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And Be a Villain [Mass Market Paperback]

Rex Stout
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 4.71
Price: 4.70 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Kindle Edition 2.90  
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Book Description

Mar 1994 Nero Wolfe Mysteries
Radio talk show host Madeline Fraser's worst nightmare comes true when one of her on-air guests collapses at the mike after drinking a glass of the sponsor's beverage.

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And Be a Villain + Prisoner's Base (Nero Wolfe Mysteries) + Trio for Blunt Instruments (Nero Wolfe Mysteries)
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group; Bantam Reissue Ed edition (Mar 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553239317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553239317
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 10.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 229,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wolfe meets his Moriarty 3 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Also titled More Deaths Than One, this is the first and best of the Arnold Zeck trilogy. If you want to read it in order, follow this with The Second Confession and Even in the Best Families, although personally I rate the latter a very poor Wolfe. None of this stops And Be a Villain from being one of the better stories, with Stout having lots of fun at the expense of the commercial world, a frequent theme during his post-war period.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites 25 Nov 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In my opinion the best of the Wolfe opus. Plot, dialogue and that magical relationship between Nero and Archie are absolutely first rate. If you haven't yet read it I envy you!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Dialog Makes the Story 5 Oct 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Nero Wolfe needs a case and fortunately a murder occurs right on the radio for Wolfe to solve. One of the guests on the Madeline Fraser radio program has been poisoned. At first it looks like the murderer may have killed the wrong person but Wolfe isn't so sure. So he offers the host, the station, and the sponsors (the victim was killed with poison placed in a sample of the soda of one of the sponsors) for the opportunity to hire him to solve the case and they all jump at the chance.

In a big case like this, Inspector Cramer is involved and he is very unhappy. His investigation is going nowhere and when Wolfe starts looking into the case he quickly discovers that everyone is lying, even those it would seem have no reason to lie. I'll admit that I was left spinning with no clue as to who the culprit could be. But I also admit that figuring out who did it wasn't what kept me reading.

As always, it is the dialog that makes the story. Whether it is between Archie and Wolfe, Archie and the suspects, or Archie and the police, it is always fun.

The victim (Cyril Orchard) has been killed by cyanide in a bottle of a soda called Hi-Spot. Wolfe and Archie are working out the mechanics of the killing with samples of Hi-Spot.

Archie starts:

"If Orchard had never never drunk Hi-Spot before he wouldn't know whether it tasted right or not, and even if he didn't like it, they were on the air and just for politeness he would have gulped some down. Anyway he drank enough to kill him, so what does it matter what we think?"

"He may have drunk it before. Anyway, the murderer would have had to assume that he might have. Would the difference in taste be too great a hazard?"

"I see." I sipped. "Not so bad." I sipped again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nero Wolfe wins again! 14 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Magical as ever, a neatly plotted crime (though I identified the killer earlier than usual!), the food and the great period detail of post-War New York.
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