Nero Wolfe
Overview
Nero Wolfe is a fictional detective, created in 1934 by the American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 mystery writer Rex Stout
Rex Stout
Rex Todhunter Stout was an American writer noted for his detective fiction. Stout is best known as the creator of the larger-than-life fictional detective Nero Wolfe, described by reviewer Will Cuppy as "that Falstaff of detectives." Wolfe's assistant Archie Goodwin recorded the cases of the...

. Wolfe's confidential assistant Archie Goodwin
Archie Goodwin (fictional detective)
Archie Goodwin is a fictional character and detective in Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries. The witty voice of all the stories, he recorded the cases of the detective genius from 1934 to 1975 . He lives in Nero Wolfe's brownstone in New York City.Archie was born on October 23 in Chillicothe, Ohio,...

 narrates the cases of the detective genius. Stout wrote 33 novels and 39 short stories from 1934 to 1974, with most of them set in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. Wolfe's residence, a luxurious brownstone
Brownstone
Brownstone is a brown Triassic or Jurassic sandstone which was once a popular building material. The term is also used in the United States to refer to a terraced house clad in this material.-Types:-Apostle Island brownstone:...

 on West 35th Street, features prominently in the series. Many radio, television and film adaptations were made from his works.

The Nero Wolfe corpus was nominated for Best Mystery Series of the Century at Bouchercon
Bouchercon
Bouchercon, the Anthony Boucher Memorial World Mystery Convention, is an annual convention of creators and devotees of mystery and detective fiction. It is named in honour of writer, reviewer, and editor Anthony Boucher....

 2000, the world's largest mystery convention, and Rex Stout was a nominee for Best Mystery Writer of the Century.
The Nero Wolfe stories take place contemporaneously with their writing and depict a changing landscape and society.
Encyclopedia
Nero Wolfe is a fictional detective, created in 1934 by the American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 mystery writer Rex Stout
Rex Stout
Rex Todhunter Stout was an American writer noted for his detective fiction. Stout is best known as the creator of the larger-than-life fictional detective Nero Wolfe, described by reviewer Will Cuppy as "that Falstaff of detectives." Wolfe's assistant Archie Goodwin recorded the cases of the...

. Wolfe's confidential assistant Archie Goodwin
Archie Goodwin (fictional detective)
Archie Goodwin is a fictional character and detective in Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries. The witty voice of all the stories, he recorded the cases of the detective genius from 1934 to 1975 . He lives in Nero Wolfe's brownstone in New York City.Archie was born on October 23 in Chillicothe, Ohio,...

 narrates the cases of the detective genius. Stout wrote 33 novels and 39 short stories from 1934 to 1974, with most of them set in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. Wolfe's residence, a luxurious brownstone
Brownstone
Brownstone is a brown Triassic or Jurassic sandstone which was once a popular building material. The term is also used in the United States to refer to a terraced house clad in this material.-Types:-Apostle Island brownstone:...

 on West 35th Street, features prominently in the series. Many radio, television and film adaptations were made from his works.

The Nero Wolfe corpus was nominated for Best Mystery Series of the Century at Bouchercon
Bouchercon
Bouchercon, the Anthony Boucher Memorial World Mystery Convention, is an annual convention of creators and devotees of mystery and detective fiction. It is named in honour of writer, reviewer, and editor Anthony Boucher....

 2000, the world's largest mystery convention, and Rex Stout was a nominee for Best Mystery Writer of the Century.

Title character

The Nero Wolfe stories take place contemporaneously with their writing and depict a changing landscape and society. The principal characters in the corpus do not age
Floating timeline
A Floating timeline is a device used in fiction, particularly in comics and animation, to explain why characters age little or not at all over a period of time - despite real-world markers like notable events, people and technology appearing in the works and correlating with the real world.A...

. Although it is not directly stated in the stories, Nero Wolfe's age is 56, according to Rex Stout.

"Those stories have ignored time for thirty-nine years," Stout told his authorized biographer John McAleer. "Any reader who can't or won't do the same should skip them. I didn't age the characters because I didn't want to. That would have made it cumbersome and would seem to have centered attention on the characters rather than the stories."

Archie Goodwin, the narrator of the stories, frequently describes Wolfe as weighing "a seventh of a ton" (about 286 pounds or 130 kilograms). At the time of the first book, 1934, this was intended to indicate unusual obesity, especially through the use of the word "ton" as the unit of measure. In 1947 Archie writes, "He weighs between 310 and 390, and he limits his physical movements to what he regards as the irreducible essentials."

"Wolfe's most extravagant distinction is his extreme antipathy to literal extravagance. He will not move," wrote J. Kenneth Van Dover in At Wolfe's Door: The Nero Wolfe Novels of Rex Stout:
He insists upon the point: under no circumstances will he leave his home or violate his routines in order to facilitate an investigation. The exceptions are few and remarkable. Instead of spreading the principles of order and justice throughout his society, Wolfe imposes them dogmatically and absolutely within the walls of his house — the brownstone on West Thirty-Fifth Street — and he invites those who are troubled by an incomprehensible and threatening environment to enter the controlled economy of the house and to discover there the source of disorder in their own lives.

The invitation is extended to readers as well as to clients.


Perhaps Wolfe's most remarkable departure from the brownstone is due to personal reasons, not to business, and thus does not violate the rule regarding the conduct of business away from the office. That event occurs in The Black Mountain
The Black Mountain
The Black Mountain is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1954. The story was also collected in the omnibus volume Three Trumps ....

, when he leaves not only his home but the shores of the United States, to avenge the murder of his oldest friend. He abandons for a time his cherished daily habits and, despite his physical bulk, engages in strenuous outdoor activity in mountain terrain.

Origins


With one notable exception, the corpus implies or states that Nero Wolfe was born in Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

. In the first chapter of Over My Dead Body
Over My Dead Body (novel)
Over My Dead Body is the seventh Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. The story first appeared in abridged form in The American Magazine...

 (1939), Wolfe tells an FBI agent that he was born in the United States — a declaration at odds with all other references. Stout revealed the reason for the discrepancy in a letter obtained by his authorized biographer, John McAleer: "In the original draft of Over My Dead Body Nero was a Montenegrin by birth, and it all fitted previous hints as to his background; but violent protests from The American Magazine, supported by Farrar & Rinehart, caused his cradle to be transported five thousand miles."

"I got the idea of making Wolfe a Montenegrin from Louis Adamic
Louis Adamic
Louis Adamic was a Slovenian American author and translator.- Biography :Adamic was born at Praproče Mansion in Praproče near Grosuplje, in what is now Slovenia...

," Stout told McAleer. Everything Stout knew about Montenegrins he learned from Adamic's book The Native's Return (1934), or from Adamic himself, McAleer reported.

"Adamic describes the Montenegrin male as tall, commanding, dignified, courteous, hospitable," McAleer wrote. "He is reluctant to work, accustomed to isolation from women. He places women in a subordinate role. He is a romantic idealist, apt to go in for dashing effects to express his spirited nature. He is strong in family loyalties, has great pride, is impatient of restraint. Love of freedom is his outstanding trait. He is stubborn, fearless, unsubduable, capable of great self-denial to uphold his ideals. He is fatalistic toward death. In short, Rex had found for Wolfe a nationality that fitted him to perfection."

Wolfe is reticent about his youth, but apparently he was athletic, fit, and adventurous. Before World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, he spied for the Austrian government, but had a change of heart when the war began. He then joined the Serbian-Montenegrin army and fought against the Austrians and Germans
Serbian Campaign (World War I)
The Serbian Campaign was fought from late July 1914, when Austria-Hungary invaded Serbia at the outset of the First World War, until late 1915, when the Macedonian Front was formed...

. That means he was likely to have been involved in the harrowing 1915 withdrawal of the defeated Serbian army, when thousands of soldiers died from disease, starvation and sheer exhaustion — which might help to explain the comfort-loving habits that are such a conspicuous part of his character. After a time in Europe and North Africa, he came to the United States.

In 1956, John D. Clark
John D. Clark
John Drury Clark, Ph.D. was a noted American rocket fuel developer, chemist, and science fiction writer and fan. He was instrumental in the revival of interest in Robert E. Howard's Conan stories and influenced the writing careers of L. Sprague de Camp, Fletcher Pratt, and other authors.- Life and...

 theorized in an article in the Baker Street Journal that Wolfe was the offspring of an affair between Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The fantastic London-based "consulting detective", Holmes is famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to take almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science skills to solve...

 and Irene Adler
Irene Adler
Irene Adler is a fictional character featured in the Sherlock Holmes story "A Scandal in Bohemia" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, published in July 1891...

 (a character from "A Scandal in Bohemia
A Scandal in Bohemia
"A Scandal in Bohemia" was the first of Arthur Conan Doyle's 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories to be published in The Strand Magazine and the first Sherlock Holmes story illustrated by Sidney Paget....

"). Clark suggested that the two had had an affair in Montenegro in 1892, and that Nero Wolfe was the result. The idea was later co-opted by William S. Baring-Gould
William S. Baring-Gould
William Stuart Baring-Gould was a noted Sherlock Holmes scholar, best known as the author of the influential 1962 fictional biography, Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street: A life of the world's first consulting detective.-Biography:...

 and implied in the novels of Nicholas Meyer
Nicholas Meyer
Nicholas Meyer is an American screenwriter, producer, director and novelist, known best for his best-selling novel The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, and for directing the films Time After Time, two of the Star Trek feature film series, and the 1983 television movie The Day After.Meyer graduated from...

, but there is no evidence that Rex Stout had any such connection in mind. Certainly there is no mention of it in any of the stories, although a painting of Sherlock Holmes does hang over Archie Goodwin's desk in Nero Wolfe's office. This suggests that in the Nero Wolfe universe, Sherlock Holmes is a real person, not a fictional one. Some commentators, noting both physical and psychological resemblances, suggest Sherlock's brother Mycroft Holmes
Mycroft Holmes
Mycroft Holmes is a fictional character in the stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle. He is the elder brother of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes.- Profile :...

 as a more likely father for Wolfe. Commentators have noted a coincidence in the names "Sherlock Holmes" and "Nero Wolfe": the same vowels appear in the same order. In 1957 Ellery Queen
Ellery Queen
Ellery Queen is both a fictional character and a pseudonym used by two American cousins from Brooklyn, New York: Daniel Nathan, alias Frederic Dannay and Manford Lepofsky, alias Manfred Bennington Lee , to write, edit, and anthologize detective fiction.The fictional Ellery Queen created by...

 called this "The Great O-E Theory" and suggested that it derived from the father of mysteries, Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe was an American author, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective...

.

Some Wold Newton
Wold Newton family
The Wold Newton family is a literary concept derived from a form of crossover fiction developed by the science fiction writer Philip José Farmer...

 theorists have suggested the French thief Arsène Lupin
Arsène Lupin
Arsène Lupin is a fictional character who appears in a book series of detective fiction / crime fiction novels written by French writer Maurice Leblanc, as well as a number of non-canonical sequels and numerous film, television such as Night Hood, stage play and comic book adaptations.- Overview :A...

 as the father of Nero Wolfe. They note that in one story Lupin has an affair with the queen of a Balkan principality, which may be Montenegro by another name. Further, they note that the name Lupin resembles the French word for wolf, loup.

Brownstone


Nero Wolfe, who has expensive tastes, lives in a comfortable and luxurious New York City brownstone
Brownstone
Brownstone is a brown Triassic or Jurassic sandstone which was once a popular building material. The term is also used in the United States to refer to a terraced house clad in this material.-Types:-Apostle Island brownstone:...

 on West 35th Street. The brownstone has three floors, plus a large basement with living quarters, a rooftop greenhouse also with living quarters, and a small elevator, used almost exclusively by Wolfe. Other unique features include a timer-activated window-opening device that regulates the temperature in Wolfe's bedroom, an alarm system that sounds in Archie's room if someone approaches Wolfe's bedroom door, and climate-controlled plant rooms on the top floor. A well-known amateur orchid grower, Wolfe has 10,000 plants in the brownstone's greenhouse. He employs three live-in staff to see to his needs.

The front door is equipped with a chain bolt, a bell that can be shut off as needed, and a pane of one-way glass
Two-way mirror
A one-way mirror, also known as a two-way mirror, one-way glass, or two-way glass is a mirror which is partially reflective and partially transparent...

, which enables Archie to see who is on the stoop before deciding whether to open the door. Wolfe's office becomes nearly soundproof when the doors to the front room and hallway are closed. There is a small hole in the office wall
Peephole
A peephole is a small opening through which one may look.In a door, a peephole allows people inside the security of seeing outside without opening the door...

, covered by what Archie calls a "trick picture of a waterfall." A person in an alcove at the end of the hallway can open a sliding panel covering the hole, so as to see and hear conversations and other events in the office without being noticed. The chair behind Wolfe's desk is custom-built, with special springs to hold his weight; according to Archie, it is the only chair Wolfe really enjoys sitting in. Near the desk is a large chair upholstered in red leather, which is usually reserved for Inspector Cramer, a current or prospective client, or the person whom Wolfe and Archie want to question.

As noted in Champagne for One
Champagne for One
Champagne for One is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1958.The back matter of the 1995 Bantam edition of this book includes an exchange of correspondence between Stout and his editor at Viking Press, Marshall Best...

 (chapter 10) and elsewhere, the brownstone has a back entrance leading to a private garden from which a passage leads to 34th Street — used to enter or leave Wolfe's home when it is necessary to evade surveillance. Archie says that Fritz tries to grow herbs such as chives in the garden.

"That readers have proved endlessly fascinated with the topography of Wolfe's brownstone temple should not be surprising," wrote J. Kenneth Van Dover in At Wolfe's Door:
It is the center from which moral order emanates, and the details of its layout and its operations are signs of its stability. For forty years, Wolfe prepares menus with Fritz and pots orchids with Theodore. For forty years, Archie takes notes at his desk, the client sits in the red chair and the other principals distribute themselves in the yellow chairs, and Wolfe presides from his custom-made throne. For forty years, Inspector Cramer and Sergeant Purley Stebbins ring the doorbell, enter the office, and explode with indignation at Wolfe's intractability. The front room, the elevator, the three-foot globe — all persist in place through forty years of American history. ... Like Holmes's 221B Baker Street, Wolfe's West Thirty-Fifth Street remains a fixed point in a turning world.


In the course of the books, ten different street addresses on West 35th Street are given:
  • 506 in Over My Dead Body
    Over My Dead Body
    Over My Dead Body is a detective drama which was aired in the United States on the CBS television network as part of its 1990 fall lineup.Over My Dead Body starred Edward Woodward as Maxwell Beckett, an aging mystery novelist whose three successful early novels were starting to be overshadowed by...

    , chapter 12
  • 618 in Too Many Clients
    Too Many Clients
    Too Many Clients is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1960, and collected in the omnibus volume Three Aces .-Plot introduction:...

    , chapter 4
  • 902 in Murder by the Book
    Murder by the Book
    Murder by the Book is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout published in 1951 by the Viking Press, and collected in the omnibus volume Royal Flush .-Plot summary:...

    , chapter 7
  • 909 in "Before I Die", chapter 10
  • 914 in Too Many Women
    Too Many Women
    Too Many Women is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published in 1947 by the Viking Press. The novel was also collected in the omnibus volume All Aces .-Plot introduction:...

    , chapter 24
  • 918 in The Red Box
    The Red Box
    The Red Box is the fourth Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. Prior to its first publication in 1937 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., the novel was serialized in five issues of The American Magazine...

    , chapter 3
  • 919 in The Silent Speaker
    The Silent Speaker
    The Silent Speaker is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1946. It was published just after World War II, and key plot elements reflect the lingering effects of the war: housing shortages and restrictions on consumer goods, including government...

    , chapter 12
  • 922 in The Silent Speaker
    The Silent Speaker
    The Silent Speaker is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1946. It was published just after World War II, and key plot elements reflect the lingering effects of the war: housing shortages and restrictions on consumer goods, including government...

    , chapter 2
  • 924 in "Man Alive", chapter 9
  • 938 in Death of a Doxy
    Death of a Doxy
    Death of a Doxy is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by Viking Press in 1966.-Plot introduction:Orrie Cather, one of Wolfe's operatives, has been secretly seeing a wealthy man's kept mistress at her secret lovenest...

    , chapter 4


"Curiously, the 900 block of West 35th Street would be in the Hudson River," wrote American writer Randy Cohen
Randy Cohen
Randy Cohen is an American Emmy Award-winning writer and humorist known as the author of The Ethicist column in The New York Times Magazine between 1999 and 2011. The column is syndicated throughout the U.S. and Canada.-Career:...

, who created a map of the literary stars' homes for The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

 in 2005. "It's a non-address, the real estate equivalent of those 555 telephone numbers used in movies." Cohen settled on 922 West 35th Street — the address printed on Archie's business card in The Silent Speaker — as Nero Wolfe's address.

Writing as Archie Goodwin in his 1983 book, The Brownstone House of Nero Wolfe, Ken Darby
Ken Darby
Kenneth Lorin Darby was an American composer, vocal arranger, lyricist, and conductor. His film scores were recognized with three Academy Awards and one Grammy Award.- Personal life :...

 suggests that "the actual location was on East 22nd Street in the Gramercy Park District. ... Wolfe merely moved us, fictionally, from one place to the other in order to preserve his particular brand of privacy. As far as I can discover, there never were brownstone houses on West 35th Street."

