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THREE MEN OUT (The Rex Stout library)

THREE MEN OUT (The Rex Stout library) [Kindle Edition]

Rex Stout
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Nero Wolfe and sidekick Archie Goodwin attempt to solve three puzzling cases of murder: in one, a person's questions lead to his death; another finds a man killed in a soundproof office; and in the last, a baseball rookie is removed from the lineup through murder.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1378 KB
  • Print Length: 165 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1480108480
  • Publisher: Crimeline (3 Aug 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004SOQ1GG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #128,006 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I am a devout Wolfie 6 April 2014
By buffer
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have been getting Nero Wolfe books (Kindle) since i saw the excellant tv series, pity that came to and end, but i read & re-read the books, each time different
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dated but worth a read 31 July 2013
By Dorya
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thought I'd read all the Nero Wolfe stories, but these were new to me. Amusing and tricky as always.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An aging playboy, a probability wizard, and the World Series 10 May 2002
By Michele L. Worley - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The cases herein occurred in October 1952 and late May 1953, which is odd, because while those were Wolfe's glory days, the collection is rather weak.
"Invitation to Murder" - a.k.a. "Will to Murder" - Aging rake Herman Lewent was disinherited by his father; his sister Beryl was left with instructions to 'consider his needs', and made him an adequate allowance for many years. After she died a year ago of ptomaine poisoning, her husband Theodore Huck was left with similar instructions and nothing changed. But Lewent believes that Huck is considering remarriage, and wants to identify the lady and ingratiate himself without being obvious about it. There are only 3 candidates: Huck's housekeeper, nurse, and secretary; they're all young and attractive, and Huck's bad arteries keep him housebound in a wheelchair. All Lewent wants are a few hours of Archie's time and maybe 10 minutes of Wolfe's. Wolfe refuses the job on those terms - so Lewent changes the proposal: discover which woman could have helped poison his sister Beryl. If no poisoning occurred, he's got his original answer; if it was murder and Huck was involved, Lewent will finally get a lump sum under his sister's will upon her husband's death.
Whether or not Beryl was murdered, Lewent certainly was shortly after Archie started on the case. Unfortunately the story develops problems at that point - Archie, after discovering the body, opts not to report it to the cops for reasons that seem half-baked, and things go downhill from there. Although it's interesting to read, it's enough to make me question Archie's sanity.
"The Zero Clue" - a.k.a. "Scared to Death" - Dying-clue mystery, far more typical of Ellery Queen than Stout, in which probability wizard Leo Heller apparently left a clue to the identity of the person who killed him, but naturally it's not intelligible to anyone but the master detective. On principle I generally rate this kind of thing at the level of a crossword puzzle than a story - the more convoluted the "obvious" clue is, the more tortured the rationale behind it. (Dannay & Lee got the hang of putting acceptable rationales behind such clues for Ellery Queen, but it takes practice.)
"This Won't Kill You" - As Wolfe says, a guest is a jewel on the cushion of hospitality, so when one such jewel - Pierre Mondor, one of the great chefs of the world - wanted Wolfe to take him to a baseball game, Wolfe feels obligated, and Archie has to tag along. Archie would ordinarily love attending a NY Giants game during the World Series, but he has a terrible day, what with 2 companions who know *nothing* about the game - and picture Wolfe in an ordinary stadium seat. So when the part-owner of the Giants who arranged their tickets calls Wolfe to the clubhouse in the 6th inning, neither he nor Archie argues, even when Chisholm's problem is that somebody's been doping the soda in the players' cooler...
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Distinguished By Numbers, Locales and Crimes 13 Oct 2004
By John P Bernat - Published on
In the early 1950s Nero Wolfe was famous. His stories had become so well known that, as is depicted in two of the three in this collection, Archie is instantly recognized on the street as a celebrity (in one of them he's asked for his autograph).

This collection represents, then, "middle Wolfe." He was franchising by then: radio plays, a short-lived TV show, and even a Nero Wolfe comic strip. Nero Wolfe chewing gum? Nero Wolfe frozen dinners?

The collection, three stories originally published in the "American Magazine," ties together by hand gestures and symbols.

