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Publisher's Summary

Cheaters never prosper, but Nero Wolfe encounters one who kills trying. At the Pour Amour perfume riddle contest, a million dollars goes to the contestant who can answer five questions. Someone doesn't like the heat of competition, so he murders the contest founder and steals the answers to the riddles. Now Wolfe has to sniff down a trail of clues that leads disturbingly close to home.
Stout fellow: explore our list of Nero Wolfe mysteries, including novels and classic radio programs.
©1955 Rex Stout (P)1995 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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • PITTSBURGH, PA, United States
  • 09-19-13

One of my favorites

Nero Wolfe has been my favorite detective since I began reading mysteries years ago. This one is one of my favorite Wolfes.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Catherine
  • Decatur, IL, United States
  • 01-09-12

Michael Pritchard is Nero Wolfe

I have heard Michael Pritchard narrating many of the Nero Wolfe stories. He is marvelous both as Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. His pacing and clear delineation of each character makes for an enjoyable experience. Rex Stout's art and clever repartee lets me listen more than once with equal satisfaction,

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Nero had no c!ue, almost appeared stymied?

This was a contest for a well versed reader, most likely an English major or more. A very large sum of money and prizes were being offered. Down to just a few contestants and the last five answers, a man is murdered who boasts he has the answers to the clues. Nero has been hired to straighten it all out! Nothing he does gives him a lead. What does he do? As always the reader is perfect for Nero and Archy. Rex Stout does it again!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Classic Mystery without the modern weaknesses

Rex Stout knew how to write a mystery like the old grand masters. No need to rely on gratuitous sex scenes, violence or swear words to build an audience base.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of the funniest

There are tons of priceless one-liners in this one, recited by Archie, Wolfe & even a couple by Cramer. You can just tell that Rex Stout was having a grand old time with this one. I have listened to this many times, as I have all the others. Ditto in terms of reading. And while I enjoy all of them, and some have better mysteries, better drawn characters, and other features which set them apart, this is one of the few where I find myself laughing out loud in multiple places every time I listen. And of course, Prichard does his usual stellar job.

You may not like him as a reader on other books. But when he reads Wolfe and Archie books, he is becomes something extraordinary. As an actor, you can tell he just loves these books. And he loves being Archie Goodwin, his greatest role, and one of he was born to play.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Complicated

A complicated plot with many threads expertly woven together. However, this very complexity weakens the pleasure of discovering the solution.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A good listen!

This book was enjoyable and easy to listen and follow along as most Nero Wolfe books are.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Always a treat!

Rex Stout always delivers a story that is enjoyable enough to listen to multiple times and Prichard's reading is infinitely better than reading it yourself!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An excellent Nero Wolfe

Wolfe breaks his most important rule to beard the murderer in his den. Classic Stout.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Walnut Creek, CA, United States
  • 09-28-13

Not my Favorite Nero Wolfe

I really like the Nero Wolfe series, but this is one I could have skipped. The cast of potential criminal characters were less compelling, and the story a bit more unbelievable than the best of the series. Archie is less involved with the plot making this a bit less interesting and there was no big pay off that wasn’t somewhat obvious. Still, this was better than many other mystery novels, but I will not likely read it again.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful