them with melted butter, wraps them in sage leaves, grills them, and arranges them on a platter of hot polenta, which is thick porridge of fine-ground yellow cornmeal with butter, grated cheese, and salt and pepper.

"It is an expensive meal and a happy one, and Wolfe always looks forward to it, but that day he put on an exhibition.When the platter was brought in, steaming, and placed before him, he sniffed, ducked his head and sniffed again, and straightened to look up at Fritz.
"The sage?"
"No, sir."
"What do you mean, no, sir?"
"I thought you might like it once in a style I have suggested, with saffron and tarragon.Much fresh tarragon, with just a touch of saffron, which is the way--"
"Remove it!"
Fritz went rigid and his lips tightened.
"You did not consult me,' Wolfe said coldly."To find that without warning one of my favorite dishes has been radically altered is an unpleasant shock.It may possibly be edible, but I am in no humor to risk it.Please dispose of it and bring me four coddled eggs and a piece of toast."

"Fritz, knowing Wolfe as well as I did, aware that this was a stroke of discipline that hurt Wolfe more than it did him and that it would be useless to try to parley, reached for the platter, but I put in, "I'll take some if you don't mind.If the smell won't keep you from enjoying your eggs?"

"Wolfe glared at me.

"That was how Fritz acquired the mood that made me think it advisable for me to answer the door.When the bell rang Wolfe had finished his eggs and was drinking coffee, really a pitiful sight, and I was toward the end of a second helping of the starlings and polenta, which was certainly edible.Going to the hall and the front, I didn't bother to snap the light switch because there was still enough twilight for me to see, through the one-way glass panel, that the customer on the stoop was not our ship coming in.

"I pulled the door open and told him politely, "Wrong number."I was polite by policy, my established policy of promoting the idea of peace on earth with the neighborhood kids.It made life smoother in that street, where there was a fair amount of ball throwing and other activities.
"Guess again," he told me in a low nervous alto, not too rude."You're Archie Goodwin.I've gotta see Nero Wolfe."
"What's your name?"
"Pete."
"What's the rest of it?"
"Drossos.Pete Drossos."
"What do you want to see Mr. Wolfe about?"
"I gotta case.I'll tell him."

"He as a wiry little specimen with black hair that needed a trim and sharp black eyes, the top of his head coming about level with the knot of my four-in-hand.I had seen him around the neighborhood but had nothing either for or against him.The thing was to ease him off without starting a feud, and ordinarily I would have gone at it, but after Wolfe's childish performance with Fritz I thought it would do him good to have another child to play with."

Other plot highlights include a touching scene around a death, some funny New York hoodlum scenes - Stout draws these characters well -- and perhaps the best Archie action scene in Wolfedom, exciting & with some grins, including self-grins.Again, if you want a plot summary - and I wouldn't recommend it; why spoil the surprises? - go to Wikipedia.

I've given extended Wolfe quotes mainly for the newcomers.Some folks don't like Stout's writing.But for those of us who do, he delights not only in reading, but also in re-reading, even knowing what's next.If these quotes entice or even just intrigue, buy this double-set and give it a read.You may become a Wolfe fan, or as we say, a member of the Wolfe Pack! ... Read more


4. The Rubber Band/The Red Box 2-in-1
by Rex Stout
Paperback: 464 Pages (2009-02-24)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$8.83
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553386034
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A grand master of the form, Rex Stout is one of America’s greatest mystery writers, and his literary creation Nero Wolfe is one of fiction’s greatest detectives. Here, in Stout’s third and fourth complete Wolfe mysteries, the arrogant, gourmandizing, sedentary sleuth and his trusty man-about-town, Archie Goodwin, solve two of their most baffling cases.

The Rubber Band

What do a Wild West lynching and a respected English nobleman have in common? On the surface, absolutely nothing. But when a young woman hires his services, it becomes Nero Wolfe’s job to look deeper and find the connection. A forty-year-old pact, a five-thousand-mile search, and a million-dollar murder are all linked to an international scandal that could rebound on the great detective and his partner, Archie, with fatal abruptness.

The Red Box
Murder by chocolate? That’s the premise Nero Wolfe must operate from when a beautiful woman is poisoned after indulging in a box of candy. It’s a case that the great detective—no stranger himself to overindulgence—is loath to take for a variety of reasons, including that it may require that he leave his comfortable brownstone. But he and Archie are compelled by a mystery that mixes high fashion and low motives…and a killer who may have made the deadliest mistake. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars this 2 stories are HOME RUNS
This is the 2nd book I bought in the " Nero Wolfe" series by Rex Stout and I have found every single story great. I have, as people told me I would, tried to buy every book written about Nero and they are all a joy to read.

I warn everyone if you buy one and read it, you will want the rest of them as I did.. You will feel like you are there with Nero and Archie, with the flowers on the roof, listening to Nero go "PFUI" and with Archie doing all the work, Nero calling together all the suspects and fingering the guilty party.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Past Comes Back to Haunt You
Don't want to give anything away for new readers, but both these involve secrets from the past.Love these new dual collection editions with the added essays.The Rubber Band might be the closest thing to a western in the Wolfe canon.The Red Box is interesting as it solves by not solving, if you follow.

5-0 out of 5 stars Even better 20 years later
It has been 20 years since I have read all the Nero Wolfe series.What is amazing is how vividly I still remember characters, plot, etc.Nevertheless, recalling who the murderer is does not diminish my pleasure in re-reading these books.Rex Stout will always be the master. I am looking forward to future releases. ... Read more


5. Not Quite Dead Enough and Booby Trap: Two Nero Wolfe Mysteries
by Rex Stout
Audio CD: Pages (2004-01-12)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$18.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1572703628
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Here are two Rex Stout short stories for war buffs and Nero Wolfe fans alike. In "Not Quite Dead Enough," Archie Goodwin - Nero Wolfe's perennial legman - literally steals the limelight. Recently inducted into Army Intelligence, Archie goes to Wolfe's flat to see why he hasn't been answering his or the Army recruiter's calls. Wolfe could be dead, but Archie later finds out he's been "training" to join the Army. It takes the murder of a woman Archie goes dancing with to get Nero Wolfe to investigate crime again. The wartime theme continues in "Booby Trap" as Archie and Wolfe investigate the murder of Captain Albert Cross, killed only hours before he was to make a report about a prototype grenade theft to the group of intelligence people Wolfe works with. Listener favorite Michael Prichard, named by Smart Money magazine as one of the "Top Ten Golden Voices," precisely captures the characters' personalities and the story locations. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars BBC Audio version incomplete
I bought this product in the CD version and received the BBC Audio edition rather than the one from Audio Partners. The first story, "Not Quite Dead Enough" was incomplete. The whole first chapter and beginning of the second were omitted. I opted for a refund from Amazon rather than a replacement since every copy of the BBC Audio edition is likely to be similarly defective.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hope Michael Pritchard Finishes What He Started
Just got this CD set, so now I have, let's see, 27 Nero Wolfe books on tape or CD.

There's no help for it.

Now, bear in mind that while Michael Pritchard read most of these, he did not read all of these, and that is not satisfactory.An actor from the A&E series read one or two of them and while I admite his chutzpah, he's no Pritchard.

I hope that, eventually, Pritchard records ALL of the Wolfe stories.

Michael Pritchard jumps into these two stories with his usual enthusiam.I love the way he does Wolfe - not exaggerating or overplaying, but clearly conveying that Wolfe is a big guy with a commanding voice.Maury Chaykin comments on the A&E DVDs that "no one talks like Nero Wolfe."Well, I know one guy who does...

And when Pritchard speaks with Archie's voice [and Archie's "inner voice"], he captures Archie's special combination of earnestness and cynicism that makes him so appealing.

These two stories are logically grouped as among Stout's World War II efforts.Some have derided the first one as too implausible, and recommend jumping right into "Booby Trap."With the CD set, it's pretty easy to do that:the tracks are clearly labelled.But if you do, you actually miss some of the "setup material" since, it appears, "Not Quite..." is set at a time frame preceding "Booby Trap."

Suit yourself.Since I cannot get enough of Nero Wolfe, I just let the good times roll...

