I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
This is the first Nero Wolfe novel I have listened to and at first I found the narration off-putting. The narration seemed a little bland for the characters, but the more I listened, the more I enjoyed the narration. By the end, I was fully engaged. Of course the characters are unique, quirky, and fun. The story is interesting and the mystery is not stupid. This is the first Nero Wolfe novel and the characters are not quite as interesting as in later novels, but this was an excellent listen.
Unfortunately this recording has a number of pops, drops, and distortion, not too bad, but distracting and not up to the normal Audible quality.
This Nero Wolfe novel is the final in the fictional timeline and the last written by Stout. It is set in 1974 with references to Nixon, Ford and Watergate. This is a little weird as I always picture Archie and Wolfe as creatures of the 30s and 40s. If Archie was hired in 1930 and must have been at least 23, then in 1974 Archie would be 67, and the older Fritz and Wolfe are still alive and kicking in 1974? Oh well, you have to suspend disbelief for this timeline. Nevertheless the characters and relationships are at their best, the writing is excellent with lots of wit and detail, and the story is interesting with unexpected twists and a killer ending. The narration, as always, is excellent.
This is a must read for any lover of Nero Wolfe, but don’t make it your first of the series, or even your tenth. This should be one of the last read, as it will be more enjoyable if you know all the characters really well. This book is one of my all-time favorites of the series.
This collection contains three stories, two of which appear in different versions in other collections. The stories are Bitter End, Frame-Up for Murder (a later version of Murder is No Joke found in And Four to Go), and Assault on a Brownstone (an early version of Counterfeit for Murder found in Homicide Trinity). These were good stories, but two were repeats for me. Counterfeit for Murder is one of my favorite Wolfe stories and is better than Assault on a Brownstone. Frame-Up for Murder is a bit better than Murder is No Joke. Bitter End was quite enjoyable. I generally prefer the novels to short stories, but these are among the better Stout shorts.