The absence of brownstones in Wolfe's neighborhood sent the producers of the A&E
A&E Network
The A&E Network is a United States-based cable and satellite television network with headquarters in New York City and offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, London, Los Angeles and Stamford. A&E also airs in Canada and Latin America. Initially named the Arts & Entertainment Network, A&E launched...

 TV series, A Nero Wolfe Mystery
A Nero Wolfe Mystery
A Nero Wolfe Mystery is a television series adapted from Rex Stout's classic series of detective stories that aired for two seasons on the A&E Network. Set in New York City in the early 1950s, the stylized period drama stars Maury Chaykin as Nero Wolfe and Timothy Hutton as Archie Goodwin...

, to the Upper West Side of Manhattan for an appropriate home and setting for select exterior shots. This Manhattan brownstone, unlike the model specially constructed on the Toronto set where most of the series was filmed, lacked some peculiarities of Wolfe's home — for example, the correct number of steps leading up to the stoop — and was therefore shown from angles that would camouflage any slight discrepancies. The series settled on "914" for the brownstone's address. This number can be seen on the studio set representing the front door exterior in several episodes and on a closeup of Archie's paycheck in "Prisoner's Base
Prisoner's Base
Prisoner's Base is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by Viking Press in 1952.-Plot introduction:...

"

Food


Along with reading, good food is the keystone of Wolfe's mostly leisured existence. He is both a gourmand and a gourmet, enjoying generous helpings of Fritz's cuisine three times a day. Shad roe
Shad
The shads or river herrings comprise the genus Alosa, fish related to herring in the family Clupeidae. They are distinct from others in that family by having a deeper body and spawning in rivers. The several species frequent different areas on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea....

 is a particular favorite, prepared in a number of different ways. Archie, who enjoys his food but lacks Wolfe's discerning palate, laments in The Final Deduction
The Final Deduction
The Final Deduction is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1961 and collected in the omnibus volume Three Aces .-Plot summary:Mrs...

 (chapter 9) that "Every spring I get so fed up with shad roe that I wish to heaven fish would figure out some other way. Whales have." Shad roe is frequently the first course, followed by another Wolfe favorite, roasted or braised duck. Archie also complains that there is never corned beef or rye bread on Wolfe's table, and he sometimes ducks out to eat a corned beef sandwich at a nearby diner. But in "Cordially Invited to Meet Death", a young woman gives Wolfe a lesson in preparing corned beef hash. Another contradiction: in Plot It Yourself
Plot It Yourself
Plot It Yourself is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1959, and also collected in the omnibus volume Kings Full of Aces .-Plot introduction:...

, Archie goes to a diner to eat "fried chicken like my Aunt Margie used to make it back in Ohio," since Fritz does not fry chicken. But in The Golden Spiders
The Golden Spiders
The Golden Spiders is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. It was first published in 1953 by The Viking Press.-Plot introduction:...

, Fritz prepares fried chicken for Wolfe, Archie, Saul, Orrie, and Fred.

Wolfe displays an oenophile's knowledge of wine and brandy, but it is only implied that he drinks either. In And Be a Villain
And Be a Villain
And Be a Villain is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1948...

 (chapter 17), he issues a dinner invitation and regrets doing so on short notice: "There will not be time to chambrer a claret properly, but we can have the chill off." Continuing the invitation, Wolfe says of a certain brandy, "I hope this won't shock you, but the way to do it is to sip it with bites of Fritz's apple pie."

On weekdays, Fritz serves Wolfe his breakfast in his bedroom. Archie eats his separately in the kitchen, although if Wolfe has morning instructions for him, he will ask Fritz to send Archie upstairs. Regularly scheduled mealtimes for lunch and dinner are part of Wolfe's daily routine. In an early story, Wolfe tells a guest that luncheon is served daily at 1 p.m. and dinner at 8 p.m., although later stories suggest that lunchtime may have been changed to 1:15 or 1:30, at least on Fridays. Lunch and dinner are served in the dining room. If Archie is in a rush due to pressing business or a social engagement, he will eat separately in the kitchen because Wolfe cannot bear to see a meal rushed. Wolfe also has a rule, sometimes bent but very rarely overtly broken, against discussing business at the table.

In the earliest books, Archie reports that Wolfe is subject to what he terms a "relapse" — a period of several days during which Wolfe refuses to work, or even to listen to Archie badger him about work. The cause is unknown. Wolfe either takes to bed and eats nothing but bread and onion soup, or consults with Fritz on menus and the preparation of nonstop meals. In Fer-de-Lance (chapter 6), Archie reports that during a relapse Wolfe once ate half a sheep in two days, different parts cooked in 20 different ways. The relapse also appears briefly in The League of Frightened Men
The League of Frightened Men
The League of Frightened Men is the second Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. The story was serialized in six issues of The Saturday Evening Post under the title The Frightened Men. The novel was published in 1935 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc...

 (chapter 11), The Red Box
The Red Box
The Red Box is the fourth Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. Prior to its first publication in 1937 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., the novel was serialized in five issues of The American Magazine...

 (chapter 6) and Where There's a Will (chapter 12), but subsequently disappears from the corpus as a plot device.

Wolfe views much of life through the prism of food and dining, going so far as to say at one point that Voltaire
Voltaire
François-Marie Arouet , better known by the pen name Voltaire , was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion, free trade and separation of church and state...

 "... wasn't a man at all, since he had no palate and a dried-up stomach." He knows enough about fine cuisine to lecture on American cooking to Les Quinze Maîtres (a group of the 15 finest chefs in the world) in Too Many Cooks
Too Many Cooks
Too Many Cooks is the fifth Nero Wolfe detective novel by American mystery writer Rex Stout. The story was serialized in The American Magazine before its publication in book form in 1938 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc...

 and to dine with the Ten for Aristology
Aristology
Aristology is the art or science of cooking and dining. It encompasses the preparation, combination, and presentation of dishes and the manner in which these dishes are integrated into a meal....

 (a group of epicures) in "Poison à la Carte
Three at Wolfe's Door
Three at Wolfe's Door is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1960. The book comprises three stories, one of them published previously:* "Poison à la Carte"...

". Wolfe does not, however, enjoy visiting restaurants (with the occasional exception of Rusterman's, owned for a time by Wolfe's best friend, Marco Vukcic). In The Red Box
The Red Box
The Red Box is the fourth Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. Prior to its first publication in 1937 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., the novel was serialized in five issues of The American Magazine...

 (chapter 11), Wolfe states that "I know nothing of restaurants; short of compulsion, I would not eat in one were Vatel
François Vatel
François Vatel was the maître d'hôtel of Nicolas Fouquet and prince Louis II de Bourbon-Condé.He is widely, but incorrectly, credited with creating crème Chantilly , a sweet, vanilla-flavoured whipped cream, for an extravagant banquet for 2,000 people hosted in honour of Louis XIV by Louis, the...

 himself the chef.

Wolfe appears to know his way around the kitchen; in Too Many Cooks
Too Many Cooks
Too Many Cooks is the fifth Nero Wolfe detective novel by American mystery writer Rex Stout. The story was serialized in The American Magazine before its publication in book form in 1938 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc...

 (chapter 17), he tells Jerome Berin, "I spend quite a little time in the kitchen myself." In The Doorbell Rang
The Doorbell Rang
The Doorbell Rang is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1965.-Plot introduction:Nero Wolfe is hired to force the FBI to stop wiretapping, tailing and otherwise harassing a woman who gave away 10,000 copies of a book that is critical of the Bureau and...

, he offers to cook Yorkshire Buck for the 'teers, and in "Immune to Murder", the State Department asks him to prepare trout Montbarry for a visiting dignitary. In The Black Mountain
The Black Mountain
The Black Mountain is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1954. The story was also collected in the omnibus volume Three Trumps ....

, Wolfe and Goodwin stay briefly in an unoccupied house in Italy on their way to Montenegro; Wolfe prepares a pasta dish using Romano cheese that, from "his memory of local custom," he finds in a hole in the ground. During the short story "Murder Is Corny
Trio for Blunt Instruments
Trio for Blunt Instruments is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published in 1964 by the Viking Press in the United States and simultaneously by MacMillan & Company in Canada...

", he lectures Inspector Cramer on the right and wrong ways to cook corn on the cob, insisting that it must be roasted rather than boiled in order to achieve the best flavor. (The 1940 story "Bitter End
Death Times Three
Death Times Three is a collection of Nero Wolfe novellas by Rex Stout, published posthumously by Bantam Books in 1985. The book contains three stories, one never before published:...

" suggests the contrary view that Wolfe was unable to prepare his own meals; Fritz's illness with the flu causes a household crisis and forces Wolfe to resort to canned liver pâté for his lunch.)

Wolfe's meals generally include an appetizer, a main course, a salad served after the entrée (with the salad dressing mixed at tableside and used immediately), and a dessert course with coffee.

Many of the dishes referred to in the various Nero Wolfe stories and novels were collected and published, complete with recipes, as The Nero Wolfe Cookbook by Rex Stout and the Editors of the Viking Press, published in 1973. All recipes are prefaced with a brief excerpt from the book or story that made reference to that particular dish.

Beer

Nero Wolfe's first recorded words are, "Where's the beer?"

The first novel, Fer-de-Lance, introduces Wolfe as he prepares to change his habits: with Prohibition
Prohibition in the United States
Prohibition in the United States was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, in place from 1920 to 1933. The ban was mandated by the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and the Volstead Act set down the rules for enforcing the ban, as well as defining which...

 at an end, he can stop buying kegs of bootleg
Rum-running
Rum-running, also known as bootlegging, is the illegal business of transporting alcoholic beverages where such transportation is forbidden by law...

 beer and purchase it legally in bottles. Fritz brings in samples of 49 different brands for him to evaluate, from which he ultimately selects Remmers as his favorite. Several times during the story, Wolfe announces his intention to reduce his beer intake from six quarts a day to five. "I grinned at that, for I didn't believe it," Archie Goodwin writes.

Like most other things in Wolfe's life, his beer drinking is bound by ritual. Seated at his desk, Wolfe presses the button twice to ring for beer, and Fritz delivers the bottles unopened. Wolfe uncaps the bottles himself, using an 18-carat gold bottle opener given to him by a satisfied client. He never drinks directly from the bottle, but instead pours the beer into a glass and lets the foam settle to an appropriate level before drinking. He keeps the gold opener in the center drawer of his desk, where he also keeps the bottlecaps as a means of tracking his daily/weekly consumption.

In Plot It Yourself
Plot It Yourself
Plot It Yourself is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1959, and also collected in the omnibus volume Kings Full of Aces .-Plot introduction:...

 (chapter 13), Wolfe makes an unprecedented vow after Archie tells him the killer they seek has killed again. Wolfe hits the desk with his fist, bellows in a language Archie doesn't understand, then coldly orders Fritz away when he enters with the beer: "Take it back. I shall drink no beer until I get my fingers around that creature's throat."

Orchids


Known for rigidly maintaining his personal schedule, Nero Wolfe is most inflexible when it comes to his routine in the rooftop plant rooms.

"Wolfe spends four hours a day with his orchids. Clients must accommodate themselves to this schedule," wrote Rex Stout's biographer John J. McAleer. "Rex does not use the orchid schedule to gloss over gummy plotting. Like the disciplines the sonneteer is bound by, the schedule is part of the framework he is committed to work within. The orchids and the orchid rooms sometimes are focal points in the stories. They are never irrelevant. In forty years Wolfe has scarcely ever shortened an orchid schedule."

"A dilly it was, this greenhouse," wrote Dr. John H. Vandermeulen in the February 1985 issue of the American Orchid Society
American Orchid Society
The American Orchid Society is a horticultural society devoted to the promotion, cultivation, and study of orchids . The organization was founded in 1921 and now has a worldwide membership....

 Bulletin.
Entering from the stairs via a vestibule, there were three main rooms — one for cattleya
Cattleya
Cattleya is a genus of 113 species of orchids from Costa Rica to tropical South America. The genus was named in 1824 by John Lindley after Sir William Cattley who received and successfully cultivated specimens of Cattleya labiata that were used as packing material in a shipment of other orchids...

s, laelia
Laelia
Laelia, abbreviated L. in the horticultural trade, is a small genus of 25 species from the orchid family . This is one of the most important and popular orchid genera, because of the beautiful flowers, their genetic properties and because they are fairly easy in culture. It is probably named after...

s, and hybrids; one for odontoglossum
Odontoglossum
Odontoglossum, first named in 1816 by Karl Sigismund Kunth, is a genus of about 100 orchids. The scientific name is derived from the Greek words odon and glossa , referring to the two tooth-like calluses on the base of the lip...

s, oncidium
Oncidium
Oncidium, abbreviated as Onc. in the horticultural trade, is a genus that contains about 330 species of orchids from the subtribe Oncidiinae of the orchid family . This is a complex, difficult genus, with many species being reclassified...

s, miltonia
Miltonia
Miltonia, abbreviated Milt. in the horticultural trade, is an orchid genus formed by nine epiphyte species and eight natural hybrids inhabitants of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, one species reaching the northeast of Argentina and east of Paraguay. This genus was established by John Lindley in...

s, and their hybrids; and a tropical room (according to Fer-de-Lance). It must have been quite a sight with the angle-iron staging gleaming in its silver paint and on the concrete benches and shelves 10,000 pots of orchids in glorious, exultant bloom.


"If Wolfe had a favorite orchid, it would be the genus Phalaenopsis
Phalaenopsis
Phalaenopsis Blume , abbreviated Phal in the horticultural trade, is an orchid genus of approximately 60 species. Phalaenopsis is one of the most popular orchids in the trade, through the development of many artificial hybrids....

," Robert M. Hamilton wrote in his article, "The Orchidology of Nero Wolfe", first printed in The Gazette: Journal of the Wolfe Pack (Volume 1, Spring 1979). "Archie notes them in eleven adventures. … Phalaenopsis Aphrodite is mentioned in seven different adventures by Archie, more than any other species. This may have been Wolfe's favorite." Wolfe personally cuts his most treasured Phalaenopsis Aphrodite for the centerpiece at the dinner for the Ten for Aristology
Aristology
Aristology is the art or science of cooking and dining. It encompasses the preparation, combination, and presentation of dishes and the manner in which these dishes are integrated into a meal....

 in "Poison a la Carte"
Three at Wolfe's Door
Three at Wolfe's Door is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1960. The book comprises three stories, one of them published previously:* "Poison à la Carte"...

. In The Father Hunt
The Father Hunt
The Father Hunt is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1968. "This is the first Nero Wolfe novel in nearly two years," the front flap of the dust jacket reads, "an unusual interval for the productive Rex Stout, who celebrated his eightieth birthday in...

, after Dorothy Sebor provides the information that solves the case, Wolfe tells Archie, "We'll send her some sprays of Phalaenopsis Aphrodite. They have never been finer."

Wolfe rarely sells his orchids — but he does give them away. Four or five dozen are used to advance the investigation in Murder by the Book
Murder by the Book
Murder by the Book is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout published in 1951 by the Viking Press, and collected in the omnibus volume Royal Flush .-Plot summary:...

, and Wolfe refuses to let Archie bill the client for them. In The Final Deduction
The Final Deduction
The Final Deduction is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1961 and collected in the omnibus volume Three Aces .-Plot summary:Mrs...

, Laelia purpurata and Dendrobium chrysotoxum
Dendrobium chrysotoxum
The Golden-bow Dendrobium or Fried-egg Orchid is a species of orchid....

 are sent to Dr. Vollmer and his assistant, who shelter Wolfe and Archie when they have to flee the brownstone to avoid the police.

In The Second Confession
The Second Confession
The Second Confession is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1949. The story was collected in the omnibus volume Triple Zeck ....

, the orchid rooms are torn apart by gunfire from across the street. The shooters are in the employ of crime boss Arnold Zeck, who wants Wolfe to drop a case that could lead back to him. Wolfe and Archie call men to take care of the plants and repair the windows before notifying the police.

Eccentricities

Wolfe has pronounced eccentricities, as well as strict rules concerning his way of life, and their occasional violation adds spice to many of the stories:
  • Wolfe does not invite people to use his first name and addresses them by honorific and surname. Aside from his employees, one of the only two men whom Wolfe addresses by their first names is his oldest friend, Marko Vukčić; Marko calls him Nero. In Death of a Doxy
    Death of a Doxy
    Death of a Doxy is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by Viking Press in 1966.-Plot introduction:Orrie Cather, one of Wolfe's operatives, has been secretly seeing a wealthy man's kept mistress at her secret lovenest...

     Julie Jaquette refers to Wolfe as Nero in a letter to Archie; and Lily Rowan has addressed Wolfe using an assumed first name. But these are exceptions. In "The Rodeo Murder" Wolfe finds it objectionable when Wade Eisler addresses him as Nero; and in "Door to Death" Sybil Pitcairn's disdainful use of his first name makes Wolfe decide to solve the case. Men nearly always address him as Wolfe, and women as Mr. Wolfe.
  • He restricts his visible reactions: as Archie puts it, "He shook his head, moving it a full half-inch right and left, which was for him a frenzy of negation."
  • He is extremely fastidious about his clothing and hates to wear anything that has been soiled, even in private. The short story "Eeny Meeny Murder Mo" opens with an example of this habit, in which Wolfe removes his necktie and leaves it on his desk after dropping a bit of sauce on it during lunch. The tie is later used to commit a murder in his office. Beyond that, Wolfe has a marked preference for the color yellow, habitually wearing shirts and silk pajamas in this color and sleeping on yellow bedsheets.
  • Wolfe states that "all music is a vestige of barbarism" and denies that music can have any intellectual content. He takes a dim view of television; but TV sets did find their way into the brownstone in the later stories. Archie notes in Before Midnight
    Before Midnight
    Before Midnight is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout published in 1955 by the Viking Press. The story was also collected in the omnibus volume Three Trumps .-Plot introduction:...

