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Publisher's Summary

Leonard Dyke's writing style didn't offend. But all of his work featured unhappy endings: murders. When four people die, including the author, police finally call on Nero Wolfe. Wolfe baits a trap, and when it springs shut, he finds that truth is stranger (and bloodier) than fiction.
Stout fellow: listen to all of our Nero Wolfe mysteries, including classic radio programs!
©1951 Rex Stout; (P)1995 Books on Tape Inc.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

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  • Overall

Good stuff

Michael Pritchard is one of the best voices out there for audiobooks and he's perfect for Nero Wolfe mysteries. This one has a pretty good plot and is worth a listen.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • Walnut Creek, CA, United States
  • 11-26-13

Great Stout

This was another particularly excellent Nero Wolfe novel. One of the best I have listened to. The narration, as usual, was great. The story keeps moving and keeps interesting and fun. The plot has some of the most interesting twists and enjoyable character development of any of the Nero Wolfe novels. This one is worth reading more than once.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Linda
  • PITTSBURGH, PA, United States
  • 11-03-12

Truly one of the best

I read all Rex Stouts books in the 70s, but fortunately I've forgotten most of them. I love them all, but this plot is particularly good.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephen
  • Vacaville, CA, USA
  • 12-19-07

A fun read

Rex Stout had an amazing way with words. His stories are fun, witty, and all around well written. And, as read by Michael Pritchard they truly come alive. All of them are gems and this one is no exception!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Very good, with good ending

This is typical Archie Goodwin, the physical end of Nero Wolfe. I listened to this all night while sitting up on a train. I couldn't fall asleep until I knew whodunit. What happens in California will keep you guessing, for nothing is what it seems. Not RS's best, but very good.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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What can I say, no one writes like Rex Stout.

Where does Murder By the Book rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

I listen to Rex Stout audiobooks over and over again. I go to sleep listening to one and wake up listening to another. Just a little obsessive. Good stuff.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I smile at the banter between Nero and Archie. The reader is quite good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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If you love a mystery, here's 4

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I love the character Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. I love the way Rex Stoudt puts dialog in Archie's mouth and Archie's little 'get even' tactics with Wolfe. Wolfe is a wonderful crazy genius and he and I both love orchids. This book, written in 1958 also is a lot of fun from the perspective of knowing they didn't have at their disposal the things we now have at our disposal. It's a lovely little time capsule so well done it's fun. Of course I also am a big fan of old black and white movies. The Narrator does a very good job and my intent is to savor each and everyone of the Nero Wolfe's.

What did you like best about this story?

Actually, I'm not crazy about short stories but as they go, these were fun. Wolfe ends up solving all four mysteries for free. You'll have to listen to find out why

What does Michael Prichard bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

My mother, an avid reader, introduced me to Nero Wolfe in the written form and when the series was on TV with Timothy Hutton, I was entranced by it. It brought me closer to her and a time when she influenced me. As to which is better eyes or ears... I happen to think that the same part of my brain is engaged whether I read with my eyes or my ears. Michael indeed does an excellent job of portraying Nero and Archie as well as the other recurring players. It's a delightful light listen that keeps you trying to beat Nero to the solution.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Another wonderful Nero Wolfe book!

While I thoughr I kept up, I learned much I missed in the end. I loved it!

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Very good

A good story. Having seen the A&E series first, I had all the actors pictured in my mind including their voices.

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Stout still in his prime.

Another well conceived, well plotted and admirably written story. As always, entering into Wolfe's brownstone you meet the familiar characters and atmosphere that came fully formed in his first Nero Wolfe mystery, "Fr-de-lance".

If you have never read a Nero Wolfe story, I would suggest reading the above mentioned title, however "Murder By the Book" would due just as well.

After I discovered Rex Stout's Nero Wolf mysteries in a old New England library over 30 years ago, in Milford, NH, I began a journey to find and read every single one written.

They are unapologetic in being clean and free of all content that would affront just about anyone, with the occasional 'God dammit' being the sole exception.

I was not an avid mystery read per until my first Nero Wolfe. I've loved them for years, and because of Stout's incredible writing style, I will begin with 'Fer-de-lance' (1934) and read through the books in the order they were written. Check out the Internet, Google Rex Stout or Nero Wolfe and you will find a world of fans and clubs still around, even though Stout died in 1975.