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Fer-De-Lance | [Rex Stout]

Fer-De-Lance

When someone makes a present of a fer-de-lance - the dreaded snake - to Nero Wolfe, Archie Goodwin knows he's close to solving two apparently unrelated murders. As for Wolfe, he's playing snake charmer in a case more deadly than a cobra and whistling a seductive tune he hopes will catch a killer with poison in his heart.
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Publisher's Summary

When someone makes a present of a fer-de-lance - the dreaded snake - to Nero Wolfe, Archie Goodwin knows he's close to solving two apparently unrelated murders.

As for Wolfe, he's playing snake charmer in a case more deadly than a cobra and whistling a seductive tune he hopes will catch a killer with poison in his heart.

Stout fellow: listen to all of our Nero Wolfe mysteries, including classic radio programs!

©1934 Rex Stout; (P)1994 Books on Tape Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Fer-de-Lance is the first mystery novel ever written by Rex Stout....[it] will be welcomed by the legions of Rex Stout fans and serve as a welcome introduction to a whole new generation of mystery buffs." (Midwest Book Review)
"A 1934 period mystery that is remarkably fresh." (The Roanoke Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (251 )
5 star
 (116)
4 star
 (99)
3 star
 (21)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
4.4 (140 )
5 star
 (72)
4 star
 (49)
3 star
 (16)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.4 (142 )
5 star
 (86)
4 star
 (40)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Patricia 10-19-11
    Patricia 10-19-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "poor technical"

    For a book recorded so recently it has static and deleted words throughout. Despite this it is well performed and a good story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Longview, TX, United States 05-10-12
    Linda Longview, TX, United States 05-10-12 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    95
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    349
    39
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    23
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This story is dated"

    Hummm - not terrible - think of it as retro. I won't purchase more from this author.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald E. Campbell Pearl, MS USA 06-10-14
    Donald E. Campbell Pearl, MS USA 06-10-14 Member Since 2012

    reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    32
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Street Smart Mystery"
    Any additional comments?

    Two initial points. First, this is the first Rex Stout/Nero Wolfe novel that I have listened to. Second, the narrator is awesome. He sounds exactly how you would expect Goodwin/Wolfe to sound. I thought the story line was fine. I really liked the unexpected comedic turn of phrase or description that Stout sticks in every now and then. It really made the story come to life. You definitely get to know the characters. I'm looking forward to the next book. If I have a criticism it is that the book at times gets bogged down. I listened to it on a long trip and at one point I just had to turn it off and sit in silence. I needed the break. Don't let that deter you from giving it a listen though. It is well written and the narrator really is amazing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 04-12-14
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 04-12-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    753
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    370
    370
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    92
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This is special and different."

    Unexpected things happen.

    The author’s mind is quirky - like he comes from another place. I’m frequently chuckling and smiling over the dialogue or what somebody does. So many authors sound alike when it comes to mysteries. Rex Stout is different. I would read more mysteries if they were like this.

    The author began writing the Nero Wolfe series in 1934. Nero Wolfe is an extremely obese man who doesn’t like to leave his home. He is an eccentric genius. Archie Goodwin works for him and does the investigating, errands, and running around.

    This is the first book in the series. They can be read as stand alones.

    The audiobook narrator Michael Prichard was good.

    Genre: PI mystery

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy F. Sierra Foothills, Northern CA 07-15-13
    Nancy F. Sierra Foothills, Northern CA 07-15-13 Member Since 2007

    Live on edge of National Forest with lake, birds & wild animals. No more perfect place to indulge life-long love of reading.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    82
    75
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    1
    14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pre WWII Elegance and Ambience"

    My norm is to look for long books -- give me 30 or 40 hrs and I'm quite happy. This book is 8 and 1/2 hrs. I bought it because a reviewer I follow gave it very high praise. I'm so glad I did.

    The economy of words in this book borders on elegant, no long phrases that are redundant or empty of impactful information (I love Clancy, but, just saying ...). There is a density to this book that makes the short length completely beside the point.

    Prichard complements the book's ambience wonderfully well with his narration and character portrayals. Very real feel of the mid-1930's in NE America.

    I loved this whole book, so why only 4 stars for the story? Every once and a while a clue is introduced with the clear sense that the reader had already been acquainted with this information -- those came out of the blue periodically. Definitely not a major deterrent; more like small road bumps.

    If you love a good mystery with Christie like sleuthing, you will thoroughly enjoy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harry Heightman 07-23-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Michael Prichard is a perfect match for Archie."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Fer-De-Lance to be better than the print version?

    Yes. When I read Nero Wolfe stories, I hear Michael Prichard's voice. His delivery is far better than mine. It's not the same experience without him.


    What other book might you compare Fer-De-Lance to and why?

    The Nero Wolfe / Michael Prichard combination is in a class by itself. The only books I might compare this to are other titles in the series.


    What about Michael Prichard’s performance did you like?

    The pace and timing of his reading, the wonderful voices he creates for the characters, especially Wolfe, and the clear distinction he makes among the characters.


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

    The American Watson and Holmes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith Hesperia, CA, United States 03-26-12
    Judith Hesperia, CA, United States 03-26-12 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I love Nero Wolf stories"
    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    It kept me interested, if not on the edge of my seat


    What about Michael Prichard’s performance did you like?

    He sounds as though we should be Nero Wof, rather than Archie, but he is a good reader and uses enthusiam in his reading.


    Any additional comments?

    Can't wait to listen to my next Nero Wolf book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sonya 02-25-12
    Sonya 02-25-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thank you Michael Prichard and Rex Stout"
    If you could sum up Fer-De-Lance in three words, what would they be?

    Rex Stout is unequivocal in interweaving wit, mystery, humor and humanity. Like no other author, he makes me feel like I can visit in my own living room with my own weaknesses and find ways to befriend them on intellectual grounds . . . and to love the best and worst of human beingness . . . what a gift!

    Micheal Prichard might be equally as astounding, as he has given such a pertinent and adept interpretation to the characters with his voice. As much as I have absolutely loved the Nero Wolf stories over the years - I could never listen to them without a voice whose talent matches the authors!!! I wish it were possible for Mr. Prichard to complete the Nero Wolf Stories - I am positive that I will be buying them all, one-at-a-time.

    Even though one is in heaven and one on earth - thank you both very much.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carla 12-13-11
    Carla 12-13-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I love wolfe!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Fer-De-Lance to be better than the print version?

    Yes. Mr piller makes Wolfe seem real to me.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I love any scene where Wolfe and Archie are in disagreement.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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