    , "It was Sunday evening, when he especially enjoyed turning the television off." Wolfe's attitude toward television notwithstanding, the TV set in Fritz's basement quarters proved handy in The Doorbell Rang
    The Doorbell Rang
    The Doorbell Rang is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1965.-Plot introduction:Nero Wolfe is hired to force the FBI to stop wiretapping, tailing and otherwise harassing a woman who gave away 10,000 copies of a book that is critical of the Bureau and...

    , when the volume was turned up to foil potential eavesdroppers.
  • Despite Wolfe's rule never to leave the brownstone on business, the stories find him leaving his home on several occasions. At times, Wolfe and Archie are on a personal errand when a murder occurs, and legal authorities require that they remain in the vicinity (Too Many Cooks
    Too Many Cooks
    Too Many Cooks is the fifth Nero Wolfe detective novel by American mystery writer Rex Stout. The story was serialized in The American Magazine before its publication in book form in 1938 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc...

    , Some Buried Caesar
    Some Buried Caesar
    Some Buried Caesar is the sixth Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. The story first appeared in abridged form in The American Magazine , under the title "The Red Bull." It was first published in book form by Farrar & Rinehart in 1939...

    , "Too Many Detectives"
    Three for the Chair
    Three for the Chair is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1957, and by Bantam Books in various paperback printings beginning in 1958...

     and "Immune to Murder", for example). In other instances, the requirements of the case force Wolfe from his house (In the Best Families
    In the Best Families
    In the Best Families is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1950...

    , The Second Confession
    The Second Confession
    The Second Confession is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1949. The story was collected in the omnibus volume Triple Zeck ....

    , The Doorbell Rang
    The Doorbell Rang
    The Doorbell Rang is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1965.-Plot introduction:Nero Wolfe is hired to force the FBI to stop wiretapping, tailing and otherwise harassing a woman who gave away 10,000 copies of a book that is critical of the Bureau and...

    , Plot It Yourself
    Plot It Yourself
    Plot It Yourself is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1959, and also collected in the omnibus volume Kings Full of Aces .-Plot introduction:...

    , The Silent Speaker
    The Silent Speaker
    The Silent Speaker is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1946. It was published just after World War II, and key plot elements reflect the lingering effects of the war: housing shortages and restrictions on consumer goods, including government...

    , Death of a Dude
    Death of a Dude
    Death of a Dude is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1969.-Plot introduction:Archie Goodwin is part of a house party at Lily Rowan's vacation home in Montana when a murder brings Nero Wolfe from New York to take a hand.-Publication history:*1969, New York:...

    ). Although he occasionally ventures by car into the suburbs of New York City, he is loath to travel, and clutches the safety strap continually on the occasions that Archie drives him somewhere. As Archie says in The Doorbell Rang
    The Doorbell Rang
    The Doorbell Rang is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1965.-Plot introduction:Nero Wolfe is hired to force the FBI to stop wiretapping, tailing and otherwise harassing a woman who gave away 10,000 copies of a book that is critical of the Bureau and...

    , "(Wolfe) distrusted all machines more complicated than a wheelbarrow."
  • Wolfe maintains a rigid schedule in the brownstone. He has breakfast in his bedroom while wearing yellow silk pajamas; he hates to discuss work during breakfast, and if forced to do so insists upon not uttering a word until he has finished his glass of orange juice (Murder by the Book
    Murder by the Book
    Murder by the Book is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout published in 1951 by the Viking Press, and collected in the omnibus volume Royal Flush .-Plot summary:...

    ). Afterwards, he is with Horstmann in the plant rooms from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Lunch is usually at 1:15 p.m. He returns to the plant rooms from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dinner is generally at 7:15 or 7:30 p.m. (although in one book, Wolfe tells a guest that lunch is served at 1 o'clock and dinner at 8). The remaining hours, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and after dinner, are available for business, or for reading if there is no pressing business (even if, by Archie's lights, there is). Sunday's schedule is more relaxed; Theodore, the orchid-keeper, usually goes out.
  • Wolfe displays a pronounced, almost pathological, dislike for the company of women. Although some readers interpret this attitude as simple misogyny
    Misogyny
    Misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women or girls. Philogyny, meaning fondness, love or admiration towards women, is the antonym of misogyny. The term misandry is the term for men that is parallel to misogyny...

    , various details in the stories, particularly the early ones, suggest it has more to do with an unfortunate encounter in early life with a femme fatale. It is not women themselves that he dislikes: rather, it is what he perceives as their frailties, especially a tendency to hysterics — to which he thinks every woman is prone. "In the all-male Wolfe household that is an apparent bulwark of men's-club solidarity, Wolfe's misogyny is part pose, part protection, but above all, a shrewd tool of detective strategy," wrote critic Molly Haskell
    Molly Haskell
    Molly Haskell is an American feminist film critic and author. Her most influential book is From Reverence to Rape: the Treatment of Women in the Movies...

    . "Archie does the romancing while Wolfe prods and offends, winnowing out the traitorous and brattish women and allowing the cream, the really great women, to rise to the top. ... We deduce from the glow of those special women who do earn the detective's good will just how discriminating and interested an observer of womankind the author is." These women include Clara Fox (The Rubber Band
    The Rubber Band
    The Rubber Band is the third Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. Prior to its publication in 1936 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., the novel was serialized in six issues of The Saturday Evening Post...

    ), Lily Rowan (introduced in Some Buried Caesar
    Some Buried Caesar
    Some Buried Caesar is the sixth Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. The story first appeared in abridged form in The American Magazine , under the title "The Red Bull." It was first published in book form by Farrar & Rinehart in 1939...

    ), Phoebe Gunther (The Silent Speaker
    The Silent Speaker
    The Silent Speaker is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1946. It was published just after World War II, and key plot elements reflect the lingering effects of the war: housing shortages and restrictions on consumer goods, including government...

    ) and Julie Jaquette (Death of a Doxy
    Death of a Doxy
    Death of a Doxy is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by Viking Press in 1966.-Plot introduction:Orrie Cather, one of Wolfe's operatives, has been secretly seeing a wealthy man's kept mistress at her secret lovenest...

    ).
  • That Wolfe disapproves of women is well established, but Archie claims that there are nuances: “The basic fact about a woman that seemed to irritate him was that she was a woman; the long record showed not a single exception; but from there on the documentation was cockeyed. If woman as woman grated on him you would suppose that the most womanly details would be the worst for him, but time and again I have known him to have a chair placed for a female so that his desk would not obstruct his view of her legs, and the answer can’t be that his interest is professional and he reads character from legs, because the older and dumpier she is the less he cares where she sits. It is a very complex question and some day I’m going to take a whole chapter for it.” (The Silent Speaker
    The Silent Speaker
    The Silent Speaker is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1946. It was published just after World War II, and key plot elements reflect the lingering effects of the war: housing shortages and restrictions on consumer goods, including government...

    , chapter 30.)
  • Wolfe has an aversion to physical contact, even shaking hands. Early in the first novel Archie explains why there is a gong under his bed that will ring upon any intrusion into or near Wolfe's own bedroom: "Wolfe told me once ... that he really had no cowardice in him, he only had an intense distaste for being touched by anyone ..." When Jerome Berin, creator of saucisse minuit, repeatedly taps Wolfe on the knee, Archie grins at "Wolfe, who didn't like being touched, concealing his squirm for the sake of sausages." In Prisoner's Base
    Prisoner's Base
    Prisoner's Base is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by Viking Press in 1952.-Plot introduction:...

    , Wolfe speaks coldly as he tells the DA and Cramer  that the despised Lieutenant Rowcliff  "put a hand on me. ... I will not have a hand put on me, gentlemen. I like no man's hand on me, and one such as Mr. Rowcliff's, unmerited, I will not have." Wolfe's prejudices make it all the more surprising when, in "Cordially Invited to Meet Death," Archie finds Wolfe in the kitchen with a woman who has solved the problem of preparing corned beef: "Standing beside him, closer to him than I had ever seen any woman or girl of any age tolerated, with her hand slipped between his arm and his bulk, was Maryella."
  • As noted in Murder by the Book
    Murder by the Book
    Murder by the Book is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout published in 1951 by the Viking Press, and collected in the omnibus volume Royal Flush .-Plot summary:...

    , Wolfe likes to solve the crossword puzzle of The Times
    The Times
    The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

    , in preference to those of American papers, and hates to be interrupted while so engaged.
  • In nearly every story, Wolfe solves the mystery by considering the facts brought to him by Archie and others, and the replies to questions he himself asks of suspects. Wolfe ponders with his eyes closed, leaning back in his chair, breathing deeply and steadily, and pushing his lips in and out. Archie says that during these trances Wolfe reacts to nothing that is going on around him. Archie seldom interrupts Wolfe's thought processes, he says, largely because it is the only time that he can be sure that Wolfe is working.

Narrator

Archie Goodwin
Archie Goodwin (fictional detective)
Archie Goodwin is a fictional character and detective in Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries. The witty voice of all the stories, he recorded the cases of the detective genius from 1934 to 1975 . He lives in Nero Wolfe's brownstone in New York City.Archie was born on October 23 in Chillicothe, Ohio,...

 is the narrator of all the Nero Wolfe stories and a central character in them. He is occasionally referred to by the New York newspapers as "Nero Wolfe's legman". Like Wolfe, Archie is a licensed private detective and handles all investigation that takes place outside the brownstone. He also takes care of routine tasks such as sorting the mail, taking dictation and answering the phone. At the time of the first novel, Fer-de-Lance, Archie had been working for Wolfe for seven years and had by then been trained by Wolfe in his preferred methods of investigation. Like Wolfe, he has developed an extraordinary memory and can recite verbatim conversations that go on for hours. But perhaps his most useful attribute is his ability to bring reluctant people to Wolfe for interrogation.

Archie has his own bedroom one floor above Wolfe's and lives at the brownstone rent-free. On several occasions he makes it a point to note that he owns his bedroom furniture. Except for breakfast (which chef Fritz Brenner generally serves him in the kitchen) Archie takes his meals at Wolfe's table, and has learned much about haute cuisine
Haute cuisine
Haute cuisine or grande cuisine was characterised by French cuisine in elaborate preparations and presentations served in small and numerous courses that were produced by large and hierarchical staffs at the grand restaurants and hotels of Europe.The 17th century chef and writer La Varenne...

 by listening to Wolfe and Fritz discuss food. While Archie has a cocktail on occasion, his beverage of choice is milk.

Archie's initial rough edges become smoother across the decades, much as American norms evolved over the years. Noting Archie's colloquialisms in the first two Nero Wolfe novels, Rev. Frederick G. Gotwald wrote, "The crudeness of these references makes me suspect that Stout uses them in Archie to show their ugliness because he uses them unapologetically." In the first Wolfe novel, Archie uses a racially offensive term, for which Wolfe chides him, but by the time that A Right to Die
A Right to Die
A Right to Die is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1964.-Plot summary:The novel is set against the background of the Civil Rights Act conflict in the Johnson Administration...

 was published in 1964, racial epithets were used only by Stout's criminals, or as evidence of mental defect.
Many reviewers and critics regard Archie as the stories' true protagonist. Compared to Wolfe, Goodwin is the man of action, tough and street smart. His narrative style is breezy and vivid. Some commentators saw this as a conscious device by Stout to fuse the hard school of Dashiell Hammett
Dashiell Hammett
Samuel Dashiell Hammett was an American author of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories, and political activist. Among the enduring characters he created are Sam Spade , Nick and Nora Charles , and the Continental Op .In addition to the significant influence his novels and stories had on...

's Sam Spade
Sam Spade
Sam Spade is a fictional character who is the protagonist of Dashiell Hammett's 1930 novel The Maltese Falcon and the various films and adaptations based on it, as well as in three lesser known short stories by Hammett....

 with the urbanity of Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The fantastic London-based "consulting detective", Holmes is famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to take almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science skills to solve...

 or Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie
Dame Agatha Christie DBE was a British crime writer of novels, short stories, and plays. She also wrote romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but she is best remembered for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections , and her successful West End plays.According to...

's Hercule Poirot
Hercule Poirot
Hercule Poirot is a fictional Belgian detective created by Agatha Christie. Along with Miss Marple, Poirot is one of Christie's most famous and long-lived characters, appearing in 33 novels and 51 short stories published between 1920 and 1975 and set in the same era.Poirot has been portrayed on...

. But there is no doubt that Goodwin was an important addition to the genre of detective fiction. Previously, foils such as Watson or Hastings were employed as confidants and narrators, but none had such a fully developed personality or was such an integral part of the plot as Archie.

Household

  • Fritz Brenner — exceptionally talented Swiss cook who prepares and serves all of Wolfe's meals except those that Wolfe occasionally takes at Rusterman's Restaurant. Fritz also acts as the household's majordomo and butler.
  • Theodore Horstmann — orchid expert who assists Wolfe in the plant rooms.

The 'Teers

  • Saul Panzer — top-notch private detective who is frequently hired by Nero Wolfe either to assist Archie Goodwin, or to carry out assignments Wolfe prefers that Archie not know about. Archie often comments on Saul's exceptional memory.
  • Fred Durkin — blue-collar investigator who is often hired for mundane tasks like surveillance.
  • Orrie Cather — handsome, personable detective who thinks he would look just fine sitting at Archie's desk.

Law enforcement officials

  • Inspector Cramer — head of Homicide in Manhattan. In some of the stories it is implied that his authority extends to other NYC
    New York City
    New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

     boroughs.
  • Sergeant Purley Stebbins — assistant to Cramer.
  • Lieutenant George Rowcliff — obnoxious police lieutenant (who has been known to stutter when frustrated by Goodwin). Plays an integral part in Please Pass the Guilt
    Please Pass the Guilt
    Please Pass the Guilt is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1973.-Publication history:*1973, New York: The Viking Press, September 1973, hardcover*1995, New York: Bantam Books ISBN 0-553-76308-3 January 2, 1995, paperback*1999, Newport Beach, California:...

    .
  • Hombert — in some of the novels the New York police commissioner
  • Skinner — New York County Manhattan District Attorney
    New York County District Attorney
    The New York County District Attorney is the elected district attorney for New York County , New York. The office is responsible for the prosecution of violations of New York state laws....

  • Mandelbaum (aka Mandel) — Manhattan Assistant District Attorney.
  • Cleveland Archer — Westchester County
    Westchester County, New York
    Westchester County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. Westchester covers an area of and has a population of 949,113 according to the 2010 Census, residing in 45 municipalities...

      district attorney
    District attorney
    In many jurisdictions in the United States, a District Attorney is an elected or appointed government official who represents the government in the prosecution of criminal offenses. The district attorney is the highest officeholder in the jurisdiction's legal department and supervises a staff of...

  • Ben Dykes — head of Westchester County
    Westchester County, New York
    Westchester County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. Westchester covers an area of and has a population of 949,113 according to the 2010 Census, residing in 45 municipalities...

      detectives
  • Con Noonan — lieutenant with the New York State Police
    New York State Police
    The New York State Police is the state police force of over 4,600 sworn Troopers for the state of New York. It was established on April 11, 1917 by the New York Legislature, in response to the 1913 murder of a construction foreman named Sam Howell in Westchester County, which at that time did not...

    . He dislikes Wolfe and Goodwin and would lock them up under the feeblest excuse (see the novella "Door To Death"
    Three Doors to Death
    Three Doors to Death is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1950 — itself collected in the omnibus volume Five of a Kind...

    ).

Friends

  • Lon Cohen — of the New York Gazette, Archie's pipeline to breaking crime news. Archie frequently asks Lon for background information on current or prospective clients. Lon is also one of Archie's poker-playing pals.
  • Lily Rowan — heiress and socialite, often appears as Archie's romantic companion, although both Lily and Archie are fiercely independent and have no intention of getting engaged or settling down. Lily was introduced in Some Buried Caesar
    Some Buried Caesar
    Some Buried Caesar is the sixth Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. The story first appeared in abridged form in The American Magazine , under the title "The Red Bull." It was first published in book form by Farrar & Rinehart in 1939...

    , appears in several stories, and assists in a couple of cases.
  • Marko Vukčić — A fellow Montenegrin whom Wolfe has known since childhood, possibly a blood relative (since "vuk" means "wolf"). Vukčić owns the high-class Rusterman's Restaurant in Manhattan. According to In the Best Families
    In the Best Families
    In the Best Families is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1950...

     (in which Wolfe gives him power of attorney), he is the only man in New York who calls Wolfe by his first name. When Vukčić is killed in The Black Mountain
    The Black Mountain
    The Black Mountain is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1954. The story was also collected in the omnibus volume Three Trumps ....

    , Wolfe is executor of Vukčić's will and runs Rusterman's as a trustee for several years.
  • Lewis Hewitt — well-heeled orchid fancier, for whom Wolfe did a favor (as told in "Black Orchids"). During a prolonged absence (In the Best Families
    In the Best Families
    In the Best Families is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1950...