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Quite Dead Enough and Booby Trap
A welcome distraction for Wolfe fans. While worthy of the Wolfe name, neither of these stories has the amount of plot and character depth as most of Stout's other novels. But that by no means, means that these stories aren't an interesting listen.
Prichard of course delivers the subtle differences of every character in his inimitable way.
Not Quite Dead Enough is the best of the two, and is in my opinion, one of Stout's best short stories.
Booby Trap shows a bit of a 'dark side' of Wolfe, wherein, ***spoiler*** he persuades a murderer to commit suicide near the end. But overall this collection is a must-read for Wolfe fanatics, as is pretty much every other Wolfe novel. ... Read more


6. The Rex Stout Reader: Her Forbidden Knight and A Prize for Princes
by Rex Stout
 Paperback: 592 Pages (2007-01-04)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B001G8WGRU
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Her Forbidden Knight Prefiguring the devices and charades of the celebrated Nero Wolfe mysteries, Rex Stout's first detective novel follows the fortunes of the pretty, young Lila Williams, a telegraph operator at New York's swank Lamartine Hotel, as she becomes unwittingly enmeshed in the operations of a counterfeiting ring. For nothing here is quite what it seems, not even the safety Lila thinks she finds in the arms of the man who quickens the beat of her heart. A Prize for Princes Aline Solini has a face that men remember, and a demon's soul they strive to forget. A woman created for intrigue, the exquisitely beautiful Aline captivates a wealthy young American, Richard Stetton, who rescues her from a Balkan convent under attack by marauding Turks. Stetton also enables her to escape Vasili Petrovicch, the husband she has tried to poison, and introduces her into society's highest circles. There Aline proves her talents for deceit among men of power to be no less resistible — or deadly — than her seductive charm.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Two Aces and a Deuce
A PRIZE FOR PRINCES is a pretty good Rex Stout novel, but HER FORBIDDEN KNIGHT is just awful.Otto Penzler, I used to think you had some integrity, but calling this reprint of schlock THE REX STOUT READER is the act of a con man playing the shell game in old Times Square to rook the tourists.Wouldn't a real "REX STOUT READER" have something in it with Nero and Archie?Not these two undiscovered "gems" from a pre World War I period!A PRIZE FOR PRINCES has a kind of detective story plot, but really it's a sort of noir novel, the kind that Robert Hichens used to turn out by the carload in turn of the century England.This one, like many of Hichens' books, revolves around the evil antics of a continental vamp called Aline Solini, Princess of Marisi, who captures men like flies and twists them in her web of evil.Her dark glamor is contrasted with the lighter soubrette charms of a French girl, Vivi Janvour, whose lighter, sunnier disposition is ultimately what a real man presumably wants.She is "distinctly French from the tip of her toes to the top of her head."You can tell that Stout was writing by the word, for chapter after chapter comes out padded to ridiculous lengths."I don't know.""What do you mean?""Well--that is to say--I do know--and yet--I don't know really."Aline is the kind of part Theda Bara used to play in silent movies, dangerously irresistible, not the kind of girl you take home to Mother, sort of a vampire Goth feeling about her.She knows how to apply poison to the tip of a sword; why, she knows everything about men's bodies and how weak we poor saps are.

Penzler adds as a bonus a previously uncollected story from the same period, "Out of the Line."This brief tale takes us to the birthday of a well to do American woman, Agatha, who, at age 31, has entered middle age, so "henceforth Time's sickle would descend with increasing rapidity and more disastrous stroke."Brother, do I know the feeling! ... Read more


7. The Hand in the Glove (Mystery Masters Series)
by Rex Stout
Audio Cassette: Pages (2003-10)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1572703490
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Wealthy industrialist P. L. Storrs has never approved of lady detectives, and he normally would not have made an exception of Theodolina "Dol" Bonner. But faced with a very delicate problem and surprisingly impressed, he hires her instantly. It seems that Storrs’ bird-witted wife has fallen under the spell of a smooth-talking religious charlatan, and now Storrs wants Dol to get the goods on him. But when the gorgeous gumshoe arrives at Storrs’ picturesque country estate, Birchhaven, to meet the scoundrel, she finds more than she bargained for – namely, the corpse of her client and a garden party teeming with suspects! This witty whodunit, brought dramatically to life by noted reader Judith West, was first published in 1937. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Nero Wolfe
This is a pretty good "period" mystery.However, Nero Wolfe does not figure in it.A girl detective, which I guess was a noveltyin the 30's has to solve the murder of a rich man who she had reason to dislike.

4-0 out of 5 stars Introducing Dol Bonner
From time to time Nero Wolfe and Archie realized that they needed a female operative to help solve a case.They always hired the best, Dol Bonner, who had her own private detective agency.In this novel, for the first and only time, the focus is on Dol and describes how she came to be in this most unusual occupation.

Before the novel opens Dol had been a happy young woman, her father was wealthy, she was engaged to be married and then things began to go wrong.First her father lost his fortune, then killed himself, then her fiance left her and Dol was faced with the necessity of fending for herself.She considered her prospects and decided on the highly unusual occupation of private detective.As the novel opens Dol's business partner and friend is being pressured by her guardian to disassociate herself with the agency.Soon Dol finds herself without a partner but with the guardian as a client, at least for a short time.Before the final pages the body count has risen but Dol has been one step ahead of the police to solve the crimes.

THE HAND IN THE GLOVE was originally published in 1937 and the only novel featuring Dol although she appears from time to time in Nero Wolfe adventures.Stout's style is evident here, the characters are well defined, the problem is clever and complex but the snappy banter that marks the Nero Wolfe stories is missing.Another deviation from the Nero Wolfe novels is that the story is not told just from one point of view but jumps from Dol to her friend Sylvia's and others which is a bit confusing for the reader at times.Although this is not quite as good as the Nero Wolfe stories it is interesting for Wolfe fans to learn a bit more one of the few women in Wolfe's life.

2-0 out of 5 stars Good Reading, Weird Book
Others below have expressed concerns about the quality of the narration in this audio book.We're not talking much about this book itself...

Rex Stout tried to subfranchise Nero Wolfe many times.He sold to radio and hated what the scriptwriters came up with.He sold to movies and then criticized how the screenplays were.

Well, actually, he was right.These adaptations are pretty bad, in all truth.

But when he adapts his own stuff, and then tries to inhabit a woman's mind, it's a mess.Inspector Cramer is the only lucid, well-developed charater in this book - and this comes from a mystery author who developed such memorable characters.

Dol Bonner is a crypto-lesbian who cannot come out in 1938.The only love interests she has in this story are other women, so I think my last observation is credible.And Rex just cannot be that attitudinally flexible.The storyline is weak and not consistently interesting.

Most fatal flaw:the abandonment of first-person narrative style.We like Archie Goodwin because we can see ourselves as fantasy Archies.But Rex was not adventurous enough to make "Being Dol Bonner, Gay Detective" in 1938 as a first-person piece.Even though we do not see this story exactly from Dol's viewpoint, everything described is within her sight.About three-fourths of the way through, we're suddenly observing a too-long scene which is outside Dol's consciousness.It's jarring and might be worthwhile, if it really led someplace.

But it is just a little meander.Rex felt like exploring nonconventional religion, nonconventional relationships and nonconventional detectives, but the guy's just way too conventional for the job.It's a noble experiment, but it failed.Stout knew;he never tried again.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good fit
High-pitched and grating? We can't disagree with the one-star reviewer more.The voices are consistent and carefully chosen.We listened to this book while painting an apartment and found it thoroughly absorbing and well produced.We can't claim to own 30 unabridged Stout mysteries with which to compare this, but we can claim to know strong female characters strongly portrayed. Having listened to stories by writers such asSara Paretsky and Sue Grafton, we think this performance ranks.It's consistent throughout, intelligently performed, and completely satisfying.

