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In the Best Families | [Rex Stout]

In the Best Families

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.
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Publisher's 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.

What the Critics Say

"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 Rating

4.5 (144 )
5 star
 (95)
4 star
 (38)
3 star
 (6)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
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Overall
4.6 (90 )
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 (92 )
5 star
 (69)
4 star
 (21)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-16-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Nero Wolfe never fails"

    Great story. Love the voice work.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 11-20-13
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 11-20-13 Member Since 2002

    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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    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggy Robertsdale, AL, United States 05-15-13
    Peggy Robertsdale, AL, United States 05-15-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Archie! Cease this flummery and buy the book!"
    Would you listen to In the Best Families again? Why?

    this was the second listen. first time round I didn't do the books in chronological order.


    What did you like best about this story?

    All the favorite Archie/Wolfe moments are there.


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

    spot on as usual.


    Any additional comments?

    In a world where change happens almost instantly its good to slip back into the old Brownstone and pull up a barstool in Fritz's kitchen where eggs are never fried, and settle in to a good mystery with Archie whispering wise cracks in your ear as Wolfe settles back in the only chair that satisfies him and works his way through the clues and clients. Ahhh forget change and give me comforting routine with characters I really care about.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Griggs 05-07-13
    G. Griggs 05-07-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful Listening Experience"

    The Story itself was wonderful and gave a more Three Dimensional feel to Archie Goodwin.
    Using the story vehicle as Nero Wolfe's Moriarty it was one of the best developed stories and closes an Arc. I have not been listening to the stories in any correct order but must go back and listen to them again, in order. It will be as enjoyable the second time i am sure.
    As Always the narration by Michael Prichard was wonderful it is hard to find better.

    The technical glitches are still evident and endemic in this series, maybe the transcription from Tape to downloadable audio i do not know. things like Volume and Equalization of voice, pitch changes and the like. This is the main reason a 5 star for overall is withheld.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barrie Corp Gainesville, Florida United States 01-26-13
    Barrie Corp Gainesville, Florida United States 01-26-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Nero Wolfe is the best!!"
    What did you love best about In the Best Families?

    It does th best introduction of Wolfe's greatest enermy Arnold Zeck. If Wolfe is the American version of Sherlock Holmes, then Zeck is his Professor Moriarty.


    Which character – as performed by Michael Prichard – was your favorite?

    Wolfe himself. Though he reads the book from Archie's perspective, the voice he uses to portray Wolfe is the one I heard in my head when I first started reading these books years ago.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. Only reason I stopped was because we hit our destination for the day's traveling.


    Any additional comments?

    I am a big Nero Wolfe fan and have read all of the books so my review is biased obviously. But my sister who rode with me the day I listened to it, is not as big a fan and she enjoyed it as well. Stout's interplay between Archie and Wolfe is one of the best in literature. It's what made me read all of the Nero Wolfe Stories. And it's what I enoyed about each of them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary WESTERLO, NY, United States 12-05-12
    Mary WESTERLO, NY, United States 12-05-12 Member Since 2012
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    "one of rex stouts best"
    If you could sum up In the Best Families in three words, what would they be?

    many new turns


    What was one of the most memorable moments of In the Best Families?

    at the end when nero condems the killer for how he treated the dog.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    the way they set up the head crok


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    very much yes


    Any additional comments?

    I am very fond of rex stout, this is the best yet

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Roswell, GA, United States 03-05-12
    William Roswell, GA, United States 03-05-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Nero steps out of the box in this one."
    Would you consider the audio edition of In the Best Families to be better than the print version?

    In general, I listen rather than read because I have a long commute. The books-on-iPod make the journey so much more enjoyable.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of In the Best Families?

    When you find that Nero has lost over 100 lbs to go undercover! It was astonishing that Nero was even able to go outside.


    What does Michael Prichard bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    Michael Prichard has a flat, dead-pan delivery that sounds (to me) like a private eye's recitation of the facts. He's not surprised because he's seen it all. I think Michael is a good fit with the Nero Wolfe series.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Neumar LI, NY 07-29-07
    L. Neumar LI, NY 07-29-07 Member Since 2006

    craft lover

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    "TYPICAL"

    Not unlike others that I have read... somewhat predictable, but ok.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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