    ), Wolfe sends his orchids to Hewitt for care. Wolfe occasionally asks professional favors of Hewitt (as in The Doorbell Rang), and Hewitt has sent at least one friend, Millard Bynoe, to ask Wolfe's assistance (Easter Parade
    And Four to Go
    And Four to Go is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1958...

    ).
  • Nathaniel Parker — Wolfe's lawyer (or occasionally as a client's lawyer, on Wolfe's recommendation) when only a lawyer will do. The character name evolved from "Henry H. Barber"; in Prisoner's Base (1952) the lawyer's name is Nathaniel Parker, but in The Golden Spiders
    The Golden Spiders
    The Golden Spiders is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. It was first published in 1953 by The Viking Press.-Plot introduction:...

     (1953) it's Henry Parker, and then reverts to Nathaniel Parker for the rest of the series. Parker is an old friend, and shares some of Wolfe's abilities, e.g., Parker converses with Wolfe in French during the story "Immune to Murder."
  • Doctor Vollmer — a medical doctor who is Wolfe's neighbor and friend. Wolfe calls upon Vollmer whenever a dead body is discovered (which happens often). In the novel The Silent Speaker
    The Silent Speaker
    The Silent Speaker is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1946. It was published just after World War II, and key plot elements reflect the lingering effects of the war: housing shortages and restrictions on consumer goods, including government...

    , Vollmer contrives an illness severe enough that Wolfe cannot be bothered by anyone. Vollmer's motivation, aside from friendship, is that Wolfe helped him out with a would-be blackmailer years ago.
  • Carla Lovchen — Wolfe's adopted daughter, who appears in only two stories, Over My Dead Body
    Over My Dead Body (novel)
    Over My Dead Body is the seventh Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. The story first appeared in abridged form in The American Magazine...

     and The Black Mountain
    The Black Mountain
    The Black Mountain is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1954. The story was also collected in the omnibus volume Three Trumps ....

    .

Other associates

  • Bill Gore — freelance operative occasionally called in when Wolfe requires additional help in the field.
  • Johnny Keems — freelance operative occasionally called in by Wolfe. He makes his last appearance in the novel Might as Well Be Dead
    Might As Well Be Dead
    Might as Well Be Dead is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1956. The story was also collected in the omnibus volume Three Aces .-Plot introduction:...

    .
  • Theodolinda (Dol) Bonner and Sally Corbett (aka Sally Colt) — female operatives whom Wolfe employs at need. They also play a major role in the novella "Too Many Detectives". Dol Bonner is the principal character in the novel The Hand in the Glove
    The Hand in the Glove
    The Hand in the Glove is a Dol Bonner mystery novel by Rex Stout. It was first published by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., in 1937, and later in paperback by Dell as mapback #177 and, later, by other publishers...

    , which is an early example of a woman private detective as the protagonist of a mystery novel. Dol Bonner and her agency operatives appear in a few Wolfe mysteries in places where female operatives are required, such as The Mother Hunt
    The Mother Hunt
    The Mother Hunt is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by Viking Press in 1963.-Plot introduction:A baby is left in a young widow's vestibule, along with a note implying that her late husband is the baby's father...

  • Del Bascom — independent investigator who runs a large conventional detective agency in Manhattan. Wolfe sometimes subcontracts to Bascom when he needs a lot of men for something (as in The Silent Speaker
    The Silent Speaker
    The Silent Speaker is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1946. It was published just after World War II, and key plot elements reflect the lingering effects of the war: housing shortages and restrictions on consumer goods, including government...

    ).
  • Herb Aronson and Al Goller — friendly cabbies who make themselves available to Archie for mobile surveillance jobs.
  • Geoffrey Hitchcock - Wolfe's contact in London who handles enquiries to be made in Europe.

Nero Wolfe books by Rex Stout

Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe books are listed below in order of publication. Years link to year-in-literature articles. Novels can be browsed alphabetically by title at the Nero Wolfe novels by Rex Stout page. Titles of the novella collections are listed alphabetically on the Nero Wolfe short story collections page.
  • 1934
    1934 in literature
    The year 1934 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* The first Flash Gordon comic strip is published.*Boris Pasternak and Korney Chukovsky are among those present at the first Congress of the Soviet Union of Writers....

    : Fer-de-Lance
  • 1935
    1935 in literature
    The year 1935 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* June 15 - W. H. Auden enters a marriage of convenience with Erika Mann.* July 30 - Allen Lane founds Penguin Books to publish the first mass market paperbacks in Britain....

    : The League of Frightened Men
    The League of Frightened Men
    The League of Frightened Men is the second Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. The story was serialized in six issues of The Saturday Evening Post under the title The Frightened Men. The novel was published in 1935 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc...

  • 1936
    1936 in literature
    The year 1936 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* Life magazine is first published.* The Carnegie Medal for excellence in children's literature is established in the UK.-New books:...

    : The Rubber Band
    The Rubber Band
    The Rubber Band is the third Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. Prior to its publication in 1936 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., the novel was serialized in six issues of The Saturday Evening Post...

  • 1937
    1937 in literature
    The year 1937 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*January 9 - The first issue of Look magazine goes on sale in the United States.*Thomas Quinn Curtiss meets Klaus Mann.-New books:*Eric Ambler - Uncommon Danger...

    : The Red Box
    The Red Box
    The Red Box is the fourth Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. Prior to its first publication in 1937 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., the novel was serialized in five issues of The American Magazine...

  • 1938
    1938 in literature
    The year 1938 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* The trilogy, U.S.A. by John Dos Passos, is published containing his three novels The 42nd Parallel , 1919 , and The Big Money ....

    : Too Many Cooks
    Too Many Cooks
    Too Many Cooks is the fifth Nero Wolfe detective novel by American mystery writer Rex Stout. The story was serialized in The American Magazine before its publication in book form in 1938 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc...

  • 1939
    1939 in literature
    The year 1939 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*December 25 - A Christmas Carol is read before a radio audience for the first time....

    : Some Buried Caesar
    Some Buried Caesar
    Some Buried Caesar is the sixth Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. The story first appeared in abridged form in The American Magazine , under the title "The Red Bull." It was first published in book form by Farrar & Rinehart in 1939...

  • 1940
    1940 in literature
    The year 1940 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Aldous Huxley is a screenwriter for the movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.*Jean-Paul Sartre is taken prisoner by the Germans....

    : Over My Dead Body
    Over My Dead Body (novel)
    Over My Dead Body is the seventh Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. The story first appeared in abridged form in The American Magazine...

  • 1940
    1940 in literature
    The year 1940 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Aldous Huxley is a screenwriter for the movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.*Jean-Paul Sartre is taken prisoner by the Germans....

    : Where There's a Will
  • 1942
    1942 in literature
    The year 1942 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*André Gide leaves France to live in Tunis.*Robertson Davies becomes editor of the Peterborough Examiner.*Thomas Mann emigrates to California....

    : Black Orchids
    Black Orchids
    Black Orchids is a Nero Wolfe double mystery by Rex Stout published in 1942 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc. Stout's first short story collection, the volume is composed of two novellas that had appeared in abridged form in The American Magazine:...

  • 1944
    1944 in literature
    The year 1944 in literature involved some significant new books.-New books:*Samuel Hopkins Adams – Canal Town*Jorge Amado – Terras do Sem Fim *Saul Bellow – Dangling Man*Jorge Luis Borges – Fictions...

    : Not Quite Dead Enough
    Not Quite Dead Enough
    Not Quite Dead Enough is a Nero Wolfe double mystery by Rex Stout published in 1944 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc. The volume contains two novellas that first appeared in The American Magazine:* "Not Quite Dead Enough"...

  • 1946
    1946 in literature
    The year 1946 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*November 7 - Walker Percy marries Mary Bernice Townsend.*Launch in the United Kingdom of Penguin Classics under the editorship of E. V...

    : The Silent Speaker
    The Silent Speaker
    The Silent Speaker is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1946. It was published just after World War II, and key plot elements reflect the lingering effects of the war: housing shortages and restrictions on consumer goods, including government...

  • 1947
    1947 in literature
    The year 1947 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*The Diary of Anne Frank is published for the first time.*Jack Kerouac makes the journey which he will later chronicle in his book On the Road....

    : Too Many Women
    Too Many Women
    Too Many Women is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published in 1947 by the Viking Press. The novel was also collected in the omnibus volume All Aces .-Plot introduction:...

  • 1948
    1948 in literature
    The year 1948 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* The Pulitzer Prize for the Novel is renamed the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction....

    : And Be a Villain
    And Be a Villain
    And Be a Villain is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1948...

     (British title More Deaths Than One)
  • 1949
    1949 in literature
    The year 1949 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Arthur C. Clarke becomes Assistant Editor of Science Abstracts.*Bertrand Russell receives the Order of Merit....

    : Trouble in Triplicate
    Trouble in Triplicate
    Trouble in Triplicate is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1949, and itself collected in the omnibus volume All Aces...

  • 1949
    1949 in literature
    The year 1949 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Arthur C. Clarke becomes Assistant Editor of Science Abstracts.*Bertrand Russell receives the Order of Merit....

    : The Second Confession
    The Second Confession
    The Second Confession is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1949. The story was collected in the omnibus volume Triple Zeck ....

  • 1950
    1950 in literature
    The year 1950 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Kazuo Shimada wins the "Mystery Writer Of Japan" award for his book Shakai-bu Kisha .*Jack Kerouac has his first novel published....

    : Three Doors to Death
    Three Doors to Death
    Three Doors to Death is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1950 — itself collected in the omnibus volume Five of a Kind...

  • 1950
    1950 in literature
    The year 1950 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Kazuo Shimada wins the "Mystery Writer Of Japan" award for his book Shakai-bu Kisha .*Jack Kerouac has his first novel published....

    : In the Best Families
    In the Best Families
    In the Best Families is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1950...

     (British title Even in the Best Families)
  • 1951
    1951 in literature
    The year 1951 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*E. E. Cummings and Rachel Carson are awarded Guggenheim Fellowships.*Flannery O'Connor is diagnosed with lupus....

    : Curtains for Three
    Curtains for Three
    Curtains for Three is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1951 and itself collected in the omnibus volume Full House...

  • 1951
    1951 in literature
    The year 1951 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*E. E. Cummings and Rachel Carson are awarded Guggenheim Fellowships.*Flannery O'Connor is diagnosed with lupus....

    : Murder by the Book
    Murder by the Book
    Murder by the Book is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout published in 1951 by the Viking Press, and collected in the omnibus volume Royal Flush .-Plot summary:...

  • 1952
    1952 in literature
    The year 1952, in literature involved some significant events and new literary publications.-Events:*J. L. Carr takes over as headmaster of Highfields Primary School, Kettering, which will eventually furnish the subject matter for his novel, The Harpole Report.*November 25 - Agatha Christie's play...

    : Triple Jeopardy
    Triple Jeopardy
    Triple Jeopardy is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1952. Itself collected in the omnibus volume Kings Full of Aces , the book comprises three stories that first appeared in The American Magazine:* "Home to Roost" * "The Cop-Killer" Triple...

  • 1952
    1952 in literature
    The year 1952, in literature involved some significant events and new literary publications.-Events:*J. L. Carr takes over as headmaster of Highfields Primary School, Kettering, which will eventually furnish the subject matter for his novel, The Harpole Report.*November 25 - Agatha Christie's play...

    : Prisoner's Base
    Prisoner's Base
    Prisoner's Base is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by Viking Press in 1952.-Plot introduction:...

     (British title Out Goes She)
  • 1953
    1953 in literature
    The year 1953 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* January 22 - The Crucible, a drama by Arthur Miller, opens on Broadway....

    : The Golden Spiders
    The Golden Spiders
    The Golden Spiders is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. It was first published in 1953 by The Viking Press.-Plot introduction:...

  • 1954
    1954 in literature
    The year 1954 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Jack Kerouac reads Dwight Goddard's A Buddhist Bible, which will influence him greatly.*John Updike graduates from Harvard with a thesis on George Herbert....

    : Three Men Out
    Three Men Out
    Three Men Out is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1954. The book comprises three stories that first appeared in The American Magazine:* "Invitation to Murder"...

  • 1954
    1954 in literature
    The year 1954 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Jack Kerouac reads Dwight Goddard's A Buddhist Bible, which will influence him greatly.*John Updike graduates from Harvard with a thesis on George Herbert....

    : The Black Mountain
    The Black Mountain
    The Black Mountain is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1954. The story was also collected in the omnibus volume Three Trumps ....

  • 1955
    1955 in literature
    The year 1955 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*28 May - Philip Larkin makes a train journey from Hull to London which inspires his poem The Whitsun Weddings....

    : Before Midnight
    Before Midnight
    Before Midnight is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout published in 1955 by the Viking Press. The story was also collected in the omnibus volume Three Trumps .-Plot introduction:...

  • 1956
    1956 in literature
    The year 1956 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* Writing under the pseudonym of Emile Ajar, author Romain Gary becomes the only person ever to win the Prix Goncourt twice.*Iris Murdoch marries John Bayley....

    : Three Witnesses
    Three Witnesses (book)
    Three Witnesses is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1956 and itself collected in the omnibus volume Royal Flush...

  • 1956
    1956 in literature
    The year 1956 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* Writing under the pseudonym of Emile Ajar, author Romain Gary becomes the only person ever to win the Prix Goncourt twice.*Iris Murdoch marries John Bayley....

    : Might as Well Be Dead
    Might As Well Be Dead
    Might as Well Be Dead is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1956. The story was also collected in the omnibus volume Three Aces .-Plot introduction:...

  • 1957
    1957 in literature
    The year 1957 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* Lawrence Durrell publishes the first volume of The Alexandria Quartet. The final of the four volumes will be published in 1960....

    : Three for the Chair
    Three for the Chair
    Three for the Chair is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1957, and by Bantam Books in various paperback printings beginning in 1958...

  • 1957
    1957 in literature
    The year 1957 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* Lawrence Durrell publishes the first volume of The Alexandria Quartet. The final of the four volumes will be published in 1960....

    : If Death Ever Slept
    If Death Ever Slept
    If Death Ever Slept is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1957 and collected in the omnibus volume Three Trumps .-Plot introduction:...

  • 1958
    1958 in literature
    The year 1958 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*August 18 - Vladimir Nabokov's controversial novel Lolita is published in United States.*First volume of The Civil War by Shelby Foote is published....

    : And Four to Go
    And Four to Go
    And Four to Go is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1958...

  • 1958
    1958 in literature
    The year 1958 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*August 18 - Vladimir Nabokov's controversial novel Lolita is published in United States.*First volume of The Civil War by Shelby Foote is published....

    : Champagne for One
    Champagne for One
    Champagne for One is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1958.The back matter of the 1995 Bantam edition of this book includes an exchange of correspondence between Stout and his editor at Viking Press, Marshall Best...

  • 1959
    1959 in literature
    The year 1959 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*April 30 - Theatrical première of Bertolt Brecht's Saint Joan of the Stockyards, originally performed on radio in 1932....

    : Plot It Yourself
    Plot It Yourself
    Plot It Yourself is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1959, and also collected in the omnibus volume Kings Full of Aces .-Plot introduction:...

     (British title Murder in Style)
  • 1960
    1960 in literature
    The year 1960 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*November 2 – Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity in the Lady Chatterley's Lover case in the United Kingdom....

    : Three at Wolfe's Door
    Three at Wolfe's Door
    Three at Wolfe's Door is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1960. The book comprises three stories, one of them published previously:* "Poison à la Carte"...

  • 1960
    1960 in literature
    The year 1960 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*November 2 – Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity in the Lady Chatterley's Lover case in the United Kingdom....

    : Too Many Clients
    Too Many Clients
    Too Many Clients is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1960, and collected in the omnibus volume Three Aces .-Plot introduction:...

  • 1961
    1961 in literature
    The year 1961 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*First English production of Bertolt Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui*Michael Halliday publishes his seminal paper on the systemic functional grammar model....

    : The Final Deduction
    The Final Deduction
    The Final Deduction is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1961 and collected in the omnibus volume Three Aces .-Plot summary:Mrs...

  • 1962
    1962 in literature
    The year 1962 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*January 7 - In an article in the New York Times Book Review, Gore Vidal calls Evelyn Waugh "our time's first satirist."...

    : Homicide Trinity
    Homicide Trinity
    Homicide Trinity is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1962. The book comprises three stories:* "Eeny Meeny Murder Mo," first published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine #220...

  • 1962
    1962 in literature
    The year 1962 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*January 7 - In an article in the New York Times Book Review, Gore Vidal calls Evelyn Waugh "our time's first satirist."...

    : Gambit
    Gambit (novel)
    Gambit is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1962.-Plot introduction:A chess prodigy is poisoned during a club tournament, and the police arrest the member who served the victim hot chocolate...

  • 1963
    1963 in literature
    The year 1963 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*First United States printing of John Cleland's 1749 novel, Fanny Hill . The book is banned for obscenity, triggering a court case by its publisher.*Leslie Charteris publishes his final collection of stories...

    : The Mother Hunt
    The Mother Hunt
    The Mother Hunt is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by Viking Press in 1963.-Plot introduction:A baby is left in a young widow's vestibule, along with a note implying that her late husband is the baby's father...

  • 1964
    1964 in literature
    The year 1964 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Jean-Paul Sartre becomes head of the Organization to Defend Iranian Political Prisoners....

