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A Family Affair Audiobook

A Family Affair

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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

4.6 (191 )
5 star
 (133)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
 (5)
1 star
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Overall
4.6 (151 )
5 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 (154 )
5 star
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4 star
 (21)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
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1 star
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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 2017
    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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Vacaville, CA, USA 12-19-07
    Stephen Vacaville, CA, USA 12-19-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Vales Tales Northern California 02-08-15
    Vales Tales Northern California 02-08-15 Member Since 2017
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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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathi 10-07-17
    Kathi 10-07-17 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Rex Stout saved his best for last!"

    This was Rex Stout’s last Nero Wolfe mystery, written around 1974 or ‘75. While I never read a bad Nero Wolfe book, some are better than others, and this may have been his finest work—for several reasons (that I don’t entirely want to spell out, to avoid saying too much).

    However, it is fair to say that in this last work, Stout allowed Wolfe to nudge himself just a tiny bit more into displaying human feelings than the great man usually allowed himself to show. And listening to it, knowing this was Stout’s (and Nero Wolfe’s) swan song, so to speak, made the entire book seem more precious. I thought I had read the entire series, way back when, but somehow I had never read this—so it was a double pleasure for me.

    One of the somewhat jarring things about it was hearing references to more modern security and phone systems, etc, than we read about in the main body of work. Even the extensive references to Nixon made it feel as though it was displaced in “Archie Goodwin” time. (Archie always seemed the archetypal youthful sidekick detective, from approximately Post WWII time frame, while Nero Wolfe felt more ageless to me). And in this last book, speaking through Nero Wolfe, it seemed as though Rex Stout was allowing some personal political opinions to come out in a strong way—something I don’t recall so much before.

    And the ending—I sure didn’t see it coming (though I might have, had I thought about it, since I have read the continuing set of NW mysteries, by Robert Goldsborough). To anyone who is unfamiliar with this last book, as I was, just allow yourself to settle in for a powerful listening experience! If you have never read a Nero Wolfe book before, don’t begin with this one. Let this truly be your end experience of this series, as it will mean a lot more!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. A. Lewis West Melbourne, FL 10-02-17
    M. A. Lewis West Melbourne, FL 10-02-17
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    "Wow"

    I did not see that coming. This story has so many twists and turns that I couldn't keep up. I felt like Kramer in the red chair at the end of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JB 11-08-16
    JB 11-08-16 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Did not like the treachery"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I did not like that one of the companions and helper of years of association turned out to be bad. I wish I could return this book. Very unhappy with the story.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Rex Stout again?

    Yes


    Was A Family Affair worth the listening time?

    Nope


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-13-16
    RATINGS
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    "Wolf and Archie at their BEST!"

    A favorite that I find myself listening or reading every year. Classic Nero and a fabulous follow up novel!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris T 07-13-16
    Chris T 07-13-16 Member Since 2015
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    "A fine farewell to amazing series of novels."

    A final novel to a tremendous series that thows a twist at the reader that will shock and amaze.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Nevada 03-01-16
    Kindle Customer Nevada 03-01-16 Member Since 2015
    RATINGS
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    18
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    "The Mystery is good...the Watergate focus on the side is boring and annoying."

    Watergate? The mystery is lost amid political name-bashing. Hated that part. Read only if you have NOTHING better to do.

    0 of 1 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
    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

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