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Summary

Nero Wolfe and his capable assistant, Archie, help a rich old lady uncover the mysterious source of her husband's money. The case leads them unexpectedly to the country's most dangerous man. And if the sleuths want to live, they'll have to consider an alien idea: run and hide. That will be no small feat for the wide Mr. Wolfe.
Stout fellow: listen to all of our Nero Wolfe mysteries, including classic radio programs!
©1950 Rex Stout (P)1995 Books on Tape Inc.

Critic reviews

"It's always a treat to read a Nero Wolfe mystery. The man has entered our folklore." ( The New York Times)
"What's not to like about a Nero Wolfe mystery? The mysteries are short, cleverly plotted, well paced, and, if you're an audiobook listener, wonderfully read by Michael Prichard....Prichard has read nearly 20 books in Stout's series and has mastered Wolfe's deep, meditative voice and Archie's spry, chipper voice, as well as those of a host of other characters we recognize from one recording to the next." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-04-07

Nero Wolfe never fails

Great story. Love the voice work.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 20-11-13

My least favorite Nero Wolfe

This story follows a powerful criminal character introduced in And Be a Villain leading to a somewhat anticlimactic showdown with Nero Wolfe. I really like almost every Nero Wolfe novel, and even the ones I don’t particularly like, I don’t dislike them. This is the one I really did not like. I found the powerful criminal and conflict too derivative of Holmes and Moriarty. I don’t want to spoil any of the surprising bits for anyone, but I did not find them interesting or compelling. This is the only book of the series I actually wish I had not read, as the off characterizations here very subtly degraded my relationships with the series characters. I very highly recommend the series, but I would skip this and even And Be a Villain if I had it to do over again.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • private
  • 12-06-17

loved it!

favorite nero wolfe (so far). many unusual and unexpected events. the twists in the story kept me engaged until the very end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • IndyInAsiaPacific
  • 16-04-16

Ultimately Satisfying

This seemed a bit of a slow starter, as Rex Stout stories go, but eventually got going and proved ultimately satisfying, with Archie exhibiting fine phonated form, and Wolfe unusually discomfited.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rebekah52
  • 10-06-15

Excellent nail biter

I was really worried about my heroes but as usual, good triumphed over evil. This might be one of Reed's best woven plots!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • 20-03-18

Most Satisfactory

Not a story for one new to Wolfe due to references from several earlier novels, but a must read if one has read/listened to most of the series.

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  • Michael
  • 13-10-17

Best Stout Ever!

Great story...great villain...stretches Archie's character to new dimensions. Best episode in Stout's series. Highly recommend it.

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  • Vi Clyne
  • 12-10-17

one of his best

I loved this book. I've read it twice. will do so again. first rate story.

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  • Andrew Erlanger
  • 17-09-17

How did the reader stay awake?

The reader of this book sounds like he would rather be anywhere other than reading it. Slow, dull, like he couldn't care less about the the book.

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  • Moe M.
  • 14-09-17

One of the best Nero stories so far

This was the battle I had been waiting for. And it didn't disappoint. NW's greatest strategies