    : Trio for Blunt Instruments
    Trio for Blunt Instruments
    Trio for Blunt Instruments is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published in 1964 by the Viking Press in the United States and simultaneously by MacMillan & Company in Canada...

  • 1964
    1964 in literature
    The year 1964 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Jean-Paul Sartre becomes head of the Organization to Defend Iranian Political Prisoners....

    : A Right to Die
    A Right to Die
    A Right to Die is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1964.-Plot summary:The novel is set against the background of the Civil Rights Act conflict in the Johnson Administration...

  • 1965
    1965 in literature
    The year 1965 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-New books:*Lloyd Alexander - The Black Cauldron*J. G. Ballard - The Drought*Ray Bradbury - The Vintage Bradbury*John Brunner...

    : The Doorbell Rang
    The Doorbell Rang
    The Doorbell Rang is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1965.-Plot introduction:Nero Wolfe is hired to force the FBI to stop wiretapping, tailing and otherwise harassing a woman who gave away 10,000 copies of a book that is critical of the Bureau and...

  • 1966
    1966 in literature
    The year 1966 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*February 14 - Dissident writers Yuli Daniel and Andrei Sinyavsky are sentenced to hard labour for "anti-Soviet activity"....

    : Death of a Doxy
    Death of a Doxy
    Death of a Doxy is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by Viking Press in 1966.-Plot introduction:Orrie Cather, one of Wolfe's operatives, has been secretly seeing a wealthy man's kept mistress at her secret lovenest...

  • 1968
    1968 in literature
    The year 1968 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* Dean R. Koontz's first novel, Star Quest is published....

    : The Father Hunt
    The Father Hunt
    The Father Hunt is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1968. "This is the first Nero Wolfe novel in nearly two years," the front flap of the dust jacket reads, "an unusual interval for the productive Rex Stout, who celebrated his eightieth birthday in...

  • 1969
    1969 in literature
    The year 1969 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* The first Booker Prize is awarded.* "Penelope Ashe", author of the bestselling novel Naked Came the Stranger, is found to be several people who each took a turn writing a chapter of what they described as "junk" in...

    : Death of a Dude
    Death of a Dude
    Death of a Dude is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1969.-Plot introduction:Archie Goodwin is part of a house party at Lily Rowan's vacation home in Montana when a murder brings Nero Wolfe from New York to take a hand.-Publication history:*1969, New York:...

  • 1973
    1973 in literature
    The year 1973 in literature involved several significant events and the writing of many notable books.-Events:*September 25 - The funeral of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda becomes a focus for protests against the new government of Augusto Pinochet...

    : Please Pass the Guilt
    Please Pass the Guilt
    Please Pass the Guilt is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1973.-Publication history:*1973, New York: The Viking Press, September 1973, hardcover*1995, New York: Bantam Books ISBN 0-553-76308-3 January 2, 1995, paperback*1999, Newport Beach, California:...

  • 1975
    1975 in literature
    The year 1975 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* August 12 — with the 20-year time limit stipulated by Thomas Mann at his death having expired, sealed packets containing 32 of the author's notebooks were opened in Zurich, Switzerland.* Writing under the...

    : A Family Affair
    A Family Affair (novel)
    A Family Affair is the final Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1975.-Plot summary:A waiter at Rusterman's Restaurant turns up at Wolfe's front door late one night, claiming that a man is going to kill him. Shortly after Archie puts him in one of the spare...

  • 1985
    1985 in literature
    The year 1985 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-New books:*Isaac Asimov - Robots and Empire*Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale*Jean M. Auel - The Mammoth Hunters*Iain Banks - Walking on Glass...

    : Death Times Three
    Death Times Three
    Death Times Three is a collection of Nero Wolfe novellas by Rex Stout, published posthumously by Bantam Books in 1985. The book contains three stories, one never before published:...

     (posthumous)


Nero Wolfe novellas by Rex Stout

Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe novellas are listed below in order of first appearance. Years link to year-in-literature articles.
  • 1940
    1940 in literature
    The year 1940 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Aldous Huxley is a screenwriter for the movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.*Jean-Paul Sartre is taken prisoner by the Germans....

    : "Bitter End"
    Death Times Three
    Death Times Three is a collection of Nero Wolfe novellas by Rex Stout, published posthumously by Bantam Books in 1985. The book contains three stories, one never before published:...

  • 1941
    1941 in literature
    The year 1941 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Frank Herbert marries Flora Parkinson.*F. Scott Fitzgerald's unfinished work, The Last Tycoon, is edited and published by Edmund Wilson.-New books:...

    : "Black Orchids
    Black Orchids
    Black Orchids is a Nero Wolfe double mystery by Rex Stout published in 1942 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc. Stout's first short story collection, the volume is composed of two novellas that had appeared in abridged form in The American Magazine:...

    "
  • 1942
    1942 in literature
    The year 1942 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*André Gide leaves France to live in Tunis.*Robertson Davies becomes editor of the Peterborough Examiner.*Thomas Mann emigrates to California....

    : "Cordially Invited to Meet Death"
  • 1942
    1942 in literature
    The year 1942 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*André Gide leaves France to live in Tunis.*Robertson Davies becomes editor of the Peterborough Examiner.*Thomas Mann emigrates to California....

    : "Not Quite Dead Enough"
  • 1944
    1944 in literature
    The year 1944 in literature involved some significant new books.-New books:*Samuel Hopkins Adams – Canal Town*Jorge Amado – Terras do Sem Fim *Saul Bellow – Dangling Man*Jorge Luis Borges – Fictions...

    : "Booby Trap"
  • 1945
    1945 in literature
    The year 1945 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*November 1 - The magazine Ebony is published for the first time.*Noel Coward's short play, Still Life, is adapted to become the film, Brief Encounter....

    : "Help Wanted, Male"
    Trouble in Triplicate
    Trouble in Triplicate is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1949, and itself collected in the omnibus volume All Aces...

  • 1946
    1946 in literature
    The year 1946 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*November 7 - Walker Percy marries Mary Bernice Townsend.*Launch in the United Kingdom of Penguin Classics under the editorship of E. V...

    : "Instead of Evidence"
    Trouble in Triplicate
    Trouble in Triplicate is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1949, and itself collected in the omnibus volume All Aces...

  • 1947
    1947 in literature
    The year 1947 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*The Diary of Anne Frank is published for the first time.*Jack Kerouac makes the journey which he will later chronicle in his book On the Road....

    : "Before I Die"
    Trouble in Triplicate
    Trouble in Triplicate is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1949, and itself collected in the omnibus volume All Aces...

  • 1947
    1947 in literature
    The year 1947 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*The Diary of Anne Frank is published for the first time.*Jack Kerouac makes the journey which he will later chronicle in his book On the Road....

    : "Man Alive"
    Three Doors to Death
    Three Doors to Death is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1950 — itself collected in the omnibus volume Five of a Kind...

  • 1948
    1948 in literature
    The year 1948 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* The Pulitzer Prize for the Novel is renamed the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction....

    : "Bullet for One"
    Curtains for Three
    Curtains for Three is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1951 and itself collected in the omnibus volume Full House...

  • 1948
    1948 in literature
    The year 1948 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* The Pulitzer Prize for the Novel is renamed the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction....

    : "Omit Flowers"
    Three Doors to Death
    Three Doors to Death is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1950 — itself collected in the omnibus volume Five of a Kind...

  • 1949
    1949 in literature
    The year 1949 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Arthur C. Clarke becomes Assistant Editor of Science Abstracts.*Bertrand Russell receives the Order of Merit....

    : "Door to Death"
    Three Doors to Death
    Three Doors to Death is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1950 — itself collected in the omnibus volume Five of a Kind...

  • 1949
    1949 in literature
    The year 1949 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Arthur C. Clarke becomes Assistant Editor of Science Abstracts.*Bertrand Russell receives the Order of Merit....

    : "The Gun with Wings"
    Curtains for Three
    Curtains for Three is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1951 and itself collected in the omnibus volume Full House...

  • 1950
    1950 in literature
    The year 1950 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Kazuo Shimada wins the "Mystery Writer Of Japan" award for his book Shakai-bu Kisha .*Jack Kerouac has his first novel published....

    : "Disguise for Murder"
    Curtains for Three
    Curtains for Three is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1951 and itself collected in the omnibus volume Full House...

  • 1951
    1951 in literature
    The year 1951 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*E. E. Cummings and Rachel Carson are awarded Guggenheim Fellowships.*Flannery O'Connor is diagnosed with lupus....

    : "The Cop-Killer"
    Triple Jeopardy
    Triple Jeopardy is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1952. Itself collected in the omnibus volume Kings Full of Aces , the book comprises three stories that first appeared in The American Magazine:* "Home to Roost" * "The Cop-Killer" Triple...

  • 1951
    1951 in literature
    The year 1951 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*E. E. Cummings and Rachel Carson are awarded Guggenheim Fellowships.*Flannery O'Connor is diagnosed with lupus....

    : "The Squirt and the Monkey"
    Triple Jeopardy
    Triple Jeopardy is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1952. Itself collected in the omnibus volume Kings Full of Aces , the book comprises three stories that first appeared in The American Magazine:* "Home to Roost" * "The Cop-Killer" Triple...

  • 1952
    1952 in literature
    The year 1952, in literature involved some significant events and new literary publications.-Events:*J. L. Carr takes over as headmaster of Highfields Primary School, Kettering, which will eventually furnish the subject matter for his novel, The Harpole Report.*November 25 - Agatha Christie's play...

    : "Home to Roost"
    Triple Jeopardy
    Triple Jeopardy is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1952. Itself collected in the omnibus volume Kings Full of Aces , the book comprises three stories that first appeared in The American Magazine:* "Home to Roost" * "The Cop-Killer" Triple...

  • 1952
    1952 in literature
    The year 1952, in literature involved some significant events and new literary publications.-Events:*J. L. Carr takes over as headmaster of Highfields Primary School, Kettering, which will eventually furnish the subject matter for his novel, The Harpole Report.*November 25 - Agatha Christie's play...

    : "This Won't Kill You"
    Three Men Out
    Three Men Out is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1954. The book comprises three stories that first appeared in The American Magazine:* "Invitation to Murder"...

  • 1953
    1953 in literature
    The year 1953 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* January 22 - The Crucible, a drama by Arthur Miller, opens on Broadway....

    : "Invitation to Murder"
    Three Men Out
    Three Men Out is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1954. The book comprises three stories that first appeared in The American Magazine:* "Invitation to Murder"...

  • 1953
    1953 in literature
    The year 1953 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* January 22 - The Crucible, a drama by Arthur Miller, opens on Broadway....

    : "The Zero Clue"
    Three Men Out
    Three Men Out is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1954. The book comprises three stories that first appeared in The American Magazine:* "Invitation to Murder"...

  • 1954
    1954 in literature
    The year 1954 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Jack Kerouac reads Dwight Goddard's A Buddhist Bible, which will influence him greatly.*John Updike graduates from Harvard with a thesis on George Herbert....

    : "When a Man Murders..."
    Three Witnesses (book)
    Three Witnesses is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1956 and itself collected in the omnibus volume Royal Flush...

  • 1954
    1954 in literature
    The year 1954 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Jack Kerouac reads Dwight Goddard's A Buddhist Bible, which will influence him greatly.*John Updike graduates from Harvard with a thesis on George Herbert....

    : "Die Like a Dog"
    Three Witnesses (book)
    Three Witnesses is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1956 and itself collected in the omnibus volume Royal Flush...

  • 1955
    1955 in literature
    The year 1955 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*28 May - Philip Larkin makes a train journey from Hull to London which inspires his poem The Whitsun Weddings....

    : "The Next Witness"
    Three Witnesses (book)
    Three Witnesses is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1956 and itself collected in the omnibus volume Royal Flush...

  • 1955
    1955 in literature
    The year 1955 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*28 May - Philip Larkin makes a train journey from Hull to London which inspires his poem The Whitsun Weddings....

    : "Immune to Murder"
  • 1956
    1956 in literature
    The year 1956 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* Writing under the pseudonym of Emile Ajar, author Romain Gary becomes the only person ever to win the Prix Goncourt twice.*Iris Murdoch marries John Bayley....

    : "A Window for Death"
  • 1956
    1956 in literature
    The year 1956 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* Writing under the pseudonym of Emile Ajar, author Romain Gary becomes the only person ever to win the Prix Goncourt twice.*Iris Murdoch marries John Bayley....

    : "Too Many Detectives"
    Three for the Chair
    Three for the Chair is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1957, and by Bantam Books in various paperback printings beginning in 1958...

  • 1957
    1957 in literature
    The year 1957 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* Lawrence Durrell publishes the first volume of The Alexandria Quartet. The final of the four volumes will be published in 1960....

    : "Christmas Party"
    And Four to Go
    And Four to Go is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1958...

  • 1957
    1957 in literature
    The year 1957 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* Lawrence Durrell publishes the first volume of The Alexandria Quartet. The final of the four volumes will be published in 1960....

    : "Easter Parade"
    And Four to Go
    And Four to Go is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1958...

  • 1957
    1957 in literature
    The year 1957 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* Lawrence Durrell publishes the first volume of The Alexandria Quartet. The final of the four volumes will be published in 1960....

    : "Fourth of July Picnic"
    And Four to Go
    And Four to Go is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1958...

  • 1958
    1958 in literature
    The year 1958 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*August 18 - Vladimir Nabokov's controversial novel Lolita is published in United States.*First volume of The Civil War by Shelby Foote is published....

    : "Murder Is No Joke"
    And Four to Go
    And Four to Go is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1958...

     (expanded as "Frame-Up for Murder"
    Death Times Three
    Death Times Three is a collection of Nero Wolfe novellas by Rex Stout, published posthumously by Bantam Books in 1985. The book contains three stories, one never before published:...

    )
  • 1960
    1960 in literature
    The year 1960 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*November 2 – Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity in the Lady Chatterley's Lover case in the United Kingdom....

    : "Method Three for Murder"
    Three at Wolfe's Door
    Three at Wolfe's Door is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1960. The book comprises three stories, one of them published previously:* "Poison à la Carte"...

  • 1960
    1960 in literature
    The year 1960 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*November 2 – Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity in the Lady Chatterley's Lover case in the United Kingdom....

    : "Poison à la Carte"
    Three at Wolfe's Door
    Three at Wolfe's Door is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1960. The book comprises three stories, one of them published previously:* "Poison à la Carte"...

  • 1960
    1960 in literature
    The year 1960 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*November 2 – Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity in the Lady Chatterley's Lover case in the United Kingdom....

    : "The Rodeo Murder"
    Three at Wolfe's Door
    Three at Wolfe's Door is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1960. The book comprises three stories, one of them published previously:* "Poison à la Carte"...

  • 1961
    1961 in literature
    The year 1961 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*First English production of Bertolt Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui*Michael Halliday publishes his seminal paper on the systemic functional grammar model....

    : "Counterfeit for Murder"
    Homicide Trinity
    Homicide Trinity is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1962. The book comprises three stories:* "Eeny Meeny Murder Mo," first published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine #220...

  • 1961
    1961 in literature
    The year 1961 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*First English production of Bertolt Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui*Michael Halliday publishes his seminal paper on the systemic functional grammar model....

    : "Death of a Demon"
    Homicide Trinity
    Homicide Trinity is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1962. The book comprises three stories:* "Eeny Meeny Murder Mo," first published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine #220...

  • 1961
    1961 in literature
    The year 1961 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*First English production of Bertolt Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui*Michael Halliday publishes his seminal paper on the systemic functional grammar model....

    : "Kill Now — Pay Later"
    Trio for Blunt Instruments
    Trio for Blunt Instruments is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published in 1964 by the Viking Press in the United States and simultaneously by MacMillan & Company in Canada...

  • 1962
    1962 in literature
    The year 1962 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*January 7 - In an article in the New York Times Book Review, Gore Vidal calls Evelyn Waugh "our time's first satirist."...

    : "Eeny Meeny Murder Mo"
    Homicide Trinity
    Homicide Trinity is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1962. The book comprises three stories:* "Eeny Meeny Murder Mo," first published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine #220...

  • 1963
    1963 in literature
    The year 1963 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*First United States printing of John Cleland's 1749 novel, Fanny Hill . The book is banned for obscenity, triggering a court case by its publisher.*Leslie Charteris publishes his final collection of stories...

    : "Blood Will Tell"
    Trio for Blunt Instruments
    Trio for Blunt Instruments is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published in 1964 by the Viking Press in the United States and simultaneously by MacMillan & Company in Canada...

  • 1964
    1964 in literature
    The year 1964 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Jean-Paul Sartre becomes head of the Organization to Defend Iranian Political Prisoners....

    : "Murder Is Corny"
    Trio for Blunt Instruments
    Trio for Blunt Instruments is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published in 1964 by the Viking Press in the United States and simultaneously by MacMillan & Company in Canada...

  • 1985
    1985 in literature
    The year 1985 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-New books:*Isaac Asimov - Robots and Empire*Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale*Jean M. Auel - The Mammoth Hunters*Iain Banks - Walking on Glass...

    : "Assault on a Brownstone"
    Death Times Three
    Death Times Three is a collection of Nero Wolfe novellas by Rex Stout, published posthumously by Bantam Books in 1985. The book contains three stories, one never before published:...

