Fer-de-Lance by Rex Stout

Page 33:

Fritz smiled. He had a sweet sort of faraway smile. He could catch a joke but never tried to return it. “Good morning. There’s a gentleman down stairs to see Mr. Wolfe.”

I sat up. “What’s his name?”

“He said Anderson. He had no card.”

“What!” I swung myself to the edge of the bed. “Well well well well. He’s not a gentleman, Fritz, he’s a noovoh reesh. Mr. Wolfe is hoping that soon he’ll be less reesh. Tell him– no, don’t bother. I’ll be right down.”


Rex Stout: Not Quite Dead Enough and Booby Trap

Rex Stout: Not Quite Dead Enough and Booby TrapRex Stout: Not Quite Dead Enough and Booby Trap: Two Nero Wolfe Mysteries is, as the title suggests, two short mysteries under one cover. Both feature Archie Goodwin in uniform. ::flutter:: Neither tale was up to Wolfe’s usual standards. Both were too short to get a real feel for, but there were some laugh-out-loud moments and I thought each was certainly worth the bit of time it took to read them. Recommended as a quick pick-me-up.

In an unrelated note, I had a customer name come across my desk today: Rex Wolfe. I do believe someone’s parental units were fans…

Rex Stout: Fer-de-Lance

Rex Stout: Fer-de-LanceFer-de-Lance marks the debut of Nero Wolfe, but there is no stumbling here. Like Athena, he seems to pop forth fully formed from the brain of Zeus. The scene where Wolfe tries to comprehend golf in 60 seconds or less was priceless. I love the humor and the spunk of the Wolfe mysteries. They’ve just got their own sensibility and you really feel like you’ve just walked into Stout’s world and he’s winking off-stage saying, enjoy, don’t you wish you could live here? I do, indeed. I have a goal of reading/re-reading every Nero Wolfe story at least once before I die. And Kindle, eReader, Fictionwise, etc, need to get off their duffs and get these in e-format. I’ve been slurping up Stout’s omnibuses (is that a word?) as fast as I can find them. My grandfather once upon a time had several Nero Wolfe novels way high up on his bookshelf, but I was way too young back then to appreciate them. ::attempting to kick self — not a pretty sight:: Youth is wasted on the young.

Over My Dead Body by Rex Stout

Page 33:

Inspector Cramer to Archie: “You know, son, you have one or two good qualities. In a way I even like you. In another way I could stand and watch your hide peeling off and not shed any tears. You have undoubtably got the goddamnedest nerve of anybody I know except Nero Wolfe.”

A Right to Die by Rex Stout

Opening lines:

If I had a dime for every lie I’ve told the police I’d be on my yacht in the Caribbean.

Too Many Cooks by Rex Stout

Page 33:

“True it is bad to stab a man in the back but when one is in a hurry the niceties must sometimes be overlooked.”

Murder by the Book by Rex Stout

It’s in there somewhere:

“His face, chronically red, deepened a shade. His broad shoulders stiffened, and the creases spreading from the corners of his gray-blue eyes showed more as the eyelids tightened. Then, deciding I was playing for a burt, he controlled it. “Do you know,” he asked, “whose opinion of you I would like to have? Darwin’s. Where were you while evolution was going on?” (Inspector Cramer addresses Archie Goodwin)

The Christmas Party by Rex Stout:

Opening lines:

I decided to count ten, and swiveled my chair, facing my desk, so as to have privacy for it. As usual when we have no important case going, we had been getting on each others’ nerves for a week, and I admit I was a little touchy, but his taking it for granted like that was a little too much. When I had finished the count I turned my head, to where he was perched on his throne behind his desk, and darned if he hadn’t gone back to his book, making it plain that he regarded it as settled. That was much too much.

The Doorbell Rang – Rex Stout

The Doorbell Rang I had this one laying about the house for at least a decade and finally got around to reading it. My first Nero Wolf, if you can believe it. Someone mentioned on 4 Mystery Addicts that the book that plays a lead roll in The Doorbell Rang, The FBI Nobody Knows, is, apparently, an actual book. I wonder if Stout fielded any heat about that, because the book is obviously damning to the FBI. I can’t believe J. Edgar took it lying down. Anyhoo, I enjoyed the plot, loved the snappy dialogue. Loved the character of Archie. He can ring my doorbell anytime.

Downside? Thanks to this book, I’ve officially added lots more books to my To Be Read stack… And why aren’t Stout’s books available on the Kindle!? Scandalous!