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A Family Affair | [Rex Stout]

A Family Affair

Nero Wolfe's last recorded case! Wolfe never works without a well-heeled client and a sizable fee, but when a bomb racks his brownstone, killing his favorite waiter from his favorite restaurant, the world's greatest gourmet takes it as a personal affront. What kind of unsavory killer commits murder within 10 feet of a legendary detective? It's a question Wolfe will go to heroic lengths to answer.
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Publisher's Summary

Nero Wolfe's last recorded case! Wolfe never works without a well-heeled client and a sizable fee, but when a bomb racks his brownstone, killing his favorite waiter from his favorite restaurant, the world's greatest gourmet takes it as a personal affront. What kind of unsavory killer commits murder within 10 feet of a legendary detective? It's a question Wolfe will go to heroic lengths to answer. But even as he and Archie uncover an unappetizing brew of conspiracy and lies, the killer serves up a second helping of homicide, and Wolfe is left to face a most unpalatable truth.

Stout fellow: explore our list of Nero Wolfe mysteries, including novels and classic radio programs.

©1975 Rex Stout; (P)2000 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

"It is always a treat to read a Nero Wolfe mystery. The man has entered our folklore." (The New York Times)
"Reader Michael Prichard delivers a convincing rendition of Archie Goodwin....a well-paced narration." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (106 )
5 star
 (69)
4 star
 (26)
3 star
 (9)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.5 (75 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.7 (78 )
5 star
 (61)
4 star
 (12)
3 star
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2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 05-24-14
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 05-24-14 Member Since 2015

    I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Last and One of the Best Nero Wolfe Novels"

    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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Vacaville, CA, USA 12-19-07
    Stephen Vacaville, CA, USA 12-19-07
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    "A must read"

    If you are a Nero Wolf fan this is a must read! Extremely well read a pleasure to listen to!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Kelley NORTHPORT, ALABAMA, United States 02-09-15
    Matthew Kelley NORTHPORT, ALABAMA, United States 02-09-15 Member Since 2010

    I teach American Literature and am the proud daddy of a 2 year old.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Joy to visit the old Brownstone Again"
    What did you love best about A Family Affair?

    Reading a Rex Stout novel is a visit with old friends. Wolfe and Archie, Fritz and Cramer, and the rest, everyone is in top form here. I give it 4 starts rather than 5 because I didn't care for the ending (no spoilers here). Still, it is a delight.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Prichard’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. However, I'll be listening to more.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Foe Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, this time it is personal!


    Any additional comments?

    If you don't know this series, you really should try it. The relationships between the characters trumps the mystery element and thus, the books hold up to repeated readings.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vales Tales Northern California 02-08-15
    Vales Tales Northern California 02-08-15 Member Since 2014

    Rabbi Steve the Storyteller

    ratings
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    "Great ending for a great series"

    Well it doesn't usually make any difference what order you read the Nero Wolfe series of books in, this one should be read last no matter what.

    It was the last book that Rex Stout wrote and published, shortly before he died.

    and it puts a little bowtie on some character arcs that had been going on for many years.

    Some of the later Rex Stout written Nero Wolfe books, include references that date them more than some of the older books. He included more 60s and early 70s jargon, and made references to events that were correct in the news, not just in passing, but often over and over again, and sometimes (as here), it had something to do with the plot.

    Nevertheless, at least for this book, it doesn't get in the way of a very enjoyable read, whether reading the text version, or listening to the audio version.

    I would definitely put this one in my top 10 list. I don't think I would ever put it in my top three, or maybe even top five.

    However, it's when I do read and listen to over and over again.

    I know this is getting redundant and my reviews about this series, but Michael Prichard's performance here is typically top notch. Even the worst of this series (which is better than some of the best of many others), is worth listening too many times just because of Prichard's excellent reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas R. Pratt northern VA 02-04-15
    Douglas R. Pratt northern VA 02-04-15 Member Since 2007

    Douglas R. Pratt

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    "Beautiful and bittersweet, the last Nero Wolfe"

    Michael Pritchard does a fine job as always. Archie is at top form as are all of our old friends. One last confrontation with Inspector Cramer caps off the story well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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