1-0 out of 5 stars Narration hard to take!
I am an avid audio-book fan, and own 30 unabridged, Nero Wolfe audio books.Naturally, this book interested me, and I purchased it with a Christmas gift certificate.What a disappointment!!The narration is high-pitched and grating.I truly cannot understand how the producers chose to use this narrator.My mother listened to the set before me and refrained from saying anything so as not to spoil the set for me.Once I commented on the poor narration, she felt free to say that she strongly disliked the narration to.What was Audio Editions thinking?Please choose the narrators with thought next time. ... Read more


8. Some Buried Caesar: A Nero Wolfe Mystery
by Rex Stout
Audio CD: Pages (2007-05-01)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$14.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1572707348
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Early Stout:Bully!
"Some Buried Caesar" was first published 70 years ago, and it's one of Stout's best early Wolfe novels. It's an "away from the brownstone" story. Wolfe travels to rural upstate New York to exhibit his albino orchids at a county fair. Odd for an agoraphobic, or at least travel-phobic man? Yes, but Wolfe was confronting someone Archie Goodwin, Wolfe's dogsbody, calls "an enemy". In Archie's words:

"The above-mentioned enemy that Wolfe was being gracious to was a short fat person in a dirty unpressed mohair suit, with keen little black eyes and two chins, by the name of Charles E. Shanks. I watched them and listened to them as I sipped the milk, because it was instructive. Shanks knew that the reason Wolfe had busted precedent and come to Crowfield to exhibit albinos which he had got by three new crosses with Paphiopedilum lawrenceanum hyeanum was to get an award over one Shanks had produced by crossing P. callosum sanderae with a new species from Burma, that Wolfe desired and intended to make a monkey of Shanks because Shanks had fought shy of the metropolitan show and had also twice refused Wolfe's offers to trade albinos, and that one good look at the entries in direct comparison made it practically certain that the judges' decision would render Shanks not only a monkey but even a baboon. Furthermore, Wolfe knew that Shanks knew that they both knew, but hearing them gabbing away you might have thought that when a floriculturist wipes his brow it is to remove not sweat but his excess of brotherly love, which is why, knowing the stage of vindictiveness Wolfe had had to arrive at before he decided on that trip, I say it was instructive to listen to them."

As always, Archie tells the story, in his own cheeky & genuine way, with many sharp observations. It's not Stout's terse late-style, but it's still very much Archie and lots of fun!

In "Some Buried Caesar", Archie's long-term "lady friend", Lily Rowan, makes her first appearance. This isn't the Lily of later Wolfe novels, but there are several Lily-Archie sparks & dialogues, right from the beginning where she calls him, "Escamillo" -- the manly bullfighter who stole Carmen away from her solider lover in Bizet's opera, "Carmen". That has ironic bite in context, a context I won't share. I'm not giving any plot hints, because surprises start in the first chapter, and why spoil them?

But to tease you into the book, let me add some dialogues from Archie/Lilly. This begins with Archie:

"Oh, possibly Clyde's father sicked them on. I know when I mentioned your name to him last night and said you were there, he nearly popped open. I got the impression he had seen you once in a nightmare. Not that I think you belong in a nightmare, with your complexion and so on, but that was the impression I got."
"He's just a pain." She shrugged indifferently. "He has no right to be talking about me. Anyway, not to you." Her eyes moved up me and over me, up from my chest over my face to the top of my head, and then slowly traveled down again. "Not to you, Escamillo," she said. I wanted to slap her, because her tone, and the look in her eyes going over me, made me feel like a potato she was peeling. She asked, "What did he say?"

And a little later, again starting with Archie:
"Did you and Clyde get engaged?"
"No." She looked at me, and the corner of her mouth turned up, and I saw her breasts gently putting the weave of the jersey to more strain as she breathed a deep one. "No, Escamillo." She peeled her potato again. "I don't suppose I'll marry. Because marriage is really nothing but an economic arrangement, and I'm lucky because I don't have to let the economic part enter into it."

There are wonderful bits of description, plot twists & dialogues on almost every page. Highlights include the surprises in the first few chapters, Archie's time in jail, and the denouement at the end. If you want a plot summary, go to Wikipedia, which has plot summaries of all Wolfe novels.

And a fun Archie description of a New York county fair in the Great Depression 1930's:

"It was another fine day and the crowd was kicking up quite a dust. Banners, balloons, booby booths, and bingo games were all doing a rushing business, not to mention hotdogs, orange drinks, popcorn, snake charmers, lucky wheels, shooting galleries, take a slam and win a ham, two-bit fountain pens, and Madam Shasta who reads the future and will let you in on it for one thin dime. I passed a platform whereon stood a girl wearing a grin and a pure gold brassiere and a Fuller brush skirt eleven inches long, and beside her a hoarse guy in a black derby yelling that the mystic secret Dingaroola Dance would start inside the tent in eight minutes. Fifty people stood gazing up at her and listening to him, the men looking as if they might be willing to take one more crack at the mystic, and the women looking cool and contemptuous. I moseyed along. The crowd got thicker, that being the main avenue leading to the grandstand entrance. I got tripped up by a kid diving betwen my legs in an effort to resume contact with mamma, was glared at by a hefty milkmaid, not bad-looking, who got her toe caught under my shoe, wriggled away from the tip of a toy parasol which a sweet little girl kept digging into my ribs with, and finally left the worst of the happy throng behind and made it to the Methodist grub tent, having passed by the Baptists with the snooty feeling of a man-about-town who is in the know."

All right, this isn't the "every word carrying its weight", mature-style Stout. Later Stout probably wouldn't have detoured the action, but I for one don't mind the detour when I'm having a good time. In "Some Buried Ceasar, I'm never impatient for Archie to get on with it, only glorying in the now-gone world Stout is weaving.

I've given extended Wolfe quotes mainly for the newcomers, and even for some old fans who have discarded Stout's earlier work. I love this writing, and I delight not only in reading, but also in re-reading, even knowing what's next. If these quotes entice or even just intrigue, buy this and give it a read. If you're a first-timer, or one whose fallen away, you may become/re-become a Wolfe fan, or as we say, a member of the Wolfe Pack!

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Nero Wolfe
A great story that holds up to multiple tellings!Archie meets his long-time girlfriend (Lily Rowan) in this story and it explains so many things mentioned in later novels!Wolfe is at his best in taking advantage of comfort and in suprising us with his physical ability!The mystery itself is well crafted and enjoyable.

5-0 out of 5 stars Some Buried Caesar: A Nero Wolfe Mystery
Excellent story, kept me interested through out the telling. I listen to Books on CD at work and Nero Wolfe stories always are a favorite. ... Read more


9. The Father Hunt: A Nero Wolfe Mystery (Mystery Masters)
by Rex Stout
Audio CD: Pages (2005-05-02)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$23.08
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1572704594
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Twenty-two-year-old Amy Denovo needs Nero Wolfe's help. She is determined to learn the identity of her father, a secret her mother scrupulously guarded — and took to her grave when struck by a hit-and-run driver. Now Wolfe and his sidekick, Archie, have just one clue to go on: a note from Amy's mother and a box with over $250,000. Seems every month since Amy's birth, her mother received $1,000 from an unknown source and saved it for Amy's future. It's easily enough for Amy to afford Wolfe's services, and he grudgingly agrees. But as the weeks go by, Wolfe realizes this may be one of his most challenging cases ever. Someone doesn't want Amy's pedigree discovered, and that someone appears to wield great power. It isn't long before Wolfe and Archie come to believe that Amy's mother was murdered — and that Amy could be next. Michael Prichard gives another of his masterful readings to this cleverly plotted tale. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

2-0 out of 5 stars not my cup of tea!
I enjoy English mysteries.Unfortunately this wasn't interesting enough to capture my attention.Won't go this route again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Paternity test
The swinging sixties may be happening outside but life in the genteel world of Nero Wolfe has not changed.

Lily Rowan, Archie's longtime girlfriend has a new research assistant, a lovely young woman who has a problem.She has no idea who her father is, nor even the true name of her late mother.When she first approaches Archie and Wolfe about the problem they deem it insolvable but shortly after a very large clue arrives - over $200,000 in cash that had been left to her by her mother with a note stating that it had been sent, $1000 a month at a time, by her father.Armed with this lead, and a large retainer, Wolfe sends out Archie to locate the long missing father.Along the way they manage to step on more than a few toes and uncover a murder as well.

