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Murder by the Book (Nero Wolfe Mysteries)

Murder by the Book (Nero Wolfe Mysteries) [Kindle Edition]

Rex Stout
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

When everyone who has read Leonard Dykes's unpublished manuscript--including the author himself--is found dead, Nero Wolfe, along with his sidekick, decides to set a trap.


A cryptic quotation from the Bible, a list of names in a dead man's apartment, and a mysterious missing book are clues in a multiple murder case.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1569 KB
  • Print Length: 257 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0553763113
  • Publisher: Bantam (12 May 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003JPW0E2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,549 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please visit a "mecca of reason and refinement" 27 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
With an ingenuous plot, witty writing and congenial storytelling, the Nero Wolfe mysteries offer high class entertainment (even) to the literary minded reader.
I've been a long time fan of Nero Wolfe and now it is a pleasure to revisit him in that almost mythical town, New York City, dubbed by S. Greenleaf "a mecca of reason and refinement", an epithet that should apply also, of course, to Nero Wolfe's home, the "old brownstone on West 35th Street", thanks to its inhabitants, besides the master detective himself, Nero Wolfe, Archie Goodwin, his man Friday, Fritz his cook, Theodore his gardener (on the roof)...

5 stars to this book and to all other Nero Wolfe mysteries!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder by the Book 25 Nov 2003
By Horselover_Fat - Published on
Written with such a mastery over words and phrases, that it's really hard not to like it. I've read almost every Nero Wolfe novel and while this one is not my absolute favorite, it has several scenarios that I find among the most memorable. The first being the 'scam' that Wolfe and Goodwin contrive to attempt to lure the murderer to the sister of one of the people who've read the book - this is expertly handled and quite thorough. The second is (I'm obviously not going in order :P) the 'group interrogation' with the dozen or so secretaries. But there's alot of little nuances throughout the novel that are professional touches that make it seem almost as if the characters are real and that you're reading a piece of history. Stout's almost tedious attention to detail is more fuller appreciated the more you read it, or better yet listen to the audiobook (read by Michael Prichard).
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, But It Has a Flaw 7 Nov 2003
By James A. White - Published on
This mystery is wonderful, whether you are a new Stout fan or an old afficionado. Since the other reviewers have discussed the plot, I won't delve into it much. Basically, a man, Leonard Dykes, has written a story and everyone who reads it (he, the woman at the publishing house, and the typist) is killed. The father of the woman from the publishing house, Joan Wellman, hires Wolfe because he is not satisfied with the police's efforts. The rest of the story is fairly formulaic for the Stout series: Wolfe is arrogant, sticks to his schedule, and never leaves the Brownstone. Archie is sarcastic, lures the women, and is a 1940s man-about-town.

There are two differnt things about this story: one good, one bad. First, the bad: Stout doesn't explain the alibi of the murderer. The killer says there is one, and Wolfe starts to dispute it, but Cramer stops him. Therefore, we never find out how the killer contrived the alibi. This may not bother some, but for me, it's frustrating. As for the good, Archie's (perhaps) ultimate love interest is found in this book, in the form of a plump, older, married woman. Don't worry: Archie does nothing wrong, but he sure does think about it...

Bottom line: Well up to Stout's usual standards, with extra interest. The flaw, though, keeps it from being five stars.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the Best 3 Sep 2001
By Richard A. Lupoff - Published on
Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe / Archie Goodwin books comprise one of the best mystery series of all time, and *Murder by the Book* is one of the best of the series. Sparkling with Stout's sharp wit, brilliant in detail and characterization, rich in period ambiance, the book is a total pleasure from start to finish. Even from the viewpoint of formal detection, usually not one of Stout's stronger points, this one is a flawless gem. The fact that it is out out print is little short of appalling, but the fact that used copies (as well as "audios") are readily available save the day. Still, the book deserves to be reissued and to be kept in print for posterity.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a client for the victims, not the accused 17 Mar 2002
By Michele L. Worley - Published on
Format:Audio Cassette
(If you're interested in an audio edition, Michael Pritchard's unabridged narration is pretty good.)
We begin with the murder of a man who had no life: Leonard Dykes, fished out of the river on New Year's Day, a confidential clerk in the law firm of Corrigan, Phelps, Custen, and Briggs. No family (other than a married sister in California), no lovers, no unsavoury habits, no money problems (neither debts nor a large net worth), no problems with his job. Somebody somewhere, though, hit him on the head before leaving him to drown, and ransacked Dykes' apartment, but the only thing the Manhattan homicide squad could find was a single sheet of paper in a book, with a list of men's names, none of whom could be found in New York City.
Stuck, Cramer pays a call at the brownstone, but Wolfe can only suggest that Dykes or someone he knew had tried to come up with an alias for someone, but never used it. Cramer, frustrated (and embarrassed at having sunk so low as to ask for help without getting anywhere), leaves it at that.
Six weeks later, John R. Wellman hires Wolfe to find the man who killed his daughter Joan; he's not satisfied with the Bronx's handling of the case. From a letter, he knows that after Joan rejected a manuscript - "Put Not Your Trust", by Baird Archer - for her publishing firm, Archer had made an appointment to see her privately and get feedback on how to improve it, and the appointment coincided with her death. But nobody can find either the man or the manuscript. Wolfe has no information that the police don't have - collectively, between Manhattan and the Bronx - but he remembers that "Baird Archer" was one of the names on Dykes' list. So begins the hunt for "Put Not Your Trust", beginning with a search of all the typing services in the city - and soon another murder is added to the tally, that of typist Rachel Abrahms, only minutes before Archie could speak to her.
Stout has given us a real story here - where the lives of the survivors have been torn up with the loss of their daughters, with a man who's going against the advice of his pastor and his wife in hiring Wolfe. Not that it's a tale *only* of human suffering; Archie's telling it, after all. As balance, Wellman's a bit disturbed by Wolfe's tactics at times, particularly when Wolfe decides to have Archie go to work on extracting information from the female clerical staff of Dykes' law firm. Fritz nobly offers to help with the ladies, since there are so many. :)
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wolfe's Top Plot 3 Aug 1999
By A Customer - Published on
This doesn't seem to be a well known Wolfe story, but I think it's one of the best three. It's outstanding for the cleverness of the plot, which is not always a Stout strength. For once, Wolfe really has to unravel complex cause and effect like a Poirot, and there's no cheating of the reader.
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