     (1959
    1959 in literature
    The year 1959 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*April 30 - Theatrical première of Bertolt Brecht's Saint Joan of the Stockyards, originally performed on radio in 1932....

    , posthumous)


Other Nero Wolfe works by Rex Stout

  • The Nero Wolfe Cookbook, with the editors of Viking Press (1973) — The cuisine and world of Nero Wolfe are brought to life in 237 recipes and a wealth of pertinent quotes from the corpus, illustrated by vintage New York City photographs by John Muller, Andreas Feininger
    Andreas Feininger
    Andreas Bernhard Lyonel Feininger was a German American photographer, and writer on photographic technique, noted for his dynamic black-and-white scenes of Manhattan and studies of the structure of natural objects....

     and others. Many of the recipes would be regarded today as too heavy: for example, the ingredients listed for il pesto include pig liver and butter. Chapters include "Breakfast in the Old Brownstone"; "Luncheon in the Dining Room"; "Warm-Weather Dinners"; "Cold-Weather Dinners"; "Desserts"; "The Perfect Dinner for the Perfect Detective"; "The Relapse"; "Snacks"; "Guests, Male and Female"; "Associates for Dinner"; "Fritz Brenner"; "Dishes Cooked by Others"; "Rusterman's Restaurant"; "Nero Wolfe Cooks"; and "The Kanawha Spa Dinner". Hardcover ISBN 0670505994 / Paperback ISBN 1888952245
  • "Why Nero Wolfe Likes Orchids", Life
    Life (magazine)
    Life generally refers to three American magazines:*A humor and general interest magazine published from 1883 to 1936. Time founder Henry Luce bought the magazine in 1936 solely so that he could acquire the rights to its name....

     (April 19, 1963) — Concluding a feature story titled "The Orchid" that was photographed by Alfred Eisenstaedt
    Alfred Eisenstaedt
    Alfred Eisenstaedt was a German-American photographer and photojournalist. He is renowned for his candid photographs, frequently made using various models of a 35mm Leica rangefinder camera...

    , Archie Goodwin "investigates and explains the deep satisfactions of his boss's orchid-fixation." Archie reports that Wolfe's fascination with orchids began when he was given a specimen plant "by the wife of a man he had cleared on a murder rap. He kept it in the office and it petered out. He got mad, built a little shed on the roof and bought 20 plants." A detailed description of the dimensions and activities of the rooftop plant rooms follows. Archie notes that he often hears Wolfe talking to the orchids and gives examples of what he says. The main reason his boss grows orchids, he writes, is for the color:
He says you don't look at color, you feel it, and apparently he thinks that really means something. It doesn't to me, but maybe it does to you and you know exactly how he feels as he opens the door to the plant rooms and walks in on the big show. I have never known a day when less than a hundred plants were in bloom, and sometimes there are a thousand...
  • "The Case of the Spies Who Weren't", Ramparts (January 1966) — Archie Goodwin reports that the previous evening Nero Wolfe and "Rex Stout, my literary agent" filled 27 pages in his notebook with their discussion of Invitation to an Inquest by Walter and Miriam Schneir, a recently published book that they are reviewing for Ramparts magazine. Since their review must be fewer than 3,000 words, Wolfe frowns and orders Archie to "Contract it. Cramp it."
I frowned back. "You cramp it. Or Stout. Let him earn his ten per cent. Dictate it."
Archie loses the argument and condenses their views on the book, which concerns the case against Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg and Julius Rosenberg were American communists who were convicted and executed in 1953 for conspiracy to commit espionage during a time of war. The charges related to their passing information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union...

.

Nero Wolfe omnibus volumes

  • The Nero Wolfe Omnibus (1944, World Publishing Company; Hardcover). Contains The League of Frightened Men
    The League of Frightened Men
    The League of Frightened Men is the second Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. The story was serialized in six issues of The Saturday Evening Post under the title The Frightened Men. The novel was published in 1935 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc...

     and The Red Box
    The Red Box
    The Red Box is the fourth Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. Prior to its first publication in 1937 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., the novel was serialized in five issues of The American Magazine...

    .
  • Full House: A Nero Wolfe Omnibus (1955, The Viking Press; Hardcover ISBN 0670332070). Contains The League of Frightened Men
    The League of Frightened Men
    The League of Frightened Men is the second Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. The story was serialized in six issues of The Saturday Evening Post under the title The Frightened Men. The novel was published in 1935 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc...

    , And Be a Villain
    And Be a Villain
    And Be a Villain is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1948...

     and Curtains for Three
    Curtains for Three
    Curtains for Three is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1951 and itself collected in the omnibus volume Full House...

    .
  • All Aces: A Nero Wolfe Omnibus (1958, The Viking Press; Hardcover ISBN 9997531973). Contains Some Buried Caesar
    Some Buried Caesar
    Some Buried Caesar is the sixth Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. The story first appeared in abridged form in The American Magazine , under the title "The Red Bull." It was first published in book form by Farrar & Rinehart in 1939...

    , Too Many Women
    Too Many Women
    Too Many Women is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published in 1947 by the Viking Press. The novel was also collected in the omnibus volume All Aces .-Plot introduction:...

     and Trouble in Triplicate
    Trouble in Triplicate
    Trouble in Triplicate is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1949, and itself collected in the omnibus volume All Aces...

    .
  • Five of a Kind: The Third Nero Wolfe Omnibus (1961, The Viking Press; Hardcover ISBN 067031708X). Contains The Rubber Band
    The Rubber Band
    The Rubber Band is the third Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. Prior to its publication in 1936 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., the novel was serialized in six issues of The Saturday Evening Post...

    , In the Best Families
    In the Best Families
    In the Best Families is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1950...

     and Three Doors to Death
    Three Doors to Death
    Three Doors to Death is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1950 — itself collected in the omnibus volume Five of a Kind...

    .
  • Royal Flush: The Fourth Nero Wolfe Omnibus (1965, The Viking Press; Hardcover ISBN 067060934X). Contains Fer-de-Lance, Murder by the Book
    Murder by the Book
    Murder by the Book is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout published in 1951 by the Viking Press, and collected in the omnibus volume Royal Flush .-Plot summary:...

     and Three Witnesses
    Three Witnesses (book)
    Three Witnesses is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1956 and itself collected in the omnibus volume Royal Flush...

    .
  • Kings Full of Aces: A Nero Wolfe Omnibus (1969, The Viking Press; Hardcover ISBN 9997532015). Contains Too Many Cooks
    Too Many Cooks
    Too Many Cooks is the fifth Nero Wolfe detective novel by American mystery writer Rex Stout. The story was serialized in The American Magazine before its publication in book form in 1938 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc...

    , Plot It Yourself
    Plot It Yourself
    Plot It Yourself is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1959, and also collected in the omnibus volume Kings Full of Aces .-Plot introduction:...

     and Triple Jeopardy
    Triple Jeopardy
    Triple Jeopardy is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1952. Itself collected in the omnibus volume Kings Full of Aces , the book comprises three stories that first appeared in The American Magazine:* "Home to Roost" * "The Cop-Killer" Triple...

    .
  • Three Aces: A Nero Wolfe Omnibus (1971, The Viking Press; Hardcover ISBN 0670706221). Contains Too Many Clients
    Too Many Clients
    Too Many Clients is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1960, and collected in the omnibus volume Three Aces .-Plot introduction:...

    , Might as Well Be Dead
    Might As Well Be Dead
    Might as Well Be Dead is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1956. The story was also collected in the omnibus volume Three Aces .-Plot introduction:...

     and The Final Deduction
    The Final Deduction
    The Final Deduction is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1961 and collected in the omnibus volume Three Aces .-Plot summary:Mrs...

    .
  • Three Trumps: A Nero Wolfe Omnibus (1973, The Viking Press; Hardcover ISBN 0670710318). Contains The Black Mountain
    The Black Mountain
    The Black Mountain is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1954. The story was also collected in the omnibus volume Three Trumps ....

    , If Death Ever Slept
    If Death Ever Slept
    If Death Ever Slept is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1957 and collected in the omnibus volume Three Trumps .-Plot introduction:...

     and Before Midnight
    Before Midnight
    Before Midnight is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout published in 1955 by the Viking Press. The story was also collected in the omnibus volume Three Trumps .-Plot introduction:...

    .
  • Triple Zeck: A Nero Wolfe Omnibus (1974, The Viking Press; Hardcover ISBN 0670731307). Contains And Be a Villain
    And Be a Villain
    And Be a Villain is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1948...

    , The Second Confession
    The Second Confession
    The Second Confession is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1949. The story was collected in the omnibus volume Triple Zeck ....

     and In the Best Families
    In the Best Families
    In the Best Families is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1950...

    .
  • The First Rex Stout Omnibus (1976, Penguin Books; Paperback ISBN 0140040323). Contains The Doorbell Rang
    The Doorbell Rang
    The Doorbell Rang is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1965.-Plot introduction:Nero Wolfe is hired to force the FBI to stop wiretapping, tailing and otherwise harassing a woman who gave away 10,000 copies of a book that is critical of the Bureau and...

    , The Second Confession
    The Second Confession
    The Second Confession is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1949. The story was collected in the omnibus volume Triple Zeck ....

     and More Deaths Than One (And Be a Villain
    And Be a Villain
    And Be a Villain is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1948...

    ).
  • Seven Complete Nero Wolfe Novels (1983, Avenel Books; Hardcover ISBN 051703753). Contains The Silent Speaker
    The Silent Speaker
    The Silent Speaker is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1946. It was published just after World War II, and key plot elements reflect the lingering effects of the war: housing shortages and restrictions on consumer goods, including government...

    , Might as Well Be Dead
    Might As Well Be Dead
    Might as Well Be Dead is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1956. The story was also collected in the omnibus volume Three Aces .-Plot introduction:...

    , If Death Ever Slept
    If Death Ever Slept
    If Death Ever Slept is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1957 and collected in the omnibus volume Three Trumps .-Plot introduction:...

    , Three at Wolfe's Door
    Three at Wolfe's Door
    Three at Wolfe's Door is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1960. The book comprises three stories, one of them published previously:* "Poison à la Carte"...

    , Gambit
    Gambit (novel)
    Gambit is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1962.-Plot introduction:A chess prodigy is poisoned during a club tournament, and the police arrest the member who served the victim hot chocolate...

    , Please Pass the Guilt
    Please Pass the Guilt
    Please Pass the Guilt is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1973.-Publication history:*1973, New York: The Viking Press, September 1973, hardcover*1995, New York: Bantam Books ISBN 0-553-76308-3 January 2, 1995, paperback*1999, Newport Beach, California:...

     and A Family Affair
    A Family Affair (novel)
    A Family Affair is the final Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1975.-Plot summary:A waiter at Rusterman's Restaurant turns up at Wolfe's front door late one night, claiming that a man is going to kill him. Shortly after Archie puts him in one of the spare...

    .


Robert Goldsborough

With the approval of the estate of Rex Stout, journalist Robert Goldsborough
Robert Goldsborough (author)
Robert Gerald Goldsborough is an American author of mystery novels.Goldborough grew up in the Chicago area. Although he worked for 45 years for the Chicago Tribune and Advertising Age, he first came to prominence in the 1980s with the publication, with the approval of the estate of Rex Stout, of...

 wrote seven Nero Wolfe mysteries, published by Bantam Books
Bantam Books
Bantam Books is an American publishing house owned entirely by Random House, the German media corporation subsidiary of Bertelsmann; it is an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group. It was formed in 1945 by Walter B. Pitkin, Jr., Sidney B. Kramer, and Ian and Betty Ballantine...

. Goldsborough's approach was faithful to the Rex Stout works, but he added his own touches, including an updated frame of reference (Archie now uses a personal computer to file Wolfe's germination records; Wolfe's ancient elevator is finally replaced by a more efficient model, etc.). Goldsborough's first effort, Murder in E Minor
Murder in E Minor
Murder in E Minor is a 1986 Nero Wolfe novel written by Robert Goldsborough. The action takes place in New York City, primarily New York County, better known as Manhattan....

 (1986), was a bestseller, and was hailed as an excellent mystery. Goldsborough averaged one new Wolfe novel annually, often drawing on his own background in advertising, education and journalism for color and detail.
  • 1986
    1986 in literature
    The year 1986 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Michael Grade. Controller of BBC One, axes plans to televise Ian Curteis's The Falklands Play.-New books:*Kingsley Amis - The Old Devils...

    : Murder in E Minor
    Murder in E Minor
    Murder in E Minor is a 1986 Nero Wolfe novel written by Robert Goldsborough. The action takes place in New York City, primarily New York County, better known as Manhattan....

     — Wolfe comes out of self-imposed retirement to investigate the death of a boyhood friend, who became a famous symphony conductor.
  • 1987
    1987 in literature
    The year 1987 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Tom Wolfe was paid $5 million for the film rights to his novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities, the most ever earned by an author, at the time.-Fiction:...

    : Death on Deadline
    Death on Deadline
    Death on Deadline is a Nero Wolfe mystery novel by Robert Goldsborough, first published by Bantam in 1987, the second of Goldsborough's seven novels featuring Rex Stout's famous sedentary detective.-Introduction:...

     — Wolfe intervenes when his favorite newspaper is about to be taken over by a muck-raking publisher.
  • 1988
    1988 in literature
    The year 1988 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-New books:*Margaret Atwood - Cat's Eye*J.G. Ballard - Memories of the Space Age*Iain M...

    : The Bloodied Ivy — Murder on the college campus, mingled with the attractions and pitfalls of having dedicated groupies as graduate students.
  • 1989
    1989 in literature
    The year 1989 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:* February 24 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini places a US$3 million bounty for the death of The Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie.-Literature:...

    : The Last Coincidence — The fallout of the alleged date rape of Lily Rowan's niece.
  • 1990
    1990 in literature
    The year 1990 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*J. K. Rowling gets the idea for Harry Potter while on a train ride from Manchester to London. She says "I was staring out the window, and the idea for Harry just came. He appeared in my mind's eye, very fully formed...

    : Fade to Black
    Fade to Black (mystery novel)
    Fade to Black is a Nero Wolfe mystery novel by Robert Goldsborough, the fifth of seven Nero Wolfe books extending the Rex Stout canon. It was first published by Bantam in hardcover in 1990....

     — Dirty work at an advertising agency.
  • 1992
    1992 in literature
    The year 1992 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-New books:*Ben Aaronovitch - Transit*Julia Álvarez - How the García Girls Lost Their Accents*Paul Auster - Leviathan*Iain Banks - The Crow Road...

    : Silver Spire — Behind-the-scenes intrigue at a successful televangelism ministry based in Staten Island
    Staten Island
    Staten Island is a borough of New York City, New York, United States, located in the southwest part of the city. Staten Island is separated from New Jersey by the Arthur Kill and the Kill Van Kull, and from the rest of New York by New York Bay...

    .
  • 1994
    1994 in literature
    The year 1994 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-New books:*Kevin J. Anderson - Champions of the Force, Dark Apprentice and Jedi Search*Reed Arvin - The Wind in the Wheat*Greg Bear - Songs of Earth and Power...

    : The Missing Chapter — Last of the Goldsborough novels, this is, in retrospect, the author's explicit farewell to Nero Wolfe: the story concerns the murder of a mediocre continuator of a popular detective series. In fairness to Goldsborough, his personal enthusiasm for the series may have been dampened by an outspoken newspaper critic, who had attacked Goldsborough and his "pallid" pastiches. Actually, the series remained popular throughout Goldsborough's tenure, and the novels sold well in both hardcover and paperback editions.

John Lescroart

While not mentioning Nero Wolfe by name, John Lescroart
John Lescroart
John T. Lescroart is an American author best known for two series of legal and crime thriller novels featuring the characters Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky....

 suggests in two books that the main character, Auguste Lupa
Auguste Lupa
Auguste Lupa is a fictional character in two pastiche novels by author John Lescroart. The novels are Son of Holmes and Rasputin's Revenge . Lupa, a secret agent during the First World War, is the son of Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler. It is strongly implied that he is the younger version of...

 (the son of Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler), later becomes Nero Wolfe.
  • 1986
    1986 in literature
    The year 1986 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Michael Grade. Controller of BBC One, axes plans to televise Ian Curteis's The Falklands Play.-New books:*Kingsley Amis - The Old Devils...

    : Son of Holmes
  • 1987
    1987 in literature
    The year 1987 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*Tom Wolfe was paid $5 million for the film rights to his novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities, the most ever earned by an author, at the time.-Fiction:...

    : Rasputin's Revenge

Books about Rex Stout and Nero Wolfe

  • Anderson, David R., Rex Stout (1984, Frederick Ungar; Hardcover ISBN 080442005X / Paperback ISBN 0804460094). Study of the Nero Wolfe series.
  • Baring-Gould, William S.
    William S. Baring-Gould
    William Stuart Baring-Gould was a noted Sherlock Holmes scholar, best known as the author of the influential 1962 fictional biography, Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street: A life of the world's first consulting detective.-Biography:...