The Nero Wolfe series combines elements of both the cozy and straight detective genres.As is common in the cozy genre, these stories have recurring well developed secondary characters who often appear in both main and subplots.There is also an overall lighthearted element in the ongoing banter between Archie and Wolfe.The detective story aspect though is much more pronounced than is the norm for a cozy.The mysteries are complex and challenging enough to keep the reader fully engaged, without relying on the cozy aspect to carry the story.The cozy aspect is not overwhelming, but an accent to the stories.

Fans of this long running series will not want to miss another chance to visit the brownstone and match wits with Wolfe.Those who are new to the series could easily begin with this one, but beware Nero Wolfe novels are a bit like peanuts - you probably won't be able to stop with just one.

3-0 out of 5 stars A decent entry in the Wolfe series
I enjoyed the story--I always like it when Archie and Wolfe run into dead ends before they come up with the answer.It's not the best Wolfe book ever, but Michael Prichard's reading is enjoyable and the story is good.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Intelligent Novel By Rex Stout
It's hard not to become fascinated by these books, and this one has an attractive symmetry. The whole Manhattan world of offices and penthouses of the 1940s through the 1960s, and Wolfe and Archie's private domain in the brownstone, comprise a universe inside a universe. It is an imagined world more charming to me than Middle Earth or any such silliness. I love it and only regret there is not an infinite supply of Stout. (Yum). Wolfe is especially "cool" as in unemotional in this one. The police are especially bad--more interested in winning some competition than in serving justice. The scene in which the police penetrate the plant rooms and invade the office is truly upsetting. Stout knows what he is doing. The scene elicits a righteous anger. I am eager for the memory of the book and others of Stout's to fade so that I will have the pleasure of reading them again. By the way, I disagree with the reviewer who disliked the audio version. I listened to it as well, and I quite like the reader's approach. He is very serious and that's what I want. These books, unlike the painfully eye-winking, clownish, and embarrassing TV series that appeared on A and E, are not cute and should not be made so. (Perhaps I am misreading the reviewer's comment and this was not the direction he would like to have seen the reading go). The audio versions are read intelligently and are deliberately dry in their humor. I much prefer that myself.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Mamas and the Papas
Here, we join in the search for a father - just as we'd joined in a mother hunt some many years before.

There are some wonderful narrative devices used here, and Archie is better than ever.It's one of the best! ... Read more


10. Gambit: A Nero Wolfe Mystery
by Rex Stout
Audio CD: Pages (2004-12-29)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$17.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1572704411
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Miss Sarah Blount, better known as Sally, has come to Wolfe to plead for his help with her father’s case. Matthew Blount is charged with poisoning a man to death at the Gambit Club, and all evidence points to his guilt. Sally knows that her father is innocent, but doesn’t trust his lawyer, who seems too interested in her mother. Despite the lack of cooperation by Matthew Blount or the lawyer, Wolfe takes the case, trumping the police with a list of four suspects. But when one of those suspects turns up dead, Wolfe is forced to retrench, so unnerved that he forgoes a fabulous lunch and ignores his treasured orchids. Sally’s increasing interest in Wolfe is only one of many trials he faces in this witty, cleverly plotted tale.

Rex Stout’s literary creation, Nero Wolfe, is one of the greatest fictional detectives of all time.And, as always, Archie’s assistance as the perennial wise guy and legman complements Wolfe's devotion to orchids, gourmet meals, and his specially constructed brown leather chair. Together, Archie and Wolfe make an entertaining odd couple. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wolfe wins the chess match
A man is poisoned during a chess match, and Wolfe gets called by the daughter of the arrested suspect to clear her dad and find the real killer.Naturally, Wolfe must do this while staying firmly ensconsed in his Manhatten brownstone, while Archie Goodwin does his legwork.The story quickly develops a natural suspect after an initial series of interviews of all the people surrounding the death.But it also takes an interesting twist when another dead body is found.I enjoyed that just enough clues were left in the story to allow me to figure out who the killer was just before Wolfe announced it.Here's a hint ... the method of murder was a little different than you may originally think it is.Enjoy!

3-0 out of 5 stars Review for People Looking for Chess Fiction
The other review is quite thorough - but I will review this book from the theme of chess literature. I am an accomplished chess player and life long devotee to the game. I gave this story three stars because it did flow pretty smooth. The mentionings of chess are okay and accurate. The setting was pretty much a murder that takes place at a chess club and Nero Wolfe and his sidekicks are responsible for solving it. This was my first Stout book, so the colorful characters really did catch my interest and I would read Stout again in the future. However, I had a little bit of a tough time with Stout's style. He uses had had and that that so much and even in the dialogue of the characters. Yuck! Still, from a chess fan point of view and seeing how chess fiction of any type is quite scarce - I do recommend this book even though it is average in quality.

5-0 out of 5 stars Available on Audio CD
For some reason the Amazon listings don't include the audio CD version of this outstanding book.

Michael Prichard's reading style is ideally suited to this great story about chess players and the "perfect murder."The variations in personalities at the Gambit Club prefigure the chess stars of the 70s.

From a view of character study, this one is really, really good (and great to listen to also).

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine, satisfying read
My 5th Nero Wolfe book, and I loved it.I caution new readers that the Nero Wolfe books are an acquired taste.For women the Wolfe character is edgy.But, this puzzle of who poisoned what, etc. really grabbed my attention, and I dreamed about it for days (a good sign for me).I can tell that I'm finally getting into these books because I envy Wolfe's life.He's a recluse, and that's my big goal in life -- a recluse with lots of help to do my chores.It'll never happen, and that's why reading these books is satisfying a longing in me.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fun little mystery (4.5 stars)
For anyone unfamiliar with Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries I'd highly recommend this novel.While it is not my favorite of Stout's Nero Wolfe stories, it is a nice introduction to to Nero Wolfe and his confidential assistant Archie Goodwin.Wolfe is a 285 pound orchid collecting genius of a detective who almost never leaves his office for work.he can be cranky and avoids work whenever possible.Archie is a sarcastic ladies-man who's job is to do the leg work for Wolfe as well as keep him focused.

The opening sections of the book illustrate the quirks of the main characters and as I said make a good introduction for new readers.

The mystery itself is interesting and full of the twists and turns that I have come to expect from a Nero Wolfe novel.It is written in Stout's signiature sytle and kept me guessing for much of the book.In the end, Stout does a good job of tying everything up and showing the logic behind the solution and how Wolfe and Archie got from point A to Point B to the solution. ... Read more


11. Before Midnight: A Nero Wolfe Mystery (Mystery Masters)
by Rex Stout
Audio CD: Pages (2004-08-14)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$17.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1572704128
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In this ingenious whodunit, a perfume company offers a million dollars for correctly identifying certain women in history who used cosmetics. When the advertising genius behind the campaign is murdered and the answers stolen, Nero Wolfe is called in to find both. Archie Goodwin tries bravely to keep Wolfe away from the irritating women involved and focused on the case. But with puzzling phone calls and conflicting instructions from the ad company, it's anybody's guess when — or even if — Wolfe will find the killer. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent Wolfe, but not one of the best
I'm a little out of step with the other reviewers in that I don't think this is one of Stout's better Nero Wolfe mysteries.It was written in 1955, well after his prime period.For me, Wolfe belongs in the New York of the 1930s and 1940s.There are some good points: Archie Goodwin's narration is well done and he gets off enough good lines that you will have a few chuckles.My main problem is that the mystery and the characters just aren't very interesting.There are nine suspects, most of whom are rather bland.Because there are so many of them, there isn't space for any of them to appear for more than a brief period.Although one of the women suspects is described as being attractive, Stout passes on his frequent gambit of having Archie take a romantic interest in her.The resolution of the mystery is also unsatisfying as it turns out that X had a grudge against Y that would have been difficult for the reader to figure out.In other words, I don't think Stout really plays fair with the reader on this one.