One of them, "The Zero Clue," is distinguished by at least one attribute which is startlingly fresh today: terrorism and mass murder. Mostly, Rex Stout's work could be called modified "murder in a teacup:" the victim's body is found in the vicar's rose garden and the brilliant detective, through daring deduction, exposes the killer.

Wolfe's work differed in a few ways: Archie leaned toward the "hard boiled" school, and setting these in New York introduced a little grit.

The Zero Clue involves a bombing in a hospital - shocking ideas in any time period, but particularly heinous in early 1950s America. Wolfe figures out whodunit, all right, but what is almost more shocking is the motive.

This book is hard to find; the stories are classic, if a little outlandish, pieces in the whole Rex Stout puzzle. Last point: A&E would have a hard time staging these stories - when you read them you'll know why.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Left on Base 3 Jun 2012
By Ohioan - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm a big fan of Nero and Archie and also a big fan of baseball, so I chuckled over the title of this book after I learned that one of the three stories takes place at a Giants baseball game. A World Series game, no less, and one attended (grudgingly) by Wolfe himself because he can't say no to a guest. In general, I never find Stout's collections of three as interesting as I find his novels. The stories usually seem quick and easy, without deep thought and hard work given to the situations and clues. In this collection, all three stories are a bit blah. But, as always, they're worth reading for the characters of Archie and Nero.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lesser work from a master of detection 3 Jun 2012
By brass cannon - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Rex Stout's "Three Men Out" is a collection of three stories from the 1950's of his master detective, Nero Wolfe, and his sidekick, Archie Goodwin.

In "Invitation to Murder", where Wolfe sends Archie to find out which of three women has her hooks in the client's uncle, and Archie tricks Wolfe into leaving his home on business.

In "The Zero Clue", Archie goes to the office of a mathematics genius who rivals Wolfe in solving mysteries, fails to discover his body, and Wolfe reveals the killer to the entire homicide squad of Manhattan.

In "This Won't Kill You", Wolfe, Archie and Wolfe's guest go to the seventh game of the World Series at the Polo Grounds (where the Giants played when they were a New York team) and Wolfe is asked to solve the mystery of who drugged four players so the Red Sox could win the series (as a die-hard Red Sox fan, apparently the only way Stout could visualize the Sox winning the series was with chemical help.) It peaks in one of the most dangerous situations Archie has ever been in, and later Wolfe, still at the ball park, unmasks a killer.

Each of the stories involves a minor puzzle and usually Wolfe makes a critical observation that leads him to the culprit without resorting to the lip exercises he does when he's really working. They don't have the rich flavor of the longer works, but they are still enjoyable.

3 and a half stars, rounded up to four.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Archie & Me 14 Feb 2012
By Orionboc - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Something strange is going on in Rex Stout's THREE MEN OUT: His clever gene is on vacation. While it is always fun to follow the adventures of Archie Goodwin and to see how Nero Wolfe puzzles things out, THREE MEN OUT is about as disappointing a Stout collection as you are going to get.

I just read THREE MEN OUT for the first time and I only have a handful of Nero Wolfe stories and novels I have not visited yet. Nearly 70 tales into the catalog, I have seen a couple of stumbles before, but not three in one set that have little energy or zest. Among the let-downs, in "Invitation To Murder", Archie finds himself in a mansion with three attractive women and gets nowhere with any of them. (Say it ain't so, Arch!). Leo Heller's dying clue in "The Zero Clue" is so convoluted that it stretches the 'suspension of disbelief' beyond reasonable limits. Finally, my favorite in the set, "This Won't Kill You" is interesting for getting NW in a seat at the Polo Grounds (and I am a sucker for anything baseball), and it is generally well-written, but the conclusion is fairly trite.

Now, don't get me wrong: a weak Nero Wolfe story is better than 99.9% of what is out there, but it was a bit of a shock to see that the great Rex was human after all.
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Without such a rule a private detective is the slave of all the exigencies of his neighbors, and in New York there are ten million of them. &quote;
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When his quick little gray eyes met yours straight, as they did, you had the feeling that he knew a lot of the answers and could supply good guesses on the ones he hadn’t worked out. &quote;
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Mr. Goodwin, who is subordinate only when it suits his temperament and convenience, &quote;
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