    , Nero Wolfe of West Thirty-fifth Street (1969, Viking Press; ISBN 0140061940). Fanciful biography. Reviewed in Time, March 21, 1969 ("The American Holmes").
  • Bourne, Michael, Corsage: A Bouquet of Rex Stout and Nero Wolfe (1977, James A. Rock & Co., Publishers; Hardcover ISBN 0918736005 / Paperback ISBN 0918736013). Posthumous collection produced in a numbered limited edition of 276 hardcovers and 1,500 softcovers. Shortly before his death Rex Stout authorized the editor to include the first Nero Wolfe novella, "Bitter End" (1940), which had not been republished in his own novella collections. Corsage also includes an interview Bourne conducted with Stout (July 18, 1973; also available on audiocassette tape), and concludes with the first and only book publication of "Why Nero Wolfe Likes Orchids", an article by Rex Stout that first appeared in Life (April 19, 1963).
  • Darby, Ken
    Ken Darby
    Kenneth Lorin Darby was an American composer, vocal arranger, lyricist, and conductor. His film scores were recognized with three Academy Awards and one Grammy Award.- Personal life :...

    , The Brownstone House of Nero Wolfe (1983, Little, Brown and Company; ISBN 0316172804). Biography of the brownstone "as told by Archie Goodwin." Includes detailed floor plans.
  • Gotwald, Rev. Frederick G., The Nero Wolfe Handbook (1985; revised 1992, 2000). Self-published anthology of essays edited by a longtime member of The Wolfe Pack.
  • Kaye, Marvin
    Marvin Kaye
    Marvin Nathan Kaye is an American mystery, fantasy, science fiction, and horror author and editor. He has also edited numerous horror anthologies, such as H. P. Lovecraft's Magazine of Horror and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine...

    , The Archie Goodwin Files (2005, Wildside Press; ISBN 1557424845). Selected articles from The Wolfe Pack publication The Gazette, edited by a charter member.
  • Kaye, Marvin
    Marvin Kaye
    Marvin Nathan Kaye is an American mystery, fantasy, science fiction, and horror author and editor. He has also edited numerous horror anthologies, such as H. P. Lovecraft's Magazine of Horror and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine...

    , The Nero Wolfe Files (2005, Wildside Press; ISBN 0809544946). Selected articles from The Wolfe Pack publication The Gazette, edited by a charter member.
  • McAleer, John, Rex Stout: A Biography (1977, Little, Brown and Company; ISBN 0316553409). Foreword by P.G. Wodehouse
    P. G. Wodehouse
    Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, KBE was an English humorist, whose body of work includes novels, short stories, plays, poems, song lyrics, and numerous pieces of journalism. He enjoyed enormous popular success during a career that lasted more than seventy years and his many writings continue to be...

    . Winner of the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award
    Edgar Award
    The Edgar Allan Poe Awards , named after Edgar Allan Poe, are presented every year by the Mystery Writers of America...

     for Best Critical/Biographical Work in 1978. Reissued as Rex Stout: A Majesty's Life (2002, James A. Rock & Co., Publishers; Hardcover ISBN 0918736439 / Paperback ISBN 0918736447).
  • McAleer, John, Royal Decree: Conversations with Rex Stout (1983, Pontes Press, Ashton, MD). Published in a numbered limited edition of 1,000 copies.
  • McBride, O.E., Stout Fellow: A Guide Through Nero Wolfe's World (2003, iUniverse; Hardcover ISBN 0595657168 / Paperback ISBN 0595278612). Pseudonymous self-published homage.
  • Ruaud, A.F., Les Nombreuses vies de Nero Wolfe (2008, Moutons électriques (France); ISBN 9782915793512). Biography of the character, essays and biblio-filmographies.
  • Mitgang, Herbert
    Herbert Mitgang
    Herbert Mitgang is an author, editor, journalist, playwright, and producer of television news documentaries.- Work :During World War II Mitgang served as an army correspondent and became the managing editor of the...

    , Dangerous Dossiers: Exposing the Secret War Against America's Greatest Authors (1988, Donald I. Fine, Inc.; ISBN 1556110774). Chapter 10 is titled "Seeing Red: Rex Stout".
  • Symons, Julian
    Julian Symons
    Julian Gustave Symons 1912 - 1994) was a British crime writer and poet. He also wrote social and military history, biography and studies of literature.-Life and work:...

    , Great Detectives: Seven Original Investigations (1981, Abrams; ISBN 0810909782). Illustrated by Tom Adams. "We quiz Archie Goodwin in his den and gain a clue to the ultimate fate of Nero Wolfe" in a chapter titled "In Which Archie Goodwin Remembers".
  • Townsend, Guy M., Rex Stout: An Annotated Primary and Secondary Bibliography (1980, Garland Publishing; ISBN 0824094794). Associate editors John McAleer, Judson Sapp and Arriean Schemer. Definitive publication history.
  • Van Dover, J. Kenneth, At Wolfe's Door: The Nero Wolfe Novels of Rex Stout (1991, Borgo Press, Milford Series; second edition 2003, James A. Rock & Co., Publishers; Hardcover ISBN 091873651X / Paperback ISBN 0918736528). Bibliography, reviews and essays.

Awards and recognition

  • In his seminal 1941 work, Murder for Pleasure, crime fiction historian Howard Haycraft included Fer-de-Lance and The League of Frightened Men
    The League of Frightened Men
    The League of Frightened Men is the second Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. The story was serialized in six issues of The Saturday Evening Post under the title The Frightened Men. The novel was published in 1935 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc...

     in his definitive list of the most influential works of mystery fiction.
  • The Nero Wolfe corpus was nominated Best Mystery Series of the Century at Bouchercon
    Bouchercon
    Bouchercon, the Anthony Boucher Memorial World Mystery Convention, is an annual convention of creators and devotees of mystery and detective fiction. It is named in honour of writer, reviewer, and editor Anthony Boucher....

     2000, the world's largest mystery convention, and Rex Stout was nominated Best Mystery Writer of the Century.

Popular culture

  • Nero Wolfe is one of 12 famous fictional detectives depicted in a set of Nicaraguan
    Nicaragua
    Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

     postage stamps issued in November 1972 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Interpol
    Interpol
    Interpol, whose full name is the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL, is an organization facilitating international police cooperation...

    .

  • "A number of the paintings of René Magritte
    René Magritte
    René François Ghislain Magritte[p] was a Belgian surrealist artist. He became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images...

     (1898–1967), the internationally famous Belgian painter, are named after titles of books by Rex Stout," wrote the artist's attorney and friend Harry Torczyner. "He read Hegel, Heidegger and Sartre, as well as Dashiell Hammett
    Dashiell Hammett
    Samuel Dashiell Hammett was an American author of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories, and political activist. Among the enduring characters he created are Sam Spade , Nick and Nora Charles , and the Continental Op .In addition to the significant influence his novels and stories had on...

    , Rex Stout and Georges Simenon
    Georges Simenon
    Georges Joseph Christian Simenon was a Belgian writer. A prolific author who published nearly 200 novels and numerous short works, Simenon is best known for the creation of the fictional detective Maigret.-Early life and education:...

    ," the Times Higher Education Supplement wrote of Magritte. "Some of his best titles were 'found' in this way." Magritte's 1942 painting, Les compagnons de la peur ("The Companions of Fear"), bears the title given to The League of Frightened Men
    The League of Frightened Men
    The League of Frightened Men is the second Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. The story was serialized in six issues of The Saturday Evening Post under the title The Frightened Men. The novel was published in 1935 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc...

     (1935) when it was published in France by Gallimard
    Éditions Gallimard
    Éditions Gallimard is one of the leading French publishers of books. The Guardian has described it as having "the best backlist in the world". In 2003 it and its subsidiaries published 1418 titles....

     (1939). It is one of Magritte's series of "leaf-bird" paintings. Created during the Nazi occupation of Brussels, it depicts a stormy, mountainous landscape in which a cluster of plants has metamorphosed into a group of vigilant owls.

Cinema

After the publication of Fer-de-Lance in 1934, several Hollywood studios were interested in the movie rights. In one of many conversations with his authorized biographer, Rex Stout told John McAleer that he himself had wanted Charles Laughton
Charles Laughton
Charles Laughton was an English-American stage and film actor, screenwriter, producer and director.-Early life and career:...

 to play Nero Wolfe:
I met Laughton only once, at a party. Of all the actors I have seen, I think he would have come closest to doing Nero Wolfe perfectly. A motion picture producer (I forget who) asked him to do a series of Nero Wolfe movies, and he had said he would agree to do one but would not commit himself to a series.


In 1974 McAleer interviewed Laughton's widow, Elsa Lanchester
Elsa Lanchester
Elsa Sullivan Lanchester was an English-American character actress with a long career in theatre, film and television....

. "I seem to remember Charles being very interested in the character of Nero Wolfe," she told him. "I always regretted I did not get to play Dora Chapin."

"When Columbia pictures bought the screen rights to Fer-de-Lance for $7,500 and secured the option to buy further stories in the series, it was thought the role would go to Walter Connolly. Instead Edward Arnold got it," McAleer reported in Rex Stout: A Biography. "Columbia's idea was to keep Arnold busy with low-cost Wolfe films between features. Two films presently were made by Columbia, Meet Nero Wolfe (Fer-de-Lance) and The League of Frightened Men. Connolly did portray Wolfe in the latter film, after Arnold decided he did not want to become identified in the public mind with one part. Lionel Stander portrayed Archie Goodwin. Stander was a capable actor but, as Archie, Rex thought he had been miscast."

Meet Nero Wolfe

Columbia Pictures adapted the first Nero Wolfe novel, Fer-de-Lance, for the screen in 1936. Meet Nero Wolfe
Meet Nero Wolfe
Meet Nero Wolfe is a 1936 mystery film based on the 1934 novel Fer-de-Lance, written by Rex Stout. Set in New York, the story introduced the detective genius Nero Wolfe and his assistant Archie Goodwin...

 was directed by Herbert Biberman
Herbert Biberman
Herbert J. Biberman , was an American screenwriter and film director. He may be best known for having been one of the Hollywood Ten as well as directing Salt of the Earth, a 1954 film about a zinc miners' strike in Grant County, New Mexico.He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Joseph and...

, and featured a cast led by Edward Arnold
Edward Arnold (actor)
Edward Arnold was an American actor. He was born on the Lower East Side of New York City as Gunther Edward Arnold Schneider, the son of German immigrants Carl Schneider and Elizabeth Ohse.-Acting career:...

 as Nero Wolfe, and Lionel Stander
Lionel Stander
Lionel Jay Stander was an American actor in films, radio, theater and television.-Early life and career:Lionel Stander was born in The Bronx, New York, to Russian Jewish immigrants, the first of three children...

 as Archie Goodwin. A young Rita Hayworth
Rita Hayworth
Rita Hayworth was an American film actress and dancer who attained fame during the 1940s as one of the era's top stars...

 (then Rita Cansino) portrays Maria Maringola, who sets the story in motion when she asks for Wolfe's help in finding her missing brother, Carlo.

"Meet Nero Wolfe is an above average minor A picture, a solid mystery, and unfailingly entertaining," reported Scarlet Street
Scarlet Street (magazine)
Scarlet Street was an American film magazine that primarily specialized in the genres of horror, mystery and film noir. Its initial concentration was on Sherlock Holmes and related film and television productions, but later its subject matter expanded to include a variety of other genres.The title...

 magazine in 2002 when it revisted the film. "No, at bottom, it's not Rex Stout's Nero and Archie, but it's a well-developed mystery (thanks to Stout's plot) with compensations all its own — and an interesting piece of Wolfeana."

The League of Frightened Men

In 1937, Columbia Pictures released The League of Frightened Men
The League of Frightened Men (1937 film)
The League of Frightened Men is a 1937 mystery film based on the second Nero Wolfe novel by Rex Stout. Directed by Alfred E. Green, the Columbia Pictures film stars Walter Connolly as Nero Wolfe, a role played by Edward Arnold in the previous year's Meet Nero Wolfe...

, its adaptation of the second Nero Wolfe novel. Lionel Stander
Lionel Stander
Lionel Jay Stander was an American actor in films, radio, theater and television.-Early life and career:Lionel Stander was born in The Bronx, New York, to Russian Jewish immigrants, the first of three children...

 reprised his role as Archie Goodwin, and Walter Connolly
Walter Connolly
Walter Connolly was an American character actor who appeared in almost fifty films between 1914 and 1939.Connolly was a successful stage actor who appeared in twenty-two Broadway productions between 1916 and 1935, notably revivals of Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author and Chekhov's...

 took over the role of Nero Wolfe.

"He drinks beer in the novel but hot chocolate in the picture. That's the best explanation of what's wrong with the film," wrote Variety (June 16, 1937).

After The League of Frightened Men, Rex Stout declined to authorize any more Hollywood adaptations. "Do you think there's any chance of Hollywood ever making a good Nero Wolfe movie?" biographer John McAleer asked the author. Stout replied, "I don't know. I suppose so."

The Adventures of Nero Wolfe (ABC)

1943–1944, 30 minutes

Three actors portrayed Nero Wolfe over the course of the radio series The Adventures of Nero Wolfe. J.B. Williams starred in its first incarnation (April 7–June 30, 1943) on the New England Network. Santos Ortega
Santos Ortega
Santos Ortega was an American actor.-Radio:Ortega was active in radio, starring in The Adventures of Nero Wolfe and narrating a popular radio show called Gangbusters as well as Stroke of Fate. Perhaps his most famous and notable radio role was Commissioner Weston on The Shadow...

 assumed the role when the suspense drama moved to ABC (July 5–September 27, 1943; January 21–July 14, 1944). Luis Van Rooten
Luis van Rooten
Luis van Rooten, was an American film actor. He was christened Luis d'Antin van Rooten.Van Rooten earned his BA at the University of Pennsylvania and worked as an architect before deciding to pursue film work in Hollywood during World War II...

 succeeded Ortega in 1944, Nero Wolfe's last year on ABC. The final episode, "The Last Laugh Murder Case", aired July 14, 1944.

"Differences between (ABC producer) Hi Brown and Edwin Fadiman, who represented Rex's radio, screen and television interests, as Nero Wolfe Attractions, Inc., prevented its later resumption on ABC," John McAleer reported in Rex Stout: A Biography. "This fact Brown regretted. 'Nero Wolfe,' Brown says, 'is one of the strongest and most successful detective characters in all of fiction.'"

The Amazing Nero Wolfe (MBS)

1946, 30 minutes

"The series next surfaced early in 1946, on Sundays, on the Mutual Network," wrote Stout biographer John McAleer, "with Francis X. Bushman
Francis X. Bushman
Francis Xavier Bushman was an American actor, film director, and screenwriter. His matinee idol career started in 1911 in the silent film His Friend's Wife, but it did not survive the silent screen era....

, one-time movie idol, as Wolfe, and Elliott Lewis
Elliott Lewis (radio)
Elliott Lewis was active during the Golden Age of Radio as an actor, producer and director, proficient in both comedy and drama. These talents earned him the nickname "Mr Radio"....

 as Archie. ... The scripts once again were network originals. The humor verged on slapstick."

The Amazing Nero Wolfe concluded December 15, 1946, with "The Case of the Shakespeare Folio".

The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe (NBC)

1951, 30 minutes

The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe began October 20, 1950, with "Stamped for Murder". Sydney Greenstreet
Sydney Greenstreet
Sydney Hughes Greenstreet was an English actor. He is best known for his Warner Bros. films with Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre, which include The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca .-Biography:...

 starred as Nero Wolfe.

"Rex thought Greenstreet a splendid choice for the role and Greenstreet did, in fact, fill every reasonable expectation," wrote Stout biographer John McAleer. A succession of Archies included Gerald Mohr
Gerald Mohr
Gerald Mohr was an American radio, film and television character actor who appeared in over 4,000 radio plays, 73 films and over 100 television shows....

, Herb Ellis, Larry Dobkin
Lawrence Dobkin
Lawrence Dobkin was an American television director, actor and television screenwriter whose career spanned seven decades....

, Wally Maher and Harry Bartell
Harry Bartell
Harry Bartell was an American actor and announcer in radio, television and film. With his rather youthful sounding voice, Bartell was one of the busiest West Coast character actors from the early 1940s until the final end of network radio drama in the 1960s.Bartell was born in New Orleans,...

. The series ended April 27, 1951, with "The Case of Room 304".

McAleer reports that after hearing five minutes of one of Greenstreet's shows, Stout said he could take no more. "He liked Greenstreet. The script he found impossible."

Nero Wolfe (CBC)

1982, 60 minutes

In 1982, Canadian actor, producer, writer and cultural pioneer Mavor Moore
Mavor Moore
James Mavor Moore, CC, OBC was a Canadian writer, producer, actor, public servant, critic, and educator.-Biography:...

 (1919–2006) starred as Nero Wolfe in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly known as CBC and officially as CBC/Radio-Canada, is a Canadian crown corporation that serves as the national public radio and television broadcaster...

's 13-episode radio series Nero Wolfe (a.k.a. Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe). Don Francks
Don Francks
Donald Harvey Francks or Iron Buffalo is a Canadian actor, vocalist and jazz musician.- Life and work :Francks was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is a drummer, poet, native nations champion, motorcyclist, author and peace activist...

 portrayed Archie Goodwin, and Cec Linder
Cec Linder
Cec Linder was a Polish-born Canadian film and television actor. In the 1950s and 1960s he worked extensively in the United Kingdom, often playing American characters in various films and television programmes.In film, he is probably best remembered for his role as James Bond's CIA counterpart...

 played Inspector Cramer. Toronto actor-producer Ron Hartmann spent two years adapting, directing and producing the CBC radio drama. "Ron and I are ardent Nero Wolfe fans, and we're out to convert the listener," Moore told the Toronto Globe and Mail.