This edition contains a brief introduction by Robert Crais that spells out nicely what I guess we all knew:Archie, not Wolfe, is the key to the success of these books.So, if you are Wolfe fan and haven't yet read this one, it's worth picking up.If you are new to Wolfe, go back and get one of the earlier books from the 1930s or 1940s.Bantam has recently begun to reissue those in a new format that combines two books in one volume.They are definitely more of a bargain than these somewhat pricey "Rex Stout Library" editions.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great BookCosts too much
Very good Nero.Reads as you would expect.Biggest problem is that the sale price was too much

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Find
Been looking for this book for awhile. Good price, good description on the condition of book and timely shipping.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good Rex Stout
A good Rex Stout.Lots of intrigue.Archie and Nero are up to good stuff here.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Winner
I haven't found a Nero Wolfe mystery that I didn't love.You are totally lost in the story unfolding... ... Read more


12. REX STOUT PRIMARY BIBLIO (Garland Reference Library of the Humanities)
by Townsend
 Hardcover: 195 Pages (1980-11-01)
list price: US$45.00
Isbn: 0824094794
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

13. Rex Stout (Recognitions)
by David R. Anderson
 Hardcover: 134 Pages (1984-11)
list price: US$18.95
Isbn: 080442005X
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

14. A Right to Die: A Nero Wolfe Mystery (Mystery Masters)
by Rex Stout
Audio CD: Pages (2003-05-08)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$16.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1572703156
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A client presents Wolfe with a difficult job: to find something unsavory about his son's fiancee in order to stop their interracial marriage. The white girl's record comes up clean but she comes up dead, with her black fiance accused. Nero and Archie set out to prove his innocence in this story of thwarted romance and murder. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars Marriage, murder and race.
First, you may wish to read Too Many Cooks, before this book, but this book can still be a stand alone.A romance between a black man and a white woman seems normal today, but when this book was published, 1964, this book was dealing with hot and dangerous stuff.Marriage, murder and race isn't something to laugh at in those days.Not today either, when you come right down to it.I think Rex Stout did a fairly good job.Archie Goodwin and Nero Wolfe come out as humane and willing to do their best for the Whipple family in their hour of need.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nero Wolfe and the Civil Rights Movement
One morning early in 1964 Archie ushered a potential client, Paul Whipple, into Wolfe's office.Wolfe initially rejected the case, finding 'dirt' on the man's future daughter-in-law but reluctantly reconsidered when he was reminded that the client had aided him in solving a case years ago. Then the client had been an employee, a twenty-one year old college student now he was a professor at Columbia University and the father of a twenty-three year old young son who had, at least in his parents' opinion, an unfortunate taste in women, specifically that the young woman was white and the Whipple family black. Reluctantly, to repay the old debt that Wolfe felt he owed the older Whipple, Wolfe took on the case.Soon Archie was quietly investigating the charming young woman, even traveling to her childhood home in Racine, Wisconsin (an eighty dollar airfare!) to find out about her character, only to be called back when the she was found murdered, and her intended was the chief suspect.As Archie and Wolfe changed the focus of the case to search for the murderer the trail took them all over Manhattan and Harlem, back to the Midwest before locating the culprit but not before a second murder.

Stout always set his Nero Wolfe mysteries contemporary to the time it was written even though his main cast of characters did not age.Usually this passes without the reader even noticing but in this one it is quite obvious that at least 24 years have elapsed but Archie is still about thirty.Today's reader will also notice that America has changed markedly in the 45 years since this story was written, the n-word appears often, interracial relationships were daring and not without danger, and the idea of a black mayor of New York was startling (the idea of a black US President was not even considered).Long time fans will find it interesting to see how Stout takes his characters from the Depression Era 1930's to the turbulent early 1960's (as Archie struggles to remember that it is Kennedy International not Idlewild airport).

No matter what year it is outside the brownstone the repartee between Wolfe and Archie is always hilarious, the mysteries are sufficiently challenging to keep the reader guessing along with Archie right up to the minute Wolfe reveals all.Those new to the series would probably want to read at least one of two of the earliest novels but it is not necessary to read these in strict order to enjoy them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wolfe and Archie fight racism
Paul Whipple doesn't want his son to marry outside of his race. It's not that he doesn't like white people, but a black man marrying a white woman in 1964 is trouble. Whipple wants Nero Wolfe to help him find a way to break up their engagement. Wolfe would normally reject job like this but he owes a debt to Whipple because of an incident that had occurred in the distant past when Whipple helped him solve a case.

So off Archie goes to Racine, Wisconsin to dig up some dirt on Susan Brooke but after a fruitless search that finds not a trace of scandal, Archie gets a call from Wolfe.Return to New York... Susan Brooke has been found beaten to death in her apartment. And when Whipple's son is arrested for the crime, the case changes into a hunt for the real killer.

The book was written in 1964 at the same time the debate over the Civil Rights Act was going on. Stout covers what was controversial material at the time, reminding us that attitudes in 1964 were not the same as they are today. But this book also reminds us that we haven't come as far as we might like to think. The n-word is used in the book, but only in dialog when Stout uses it to reveal something about the character of the person who says it.Wolfe and Archie never use it, and as Archie says, "I have felt superior to plenty of people but never because of the color of my skin."

As to the the mystery itself, it is one of the best I have read so far.I didn't have the slightest idea who the killer might be and yet when it was revealed I wanted to smack myself for not getting it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nero Wolfe at his best
This book begins with Wolfe breaking one of his own rules; namely to never take a case that involves digging up dirt on someone (an undertaking he finds reprehensible and beneath him).But he feels obligated to a man who once did him a favor and decides to undertake the job of looking into the background of a woman who later ends up being murdered, with his client's son being suspected of the Murder.Archie and Wolfe must prove their client's son did not committ the crime and to do that, they must find the murderer.And, as you might guess, the solution lies in the victims past.

This book is extremely well written.It touches on a number of topics, but none as intimately as the civil rights movement and interracial relationships.Combined with Stout's usual flair this makes for an intriquing mystery and a fascinating look at the civil rights era that still is important today.

The book also highlights alot of the characteristics of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin that have made them such memorable characters.

3-0 out of 5 stars Making a statement does not always produce the best work
A RIGHT TO DIE is Stout at his most political, using Wolfe to make a commentary about race relations in America. Wolfe's involvement in a case relating to the civil rights movement, interracial relationships, and of course, a murder that will confound the police, is an interesting time capsule. The book exposes some harsh truths which appear a bit dated today, but don't lack for impact. The mystery itself is a fairly involving one, but the weight of the events surrounding this particular tale is a bit too heavy for Nero and Archie to carry. Stout was not afraid to make political statements in this series, but they didn't always make for the best episodes. ... Read more


15. Murder by the Book: A Nero Wolfe Mystery
by Rex Stout
Audio CD: Pages (2006-06-01)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$22.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1572705361
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Manhattan Police Inspector Cramer asks for Wolfe’s help in solving the suspicious death of a law office clerk who has been fished out of the Hudson River. His probable homicide-causing offense? Submitting a manuscript for publication! With the manuscript missing and the only two to read it dead, the only clues are a cryptic quotation from the Bible and a list of names in the dead man’s pocket. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars why kill over a book?
Yes, why kill over a book?That is the essential question as the author, the manuscript's typist, and the reviewer at a publishing house are all murdered upon reading what is apparently a dangerous manuscript.Attention gets focused on the law firm that the dead author worked for.Wolfe must outsmart a pretty smart lawyer.Meanwhile, Archie has fun hosting a party for the ladies who work in the firm, and travels to California to lay a trap for one of the suspects.

Stout writes in a cerebric style rarely seen in popular fiction today.Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Encyclopedia Brown for adults---brilliant
Rex Stout is a genius---I loved this book.It's tight, fast-flowing, seamless, and tension-filled.I read it in a day or so, and enjoyed the diversion it provided.The characters are distinct and colorful (especially Stout's alter-ego, the 350-pound private detective, Nero Wolfe), the clues are tantalizing, and the drama is excellent.

For a book written sixty years ago---this is a real winner.

As a kid I used to love the Encyclopedia Brown stories.Now I have Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries to fill an adult version of the same niche...

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
I love all the books of Rex Stout. I read them first in Russian and fell in love with smart Nero Wolfe and funny Archie Goodwin. Now I am collecting all the detective stories written by Stout.

5-0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed it
I have really enjoyed this writer and the well done story lines.I continue to pick up the Nero Wolf when I find them.

