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Summary

Leonard Dyke's writing style didn't offend. But all of his work featured unhappy endings: murders. When four people die, including the author, police finally call on Nero Wolfe. Wolfe baits a trap, and when it springs shut, he finds that truth is stranger (and bloodier) than fiction.
Stout fellow: listen to all of our Nero Wolfe mysteries, including classic radio programs!
©1951 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
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. W. Baker
  • 21-04-07

Good stuff

Michael Pritchard is one of the best voices out there for audiobooks and he's perfect for Nero Wolfe mysteries. This one has a pretty good plot and is worth a listen.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 26-11-13

Great Stout

This was another particularly excellent Nero Wolfe novel. One of the best I have listened to. The narration, as usual, was great. The story keeps moving and keeps interesting and fun. The plot has some of the most interesting twists and enjoyable character development of any of the Nero Wolfe novels. This one is worth reading more than once.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda
  • 03-11-12

Truly one of the best

I read all Rex Stouts books in the 70s, but fortunately I've forgotten most of them. I love them all, but this plot is particularly good.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Stephen
  • 19-12-07

A fun read

Rex Stout had an amazing way with words. His stories are fun, witty, and all around well written. And, as read by Michael Pritchard they truly come alive. All of them are gems and this one is no exception!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • PearlGirl
  • 19-08-09

Very good, with good ending

This is typical Archie Goodwin, the physical end of Nero Wolfe. I listened to this all night while sitting up on a train. I couldn't fall asleep until I knew whodunit. What happens in California will keep you guessing, for nothing is what it seems. Not RS's best, but very good.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • M. Giorgi
  • 26-02-12

What can I say, no one writes like Rex Stout.

Where does Murder By the Book rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

I listen to Rex Stout audiobooks over and over again. I go to sleep listening to one and wake up listening to another. Just a little obsessive. Good stuff.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I smile at the banter between Nero and Archie. The reader is quite good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rebekah52
  • 12-12-11

If you love a mystery, here's 4

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I love the character Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. I love the way Rex Stoudt puts dialog in Archie's mouth and Archie's little 'get even' tactics with Wolfe. Wolfe is a wonderful crazy genius and he and I both love orchids. This book, written in 1958 also is a lot of fun from the perspective of knowing they didn't have at their disposal the things we now have at our disposal. It's a lovely little time capsule so well done it's fun. Of course I also am a big fan of old black and white movies. The Narrator does a very good job and my intent is to savor each and everyone of the Nero Wolfe's.

What did you like best about this story?

Actually, I'm not crazy about short stories but as they go, these were fun. Wolfe ends up solving all four mysteries for free. You'll have to listen to find out why

What does Michael Prichard bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

My mother, an avid reader, introduced me to Nero Wolfe in the written form and when the series was on TV with Timothy Hutton, I was entranced by it. It brought me closer to her and a time when she influenced me. As to which is better eyes or ears... I happen to think that the same part of my brain is engaged whether I read with my eyes or my ears. Michael indeed does an excellent job of portraying Nero and Archie as well as the other recurring players. It's a delightful light listen that keeps you trying to beat Nero to the solution.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dan
  • 01-11-18

Got to live Nero Wolfe

Great story. the Narrator did a good job, but paused to much between sentences sometimes, which made you think there was a problem with the recording. Other than that it was awesome.

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  • mousewords
  • 20-08-18

Kept me guessing!

This was a solidly plotted excursion through the world of Nero Wolfe and his associates--chief among them the charismatic narrator, Archie Goodwin. Once again, Rex Stout manages to depict his characters' strong emotions under strict control; you can feel the clockworks of Wolfe's tortuous genius, the tempest of Archie's restless dependability.

This case takes Archie on a flying trip across the country, highly enjoyable for us readers as we get his take on the new environment and business-as-usual action and intrigue.

Michael Prichard shines in his performance of the perfect voices for Wolfe and Archie, not to mention countless other characters. The way Prichard reads a story pulls us into our imaginations, until we're right there in the Brownstone with the aroma of spare ribs and sauerkraut wafting from the kitchen.

This one kept me guessing as to whodunit--a great story that I'll enjoy listening to again!

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  • Chris T
  • 21-05-18

A Treat to Listen to Over and Over!

l love this series of Nero Wolfe mysteries. Each one is a entertaining mix of mystery, humor, and drama. Listen to the entire series, you won't regret it.