• And Four to Go

  • This foursome contains a fatal fete, a toxic orchid, a speech turned funeral oration, & a murderer dressed to kill. Vintage mystery fare.
  • By: Rex Stout
  • Narrated by: Michael Prichard
  • Series: Nero Wolfe, Book 30
  • Length: 6 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (343 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Nero Wolfe and his assistant, Archie Goodwin, star in these four gems.

In "The Christmas Party", Archie and his fiancée attend an office party where Wolfe condescends to uncharacteristic theatrics. His dramatic technique is good, but it isn't enough to clear him from suspicion of murder. The "Easter Parade" tempts Wolfe to commit petty larceny for an orchid. Though that crime goes unpunished, the inevitable murder doesn't. "A Fourth of July Picnic" has Wolfe scheduled for an unprecedented appearance as an orator. But his day in the sun is rained out by murder. The last selection, "Murder Is No Joke", is a whodunit in a couturier's salon, where a murderer is dressed to kill and kill again.

Stout fellow: explore our list of Nero Wolfe mysteries, including novels and classic radio programs.
©1958 Rex Stout (P)1997 Books on Tape

Critic Reviews

"It is always a treat to read a Nero Wolfe mystery. The man has entered our folklore." (The New York Times)

What listeners say about And Four to Go

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Two of the Best Wolfe Shorts and Two Ok

This book contains four Nero Wolfe short stories; Christmas Party, Easter Parade, Fourth of July Picnic, and Murder Is No Joke (later expanded into the novel Frame-Up for Murder). Although I love short stories in general, I have not enjoyed the Nero Wolfe short stories as much as the novels. I really like the way Stout develops the story and characters in his novels, while his short stories often are missing something for me and generally seem rushed. Two of these four shorts were pleasurable exceptions. I really liked Christmas Party and Easter Parade. Both of these two stories had limited twists, but what they had were quite good. The other two were not bad. The narration was first-rate at usual.

7 people found this helpful

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Good, but Not Great Archie & Wolfe Quartet

The story Murder is No Joke is the shorter & weaker version of Frame-up for Murder, which appears in Death Times Three. The much improved Flora Gallant in that story is much more interesting & gives Archie a stronger motivation for getting involved.

Fourth of July Picnic is one of my least favorite Wolfe & Archie stories. Weak plot & almost no detection. Very weak characters.

Easter Parade is not far ahead or behind (depending on how you look at it). Only the character of Tabby makes it almost likable.

The best story, Christmas Party, also suffers from mostly flat characters, archetypes & stereotypes, and only Santa Claus makes it fun.

Overall, maybe my least favorite Archie & Nero book.

HOWEVER, even the *worst* of Wolfe is better than almost anything else when read by Michael Prichard. His rendition of the regulars, as well as a few of the "guest stars", is worth the price of admission.

We also get a thumbnail autobiography of Wolfe in one story, that fleshes out (sorry for the pun there) Wolfe's early pre-NYC days a bit.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Worst narrator ever

I much prefer the full-length Rex Stout to short stories- in addition, Michael Pritchard reads as though he is shouting across a noisy room, making this book, for me, unlistenable.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great Stories and a top rated reader too!

I have been a fan of Nero Wolfe for years now, and I am always looking for new stories that I have never heard. I also love the reading of Michael Pritchard. He really makes the stories come to life!

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Love This Narrator

To me Michael is the forever voice of Archie and Nero Wolfe. I have all his Nero Wolfe books!

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Four great short stories.

Classic collection of short stories about Nero Wolf. Michael Pritchard is the narrator. His efforts add to the story telling with a authentic touch.

Christmas Party, Easter Parade, Fourth of July Picnic, and Murder is No Joke.

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Four stories in one book!

There are four stories in one book to enjoy. Each story is obviously a shorter version of a regular Nero who dun it. Archie and Nero are just as funny interacting and Nero is still just as grouchy with people acting stupid. The conclusions are rather abrupt due to the shorter time. I like listening to these shorter stories before bed. I use the bookmark feature of the audible app and make a note where each story begins to find it easier next time.

Narrator is excellent as always. Can’t imagine anyone else reading a Rex Stout mystery involving Nero and Archie. :)

I gave one less star due to the stories being wrapped up abruptly to be shorter stories. There is less information to go on and a bit more predictable, due to plot being so short.

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4 Short Stories, 3 During Holidays & All Great.

Christmas, Easter & 4th of July are the backdrops of 3 of these short stories. All 4 are extremely entertaining, the 4th was part of another short story collection but so worth another listen.

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Excellent Escape

This collection of some of Nero Wolfe adventures was entertaining and well paced. I enjoyed listening to them while I worked.

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More of the Same Old Wolfe...GREAT!

Any additional comments?

Rex Stout was always masterful with his treatment of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. But he was at his absolute best in his short stories/novellas. All of these shorties are tightly woven, fast-paced, and immediately interesting. The characters are diverse, and the storylines are quick. Nero even ventures far afield in some cases...an added bonus! Strongly recommend this one!