5-0 out of 5 stars good choice
have been looking for this book for a long time and was very happy to finally be able to buy it. ... Read more


16. Where There's a Will
by Rex Stout
Audio CD: Pages (2006-10-09)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$12.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1572705515
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Investigating the bizarre will of late multimillionaire Noel Hawthorne--who left the bulk of his estate to his mistress and nearly nothing to his three sisters--astute sleuth Nero Wolfe stumbles upon a legacy of murder. Reprint. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another excelling Nero Wolfe mystery
The back of my copy made it seem like the mystery in this book was: which veiled woman is the real widow? This added a level of interest above that of a regular Nero Wolfe mystery (if there is such a thing as a "regular" Nero Wolfe mystery). In actuality, the mystery is a much more standard: who is the killer? But it's still Nero Wolfe, so it's going to be interesting anyway.

Archie Goodwin is one of my favorite narrators, and he doesn't disappoint here. There are some surprises, as Wolfe gets rather more physically involved in the case than he usually prefers, and of course his genius leads to surprising leaps of impeccable logic. As I finished this book, I wondered why I ever read a book that's not a Nero Wolfe book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Will Wolfe survive these disruptions in his routine?
Fans of Nero Wolfe know how much he cherishes his ordered life: his schedule of morning and afternoon sessions in the plant rooms; his undisturbed mealtimes; his policies on never leaving the brownstone on business to name but a few.Wolfe is forced to abandon many of his long established polices in order to solve this problem.

Three women, sisters, have come to Wolfe for help.Their brother has died unexpectedly and even more unexpectedly left his considerable fortune not to his sisters and his wife, but to his girlfriend.Wolfe rarely gets involved in such domestic matters but does agree to take this one on, perhaps to get his office rid of all the females for before the evening is over the brownstone is invaded by the three sisters, the widow, a secretary and the dead man's niece.It is only the beginning of Wolfe's trials though, before he reveals all Wolfe has to suffer a young woman at his table, leave the brownstone - on business, eat in someone else's home and even fend off an arrest warrant in his own home.

This is popular, long running series of mysteries that focuses on the eccentric genius, Nero Wolfe who solves the most difficult of problems from the comfort of his brownstone (usually anyway).Wolfe is aided in his investigations by his assistant, Archie Goodwin who narrates the stories.Even though the puzzles in these mysteries are quite challenging these are very much cozies in that much of the appeal comes from the recurring cast of characters.Fans will not want to miss any opportunity to stop by for a visit to the brownstone.The overall story arc of this series is not so pronounced that the stories need to be read in any particular order.

1-0 out of 5 stars Terrible Reading
Michael Prichard has a fantastic voice that is suited for this genre. According to the notes, he reads all of the Nero Wolfe titles for Mystery Masters. This is the only one that I listened to. Perhaps he's better in the others. In this specific title, I had to stop listening after about 30 minutes. Mr. Prichard sounded like a somnolent Eric Sevareid reading the news. He also sounded bored and unprepared. It was the worst reading I ever heard.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nero Wolf
This was a very good story .. I am a big fan of Nero's Wolf's
He and Archie have become like familiy ...

3-0 out of 5 stars A stylish mystery from days gone by
There's a famous family, an old fortune, a sudden death and a mysterious will. All the ingredients for a good whodunnit, and Rex Stout makes the most of them. Nero Wolfe behaves like the temperamental genius he knows he is, while his assistant Archie cracks wise and resigns every few pages. Their interplay is delightful. Even more than a mystery, this is an evocative tale of New York during the Depression. Heiresses were celebrities. The common folk took cabs everywhere, ate meals in drugstores and used payphones. Everyone complains about the heat because no one has air conditioning. ... Read more


17. The Final Deduction: A Nero Wolfe Mystery
by Rex Stout
Audio CD: Pages (2006-12-28)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$24.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0012QH036
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
When the seemingly safe return of an abducted millionaire ends in his murder in his own home, Nero Wolfe sends Archie Goodwin to do his usual legwork, while Wolfe uncovers corruption and greed among Manhattan's elite. Reissue. NYT. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Always a good read!
"Age doth not wither nor custom stale" our friends at the brownstone on West 35th Street, New York. Literally. Part of Rex Stout's genius in his Nero Wolfe mysteries is that the seventh-of-a-ton sleuth and his indispensible agent (and our narrator) Archie Goodwin truly are ageless. No forced retirement to beekeeping (or in Nero's case, orchid-keeping) for these two. Lucky for us! If you haven't made their acquaintance, this novel is perfectly good place to start and should keep you coming back for more. Indeed, as Wolfe might (and, as Archie tells us, does) say, it's "subdolous."

5-0 out of 5 stars Just As Described
Very happpy with this item.Came quickly and in perfect condition.
Thanks !

4-0 out of 5 stars Kidnapping and mayhem!
If you are not familiar with the rotund armchair detective Nero Wolfe, here would be a good place to start.Nero is a gourmand who grows orchids, and happens to solve mysteries for a living.He and his wonderful sidekick Archie Goodwin are always in on the best cases!The setting is early sixties New York City, and the nostalgia alone makes each book worth it.In this book a very rich woman comes to Wolfe to have help getting her husband back who was kidnapped.Of course Wolfe does not understand women, but he makes his own deductions anyway.Archie and Wolfe find there is murder running alongside this kidnapping, and Wolfe needs to figure out what is going on.These books are great.They are intelligent mysteries with a lot of black humour to help them go down.

5-0 out of 5 stars Oh what a tangled web we weave
Althea Vail is used to getting her own way, after all she usually got it.When she arrived on the doorstep of the brownstone though she found that she would not be catered to just because she was attractive and rich.Archie let her in only to annoy Wolfe.When the allure of both a large check and an intriguing problem was dangled in front of him even Nero Wolfe fell to the temptation.Althea's husband had been kidnapped and although she was determined to follow the kidnappers' instructions and deliver the ransom she wanted Wolfe to expose the kidnappers if her husband is not returned unharmed.Lured by the prospect of remaining at leisure for most of the year Wolfe agreed to take on the task.Little did he realize that he would soon be put to a great deal of inconvenience and acquire far more clients - and retainers - than he ever imagined.

The Nero Wolfe series bridges the gap between a straight detective story and the cozy genre.The problems are complex and intriguing, laid out fairly so the reader has as much chance as Archie to beat Wolfe to the solution while incorporating the cozy elements of recurring secondary characters, ongoing subplots and humor.

This is a usual Nero Wolfe adventure, we are treated to several rounds of verbal sparring between Archie and Wolfe, witness Orrie, Saul and Fred in action and even to see Wolfe forced to leave his house on a moment's notice.Fans of the series will delight in Wolfe forced out of his routine as much, if not more, than the intriguing problems that Wolfe and Archie are faced with in this one.Those who are new to the series would be able to enjoy this one but those who have at least a passing familiarity with this series will enjoy it more.

5-0 out of 5 stars With Kidnapping Comes Murder
When Archie Goodwin ushers former stage actress Althea Vail into Nero Wolfe's office, he assumes she will be dismissed in just a few minutes.Instead, Althea lays out a tale of kidnapping that Nero can't resist.

It seems that Althea's current husband, Jimmy Vail, has been kidnapped.Althea is more then willing to pay the ransom, but she wants to hire Nero in case something goes wrong.

The ransom payment goes fine and Jimmy returns.In fact, everything seems to be going well.Until the police call and ask Althea to identify a body.Nero has put his reputation on the line for this case, so he can't let it go.But what is really going on?Meanwhile, Nero is also hired to find the missing ransom money.Can he do that without leaving home?

This is only my second outing with Nero Wolfe, but I really enjoyed it.Nero is an interesting character.I must admit I tend to like him in spite of his harsh demeanor.I'm sure that Archie really helps in that regard.The plot moves swiftly from one event to another.The solution was obvious yet so covered with red herrings I never saw it coming.

The book was written in the 60's, so that makes the occasional reference dated.On the whole, this is a strong mystery that will please any fan of the genre. ... Read more


18. The Black Mountain: A Nero Wolfe Mystery (Nero Wolfe Mysteries)
by Rex Stout
Audio CD: Pages (2006-08-04)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1572705450
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Vowing to avenge the murder of his dear friend, Marko Vukcic, Nero Wolfe, along with his faithful partner, Archie Goodwin, journey to the hazardous mountains of Montenegro. Reissue. NYT. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thotoughly enjoyable.
Unobtrusive but strong narration. One of the best Nero Wolfe stories - strong on character and plot.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best Nero Wolfe stories
this is a must have for anyone who is a fan of the nero wolfe stories.it give a look at nero's past before he became a detective.it also places archie in unfamiliar situation of being dependent on nero for information--archie doesn't speak the language, so nero has to translate!it is a fun look at the relationship between the two.

4-0 out of 5 stars Best for those who have already read many of the other Nero Wolfe novels
While I greatly enjoyed reading the Black Mountain, it was, in part, the fact that it was so different from the other novels that I found it fascinating. Throughout the series there are somewhat vague references to Wolfe's life before coming to the U.S. This novel fills in much of that back-story, and gives the avid fan a better idea of what makes Wolfe tick. However, I would have to agree with reviewers who don't recommend this book to someone new to the series. It is not consistent with the rest of the novels in the series in setting or tone, and is best enjoyed by those who appreciate the difference, as well as the additional insights into Wolfes character and background.

3-0 out of 5 stars For True Nero Fans, Only
If you're new to Rex Stout and Nero Wolfe, you couldn't pick a worse place to start.However, if you already have an appreciation for the Nero/Archie banter and the nuances of the relationships with the minor characters, then you'll enjoy seeing them painted on a very different canvas, as far from the brownstone as they ever got.

This book is neither as bad as the 1- and 2-star reviews suggest, nor as good as the 5-star reviews (including that of the audiobook's narrator, oddly) claim.I enjoyed it, but only because I've made my way through 80% of Stout's Nero Wolfe novels and novellas. As others have noted, Mr. Pritchard's voice and flat accent doesn't match up to those in the late, lamented A&E series.

5-0 out of 5 stars The man who never leaves his house on business.........
....sure broke the rule this time. We all know about Nero Wolfe...eccentric, overweight, beer drinking, orchid growing, house-bound genius....he hires others to get his data, then figures it all out from the comfort of his custom made chair. Rex Stout based his "American Sherlock" on Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock's older, more brilliant, brother who only appears in two of the stories...[and, actually, Wolfe left the house a number of times over his 40 year career].

It may be silly to avoid giving away the plot here; anyone reading this probably has the story memorized, and is just looking for a replacement copy. But, I can say that this is the most "personal" of the Nero Wolfe books; Wolfe had few friends...when the oldest, and closest, is killed, there is no limit to what Wolfe will do to assure proper justice under law. In many ways, it is the most complicated of the stories, but a grand master like Rex Stout had no problems keeping everything clear....

One regret...when staying over in Rome, Wolfe is asked to meet with the ambassador; after commenting that the ambassador is "a woman", he declines. She isn't named, but Clare Boothe Luce was quite famous when this was written...Stout probably had valid reasons for not using Mrs. Luce as a "fictional character"; I think it would have done Wolfe a lot of good, and provided us some fun, for him to meet a woman who was more than a match for his intellect...just a thought. ... Read more


19. Fer-De-Lance: A Nero Wolfe Mystery (Mystery Masters)
by Rex Stout
Audio CD: Pages (2004-04-18)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$16.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1572703881
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This is Rex Stout's first mystery novel, featuring the first appearance of Nero Wolfe, one of the greatest fictional detectives of all time. As any herpetologist knows, the fer-de-lance is among the most dreaded snakes on Earth. When someone makes a present of one to Wolfe, his assistant Archie Goodwin knows the large detective must be getting dangerously close to solving the murders of an immigrant and a college president. As for Wolfe, he's busy playing snake charmer in a case with more twists than an anaconda.Amazon.com Review
I've promised myself for the past decade that, when I finallyretire, my first major project will be to reread the entire Nero Wolfecanon in chronological order, a worthwhile occupation if ever therewas one.

Although entirely different and not nearly as literary asRoss Macdonald's Lew Archer series or the Philip Marlowe novels ofRaymond Chandler, the Wolfe saga deserves to be ranked with them asamong the finest series of detective stories ever written by anAmerican. Fer-de-lance introduces the brilliant, idiosyncratic,and obese armchair detective to the world and, while it may not be thebest book of the series, it provides a wonderful murder set on a golfcourse and a cast of characters and laundry list of eccentricitiesthat are an integral part of each novel and novella.

Rex Stout hasmanaged to pull off a feat unparalleled to this day: the perfectcombination of deductive reasoning--as exemplified by the classicGolden Age writers such as Christie, Sayers, Van Dine, and Queen--withthe hard-boiled attitude and dialogue of the more realistic tough guywriters such as Chandler, Macdonald, Hammett, and RobertB. Parker.

The toughness is brought to the books by Wolfe's leg manand amanuensis, Archie Goodwin. The structure and ambience of thebooks is, quite deliberately, very much like the Sherlock Holmesstories that Stout so admired. The house on West 35th Street is asfamiliar as the sitting room at 221B Baker Street; his cook Fritz popsup as regularly as Mrs. Hudson; and his irritant, Inspector Cramer ofthe NYPD, serves the same role as several Scotland Yard detectives,notably Inspector Lestrade, did for Holmes. Fair warning: It is safeto read one Nero Wolfe novel, because you will surely like it. It isextremely unsafe to read three, because you will forever be hooked onthe delightful characters who populate these perfect books. --Otto Penzler ... Read more

Customer Reviews (37)

5-0 out of 5 stars You never know where it will strike
Fer de Lance is the first book to introduce the by now iconic characters of Nero Wolfe and his eyes, legs, and at times enforcer, Archie Goodwin.

This book opens in the early 30s, although as far as Wolfe is concerned time might never move forward.His hours are tightly regulated with meals and times set aside to look after his fabulous collection of orchids in his brownstone on 35th Street.Crime intrudes as a welcomed intrusion, but only because Wolfe is constantly in need of funds to pay for his expensive orchid hobby and his array of personal assistants and staff.

There is a line between the type of crime fiction that was produced during the 1930s when Rex Stout began his career. On one side were the Hercule Poirots, the Sherlock Holmes and Lord Peter Whimseys of the world who lead the lives of gentlemen of largely independent means and who solved crimes as a lark to exercise their vast intellects. These were the brains.

On the other side were the Sam Spades and the Phillip Marlows of the world (and much later Mike Hammer) who represented the hard-boiled school of detective fiction.Leading less refined lives than their more intellectual counterparts, these denizens lived a life on the edge filled with booze and broads and bust ups.These represent the brawn.

In Rex Stout's detective fiction there is an attempt to "square the circle" by giving us the usual detective with his "Dr Watson" (the stories are told from Archie's point of view).However whereas Wolfe represents the intellectual side (although one who prefers beer) and Archie the more physical (although his beverage of choice is milk). One gets an example of two very different types of detectives for the price of one.

Even though this is the first book in the series of Wolfe and Archie adventures, they have been together for a number of years. Archie mentions previous cases which do not form part of the adventures given over to full exploration (perhaps some enterprising figure may attempt to explore some of these adventures that lie outside the Rex Stout cannon).The routine of the later books is already well established despite that this is earliest of the Wolfe chronicles.

It would be impossible to offer much in the way of a plot summary or even explain away the title of the book without giving too much away. Suffice it to say Wolfe is presented with not just one but two slippery murders and the problem is to determine their connection. In the end it is Fer de Lance who is the connection.

This is an excellent opening for the series of books, my only complaint is that the murderer is revealed perhaps sooner than I would have liked and when the motive was uncovered it was somewhat of a let down although Stout managed to instill a series plot twists that made up in part for this clumsiness.These stories are driven as much by character as they are by plot which is characteristic of the best of detective fiction.

One final word about this story, it was written in the early 1930s and there are several things, the way immigrants are portray and various ethnic groups which while authentic (if not more polite than the average person would have behaved pre FDR) might not be the most welcomed expressions in 2010. I actually found this added an additional historical layer to Fer de Lance which was not in Stout's original intent. The overly sensitive and politically correct may not enjoy this work as much as those who can recognize it as a product of its time.

3-0 out of 5 stars The introduction to great characters in detective fiction
First Sentence:There was no reason why I shouldn't have been sent for the beer that day, for the last ends of the Fairmont National Bank case had been gathered in the week before and there was nothing for me to do but errands, and Wolfe never hesitated about running me down to Murray Street for a can of shoe-polish if he happened to need one.

Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin's first published case becomes one of two parts; a young woman hires Wolfe to find her missing brother, and a college president has been murdered on the golf course.The link:a golf club.

The fun of reading Nero Wolfe is not the plot, although this one did have a good twist to it, but for the characters.On one hand, you have Wolfe, the corpulent, beer drinking, gourmand who has orchids cultivated in his attic conservatory.He is well-read, well-spoken, often difficult to deal with yet a brilliant deductive and intuitive thinker.

On the other hand is Archie, orphaned as a child, lives in Wolfe's brownstone, uses common English, and drinks milk.The two characters are complete opposites but one immediately senses the underlying respect and affection which goes beyond a working relationship.

It is the dialogue, as well as the relationship of these two characters, that make the book, and series, work.An interesting aspect to this book is that we meet the characters seven years in, so references to previous cases abound.In most cases, this would annoy me as there would be that sense of something missing.

Stout, however, is so adept in his writing and his characters are so well developed, the previous case references simply become historical notations.Stout was writing in present time, now history to us.Because of that, we are presented a living sense of time, place, social mores and behavior.There were certain expressions, common at the time. They are objectionable to us today and serve as a reminder of our advancement from the past. One element with which I did have a problem, was some of Archie's slang.There were times I had to re-read sentences or paragraphs to understand what he was saying.

It was fun to go back and re-visit Nero and Archie, but not so much as to make me want to reread all the books.However, if you've never read Rex Stout, I do recommend picking up at least a few of his books.

FER-DE-LANCE (Pri Inv-Nero Wolf/Archie Goodwin-New York City-Golden Age/1934) - Good
Stout, Rex - 1st in series
Bantam Books, ©1934, US Paperback - ISBN:0553278193

4-0 out of 5 stars This is where it starts: the "American Sherlock"
Some of the greatest characters in the cozy mystery genre are eccentrics. Just think of Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot. Nero Wolfe is no exception, just switch Holmes pipe for beer and the violin for orchids and you start to transformation. Then add a sidekick who is in charge of telling the story, and finally add a collection of extravagant behaviors and you are close to getting the picture.

Rex Stout keeps the plot focused and to the point, spending very little time in describing the characters and keeping that to the minimum necessary to convey the relationship between Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, and the main characteristics of each. The mystery is well crafted, and even though the identity of the culprit is known fairly early, the interest lies not only in knowing who did it, but also in the way in which Wolfe is able to prove the case. The powers of deduction of this character do not lag behind any of the other great detectives in other series.

Overall, this is an enjoyable book, and those that are new to the series can use their experience with Sherlock Holmes and Poirot to gauge if they are going to like it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Beer-guzzling, cigarette-smoking, irreverent detective duo.... Awesome.
"Fer-De-Lance" by Rex Stout is the first novel in the heralded Nero Wolfe series. Nero Wolfe is an obese, "armchair" detective who is obsessed with plantlife (which he dedicates 4 UNDISTURBED hrs. a day to)and crime. This man has solved some complex cases from the comfort and "safety" of his prestigous New York apartment. This would only be possible with the aide of a tough, trusty, quick-witted, determined, dedicated employee and that comes in the form of one Archibald Goodwin. Archie is a long-term employee who is part-time gopher, part-time interrogator, part-time note-taker, and part-time henchman. He is always willing to do Wolfe's dirt work which is aplenty.
The story centers around the death of an Italian immigrant laborer and a wealthy college professor. Wolfe is approached to find the, then missing, laborer which triggers a story that will leave you guessing not necessarily who did the crime but how will Wolfe and Archie be able proove it. Your jaw may drop at some of Wolfe's crazy ideas and outrageous tacticts heemploys, especially for the time when this was written (1934).
This is not Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot. While they can lay charm on any witness they will also devise sinister plots to come to the solution.
I love mysteries (especially series) and this one is at the top. While the killer isn't so much in question for the majority of the novel the proof is and the payoff is worth it. Please enjoy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Introducing two of the great characters in mysteries
I am no Rex Stout expert. Matter of fact, this is the first of his books I have read, I have however read my fair share of mysteries, and this one is a hoot. The plot of this one is more than a bit fantastical, since it involves darts flying out of golf clubs, and exotic snakes threatening to kill our protagonists, but the character are outrageously well constructed and fascinating. It seems like now a days few modern mystery fans (myself included) dip into these older books, that's a shame because the writing and plot construction, and especially the characters, here are top notch.

This is the novel that introduced the world to Nero Wolfe, is an orchid enthusiast, gourmand, and shut in. He is the brilliant and arrogant. He is a Sherlock Holmes updated to 20th Century New York, all the wit and charm, plus a fair amount of New York neurotic. His right hand man Archie Goodwin is an odd construction - more hard boiled than Wolfe, he ventures into the tough neighborhoods, occasionally carries a gun, but prefers milk to whiskey on most occasions. Somewhere between Watson and a noir style P.I. He is fascinating, and I am looking forward to seeing he and Wolfe develop as the books go on.

Definitely worth reading for anyone interested in a well built mystery inhabited with some compelling characters.
... Read more


20. Plot It Yourself: A Nero Wolfe Mystery
by Rex Stout
Audio CD: Pages (2008-10-21)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$16.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1602834903
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The New York literary world is terrorized by a rash of dead-ringer plagiarism--and murder.Nero Wolfe takes a novel approach to solving the case when he analyzes writing style to narrow the search for a suspect.While Nero tracks down nuances, legman Archie Goodwin busies himself cool-looking ladies of letters.Most amazingly, the gourmand and orchid-loving genius Wolfe swears off meat and beer until he solves the case!

Presented unabridged starring Michael Prichard; on 5 CDs. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars a very good plot
the plot is amazing. Rex Stout has been one of the best writers I have ever read nowadays.

5-0 out of 5 stars Found by chance
I thought I'd read all of the Nero Wolfe/Archie Goodwin mysteries, even those written by later authors.Then I found this book, whose plot I couldn't recall having read.What a joy.

I find the ambiance of the 1950s as conveyed in these earlier books so enjoyable.Archie's witticisms are so clever, and the petulant behavior of his employer so comfortably familiar that I regret there are no new novels to read.Like my mother, I wish I could just keep reading pages until I reach the author at his typewriter--or word processor these days!

In this book, the accusations of plagiarism leads to murder, and the investigative services of Nero Wolfe are sought to solve both the question of how and by whom the scam against the authors is worked as well as who is killing off the accusers.

Great entertainment by an author who knows how to do it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Right to Write
Plagiarism -- that dreaded word in the publishing world sends representatives of the trade to Nero Wolfe to defend them against unjust claims. A 1950's formula story, but a grand puzzle for a light read. An excellent example of why Rex Stout's books are still in print.
Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin are characters who occupy a distinct place in American mystery fiction. A very good read.
Nash Black, author whose books are available in Kindle editions.
Writing as a Small BusinessSins of the Fathers: A Brewster County Novel

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Stuff
What is plagiarism?How can a responsible editor be assured, in the pre-internet '50s, that he's notpublishing something stolen?

That's only the beginning of this great story.In this case, the plagiarist is so adept at his craft that he can even emulate female writers flawlessly.

And yes, fans of Serbo-Croat get to read or hear some Montenegrin cussing in this story.Who could ask for anything more??

5-0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the BEST Nero Wolfe I've Read
With an intriguing plot, summarized elsewhere, this is perhaps the best Nero Wolfe I've read.The characters are wonderful, Archie and Wolfe are in very fine form, and the mystery is superb.You'll be surprised at the killer, and Wolfe actually shows respect for the murderer.You almost think that Wolfe would rather not convict him/her.

Bottom line:Excellent, perhaps the best Stout, with a wonderful killer you almost feel sorry for. ... Read more


  1-20 of 28 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

site stats