Omnibus, "The Fine Art of Murder" (ABC)

Rex Stout appeared in the December 9, 1956, episode of Omnibus
Omnibus (US TV series)
Omnibus is an American, commercially sponsored, educational television series.-History:Broadcast live primarily on Sunday afternoons at 4:00pm Eastern time, from November 9, 1952 until 1961. Omnibus originally aired on CBS, and later on Sunday evenings on ABC. The program finally moved to NBC in...

, a cultural anthology series that epitomized the golden age of television. Hosted by Alistair Cooke
Alistair Cooke
Alfred Alistair Cooke KBE was a British/American journalist, television personality and broadcaster. Outside his journalistic output, which included Letter from America and Alistair Cooke's America, he was well known in the United States as the host of PBS Masterpiece Theater from 1971 to 1992...

, "The Fine Art of Murder" was a 40-minute segment described by Time magazine as "a homicide as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle DL was a Scottish physician and writer, most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, generally considered a milestone in the field of crime fiction, and for the adventures of Professor Challenger...

, Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe was an American author, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective...

 [and] Rex Stout would variously present it." The author is credited as appearing along with Gene Reynolds
Gene Reynolds
Gene Reynolds is a former American actor turned award-winning television writer, director, and producer.-Early life:He was born Eugene Reynolds Blumenthal on April 4, 1923 to Frank Eugene Blumenthal and Maude Evelyn Blumenthal in Cleveland, Ohio, he was raised in Detroit, Michigan, where his...

 (Archie Goodwin), Robert Echols (Nero Wolfe), James Daly (narrator), Dennis Hoey
Dennis Hoey
Dennis Hoey was a British film and stage actor, best known for playing Inspector Lestrade in Universal's Sherlock Holmes series. He played the Master of Harrow in The Foxes of Harrow and appeared in Tarzan and the Leopard Woman. After a career as a singer, Hoey moved to acting on the stage in...

 (Arthur Conan Doyle), Felix Munso (Edgar Allan Poe), Herbert Voland (M. Dupin) and Jack Sydow. Written by Sidney Carroll
Sidney Carroll
Sidney Carroll was a film and television screenwriter. Although Carroll wrote most frequently for television, he is perhaps best remembered today for writing the screenplay for The Hustler for which he was nominated for an Academy Award...

 and directed by Paul Bogart
Paul Bogart
Paul Bogart is an American television and film director. He directed episodes of the television series "Coronet Blue" in 1967 Get Smart and All In The Family from 1976 to 1979...

, "The Fine Art of Murder" is in the collection of the Library of Congress (VBE 2397-2398) and screened in its Mary Pickford Theater February 15, 2000.

Nero Wolfe (Paramount Television)

In 1967 Rex Stout told author Dick Lochte that Orson Welles
Orson Welles
George Orson Welles , best known as Orson Welles, was an American film director, actor, theatre director, screenwriter, and producer, who worked extensively in film, theatre, television and radio...

 had once wanted to make a series of Nero Wolfe movies, and Stout had turned him down;
disappointed with the Nero Wolfe movies of the 1930s, Stout vetoed Nero Wolfe film and TV projects in America during his lifetime. In 1976, a year after Stout's death, Paramount Television
Paramount Television
Paramount Television was an American television production/distribution company that was active from January 1, 1968 to August 27, 2006.Its successor is CBS Television Studios, formerly CBS Paramount Television...

 purchased the rights for the entire set of Nero Wolfe stories for Orson Welles. Paramount planned to begin with an ABC-TV movie and hoped to persuade Welles to continue the role in a mini-series. Frank D. Gilroy
Frank D. Gilroy
Frank Daniel Gilroy is an American playwright, screenwriter, and film producer and director. He received the Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play The Subject Was Roses in 1965.-Early life:...

 was signed to write the television script ("The Doorbell Rang") and direct the TV movie on the assurance that Welles would star, but by April 1977 Welles had bowed out. Thayer David
Thayer David
Thayer David was a film, stage and television actor. He was best known for his work on the cult ABC serial Dark Shadows and as the fight promoter George Jergens in the Oscar-winning movie Rocky . He also appeared as Count Arne Saknussemm in the film Journey to the Center of the Earth in 1959...

 was cast as Wolfe in the 1977 TV movie.

In March 1980, Paramount was planning a weekly NBC-TV series
Nero Wolfe (1981 TV series)
Nero Wolfe is a television series based on the characters in Rex Stout's classic series of detective stories that aired January 16 – August 25, 1981, on NBC. William Conrad fills the role of the detective genius Nero Wolfe, and Lee Horsley is his assistant Archie Goodwin...

 as a starring vehicle for Welles; Leon Tokatyan (Lou Grant
Lou Grant (TV series)
Lou Grant is an American television drama series starring Ed Asner in the titular role as a newspaper editor. Unusual in American television, this drama series was a spinoff from a sitcom, The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Aired from 1977 to 1982, Lou Grant won 13 Emmy Awards, including "Outstanding Drama...

) was to write the pilot. Welles again declined because he wanted to do a series of 90-minute specials, perhaps two or three a year, instead of a weekly series. William Conrad
William Conrad
William Conrad was an American actor, producer and director whose career spanned five decades in radio, film and television....

 was cast as Wolfe in the 1981 TV series
Nero Wolfe (1981 TV series)
Nero Wolfe is a television series based on the characters in Rex Stout's classic series of detective stories that aired January 16 – August 25, 1981, on NBC. William Conrad fills the role of the detective genius Nero Wolfe, and Lee Horsley is his assistant Archie Goodwin...

.
Nero Wolfe (1977)


In 1977, Paramount Television
Paramount Television
Paramount Television was an American television production/distribution company that was active from January 1, 1968 to August 27, 2006.Its successor is CBS Television Studios, formerly CBS Paramount Television...

 filmed Nero Wolfe, an adaptation of Stout's novel The Doorbell Rang
The Doorbell Rang
The Doorbell Rang is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1965.-Plot introduction:Nero Wolfe is hired to force the FBI to stop wiretapping, tailing and otherwise harassing a woman who gave away 10,000 copies of a book that is critical of the Bureau and...

. Thayer David
Thayer David
Thayer David was a film, stage and television actor. He was best known for his work on the cult ABC serial Dark Shadows and as the fight promoter George Jergens in the Oscar-winning movie Rocky . He also appeared as Count Arne Saknussemm in the film Journey to the Center of the Earth in 1959...

 and Tom Mason
Tom Mason (actor)
Tom Mason is an American actor born in Brooklyn, New York. He began his television career in 1977, portraying Rex Stout's fictional detective Archie Goodwin in the ABC-TV movie Nero Wolfe...

 starred as Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin; Anne Baxter
Anne Baxter
Anne Baxter was an American actress known for her performances in films such as The Magnificent Ambersons , The Razor's Edge , All About Eve and The Ten Commandments .-Early life:...

 costarred as Mrs. Rachel Bruner. Written and directed by Frank D. Gilroy
Frank D. Gilroy
Frank Daniel Gilroy is an American playwright, screenwriter, and film producer and director. He received the Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play The Subject Was Roses in 1965.-Early life:...

, the made-for-TV movie was produced as a pilot for a possible upcoming series — but the film had still had not aired at the time of Thayer David's death in July 1978. Nero Wolfe was finally broadcast December 18, 1979, as an ABC-TV
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 late show.
Nero Wolfe (1981)


Paramount Television remounted Nero Wolfe
Nero Wolfe (1981 TV series)
Nero Wolfe is a television series based on the characters in Rex Stout's classic series of detective stories that aired January 16 – August 25, 1981, on NBC. William Conrad fills the role of the detective genius Nero Wolfe, and Lee Horsley is his assistant Archie Goodwin...

 as a weekly one-hour series that ran on NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 TV from January through August 1981. The project was recast with William Conrad
William Conrad
William Conrad was an American actor, producer and director whose career spanned five decades in radio, film and television....

 stepping into the role of Nero Wolfe and Lee Horsley
Lee Horsley
Lee Arthur Horsley is an American film, television, and theater actor known for starring roles in the television series, Nero Wolfe , Matt Houston , and Paradise . He starred in the 1982 cult film, The Sword and the Sorcerer, and recorded the audiobook edition of Lonesome Dove...

 portraying Archie Goodwin. Although it was titled "Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe", the production departed considerably from the originals. All 14 episodes were set in contemporary New York City.

A Nero Wolfe Mystery (A&E Network)

In March 2000, Maury Chaykin
Maury Chaykin
Maury Alan Chaykin was an American-born Canadian actor. Best known for his portrayal of detective Nero Wolfe, he was also known for his work as a character actor in many films and on television programs.-Personal life:...

 (as Nero Wolfe) and Timothy Hutton
Timothy Hutton
Timothy Tarquin Hutton is an American actor. He is the youngest actor to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, which he won at the age of 20 for his performance as Conrad Jarrett in Ordinary People . He currently stars as Nathan "Nate" Ford on the TNT series Leverage.-Early life:Timothy...

 (as Archie Goodwin) starred in The Golden Spiders: A Nero Wolfe Mystery
The Golden Spiders: A Nero Wolfe Mystery
The Golden Spiders: A Nero Wolfe Mystery is a made-for-television film based on the 1953 novel by Rex Stout. Set in 1950s Manhattan, the A&E Network production stars Maury Chaykin as the heavyweight detective genius Nero Wolfe, and Timothy Hutton as Wolfe's assistant, Archie Goodwin, narrator of...

, a Jaffe/Braunstein Films co-production with the A&E Network. High ratings led to the original series, A Nero Wolfe Mystery
A Nero Wolfe Mystery
A Nero Wolfe Mystery is a television series adapted from Rex Stout's classic series of detective stories that aired for two seasons on the A&E Network. Set in New York City in the early 1950s, the stylized period drama stars Maury Chaykin as Nero Wolfe and Timothy Hutton as Archie Goodwin...

 (2001–2002).

Hutton had a strong creative hand in the A&E series, serving as an executive producer and directing four telefilms. A Nero Wolfe Mystery adapted the plots and dialogue of the Stout originals closely; unlike previous Wolfe adaptations, the series did not update the stories to contemporary times. The episodes were colorful period pieces, set in a somewhat vague past, the 1940s to the early 1960s. The production values were exceptional and critics responded favorably.

Other members of the principal cast were Colin Fox
Colin Fox (actor)
Colin Fox is a Canadian actor. His acting credits include playing Jean Paul Desmond and Jacques Eloi Des Mondes in Strange Paradise , as well as voice work in various animated series, and in other roles in film, television and on the stage...

 (Fritz Brenner), Conrad Dunn
Conrad Dunn
Conrad Dunn is an American actor. He began his screen career with the role of Francis "Psycho" Soyer in Stripes . Working for some ten years under the name George Jenesky, he achieved soap-opera stardom in Days of our Lives as Nick Corelli, a misogynistic pimp who evolved from bad guy to romantic...

 (Saul Panzer), Fulvio Cecere
Fulvio Cecere
-Early life:Born to Italian parents, he attended Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, but after one year he realized that acting, not law, was his true calling. He took acting classes at UCLA and starred in a wide array of television and feature film parts over the next few years...

 (Fred Durkin), Trent McMullen
Trent McMullen
Trent McMullen is a Canadian actor known for his portrayal of freelance detective Orrie Cather in the A&E TV original series, A Nero Wolfe Mystery , and the series pilot, The Golden Spiders: A Nero Wolfe Mystery . In 2010 McMullen starred in Ed Gass-Donnelly's second feature film Small Town Murder...

 (Orrie Cather), Saul Rubinek
Saul Rubinek
Saul Rubinek is a Canadian actor, director, producer and playwright, known for his work in TV, film and the stage.-Early life:...

 (Lon Cohen), Bill Smitrovich
Bill Smitrovich
-Personal life:Bill Smitrovich was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the son of Anna and Stanley William Zmitrowicz, a tool and die maker. Bill is a graduate of the University of Bridgeport and holds an MFA from Smith College . He is married to Shaw Purnell from Pittsburgh, PA...

 (Inspector Cramer) and R.D. Reid (Sergeant Purley Stebbins). In a practice reminiscent of the mystery movie series of the 1930s and '40s, the show rarely used guest stars in the roles of victims, killers and suspects, but instead used the same ensemble of supporting actors each week. An actor who had been "killed off" in one show might portray the murderer in the next. Actress Kari Matchett
Kari Matchett
Kari Matchett is a Canadian television and film actress. She played Mariel Underlay in Invasion, Lisa Miller in 24, and Kate Filmore in the cult favorite science fiction movie Cube 2: Hypercube. She currently appears in the USA television series Covert Affairs.-Early years:Matchett was born in...

 was a member of this repertory group while also having a recurring role in the series as Archie Goodwin's girlfriend Lily Rowan; other frequent members of the troupe included Nicky Guadagni
Nicky Guadagni
Nicky Guadagni is a Canadian actress who has worked on stage, radio, film and television.-Career:Originally from Montreal, Nicky Guadagni majored in drama at Dawson College and went on to train at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Her first role after graduation was playing Miranda, with...

, Debra Monk
Debra Monk
Debra Monk is an American actress, singer, and writer.Monk was born in Middletown, Ohio. She was voted "best personality" by the graduating class at Wheaton High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. She graduated from Frostburg State University in 1963...

, George Plimpton
George Plimpton
George Ames Plimpton was an American journalist, writer, editor, and actor. He is widely known for his sports writing and for helping to found The Paris Review.-Early life:...

, Ron Rifkin
Ron Rifkin
Ron Rifkin is an American actor. He is best-known for his roles as Arvin Sloane on the spy drama Alias and as Saul Holden on the American family drama Brothers & Sisters.-Personal life:...

, Francie Swift
Francie Swift
Francie Swift is an American actress best known for her versality and the wide variety of roles she has played.Swift was born in Amarillo, Texas and attended Tascosa High School...

 and James Tolkan
James Tolkan
James S. Tolkan is an American actor, often cast as a strict, overbearing, bald-headed authority figure.-Personal life:He was born in Calumet, Michigan, the son of Ralph M. Tolkan, a cattle dealer, and attended the University of Iowa, Coe College, the Actors Studio and Eastern Arizona College...

.

BookFinder.com
BookFinder.com
BookFinder.com is a vertical search website that helps readers buy books online. The site's meta-search engine scans the inventories of over 100,000 booksellers located around the world. Users can find the lowest price for a book of their choice from over 125 million volumes available for sale, and...

 — a web-search service that reports the most-sought out-of-print titles — documents that the production of A Nero Wolfe Mystery coincides with Rex Stout's becoming a top-selling author some 30 years after his death. In March 2003
2003 in literature
The year 2003 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-New books:*Peter Ackroyd - The Clerkenwell Tales*Atsuko Asano - No...

, the top four most-wanted mysteries listed by BookFinder.com were all Nero Wolfe novels: Where There's a Will (1940), The Rubber Band
The Rubber Band
The Rubber Band is the third Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. Prior to its publication in 1936 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., the novel was serialized in six issues of The Saturday Evening Post...

 (1936), The Red Box
The Red Box
The Red Box is the fourth Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. Prior to its first publication in 1937 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., the novel was serialized in five issues of The American Magazine...

 (1937) and The League of Frightened Men
The League of Frightened Men
The League of Frightened Men is the second Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout. The story was serialized in six issues of The Saturday Evening Post under the title The Frightened Men. The novel was published in 1935 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc...

 (1935). The Red Box was the most-searched mystery title in August 2003, and the novel remained as number two on the list in 2004. In 2006, Too Many Women
Too Many Women
Too Many Women is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published in 1947 by the Viking Press. The novel was also collected in the omnibus volume All Aces .-Plot introduction:...

 (1947) was fifth on BookFinder.com's list of most-sought out-of-print thrillers, whodunits, classics and modern mystery titles. In 2007
2007 in literature
The year 2007 in literature involves some significant new books.-Events:*November 19 - First Kindle e-book reader released.*December 11 - Terry Pratchett informs fans on-line that he has been diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer's disease.-Literature:...

, The Black Mountain
The Black Mountain
The Black Mountain is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1954. The story was also collected in the omnibus volume Three Trumps ....

 was in the number five position.

Most of the Nero Wolfe stories adapted for A Nero Wolfe Mystery are available through Bantam's
Bantam Books
Bantam Books is an American publishing house owned entirely by Random House, the German media corporation subsidiary of Bertelsmann; it is an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group. It was formed in 1945 by Walter B. Pitkin, Jr., Sidney B. Kramer, and Ian and Betty Ballantine...

 Rex Stout Library, a series of paperbacks featuring new introductions by present-day writers and never-before published Rex Stout memorabilia. Some Bantam volumes, like Prisoner's Base, are emblazoned with the words, "as seen on TV". The Audio Partners Publishing Corporation promotes its bestselling line of Rex Stout audiobooks, unabridged on CD and audiocassette, "as seen on A&E TV".

A Nero Wolfe Mystery is available on DVD as two sets (The Golden Spiders bundled with the second season), and as a single eight-disc thinpack set. ISBN 076708893X
Germany

A German TV adaption of Too Many Cooks — Zu viele Köche (1961) — starred Heinz Klevenow as Nero Wolfe, and Joachim Fuchsberger
Joachim Fuchsberger
Joachim Fuchsberger is a German actor, television host, lyricist, businessman, activist, paratrooper and World War II veteran best known to a wide German-speaking audience as one of the recurring actors in various Edgar Wallace movies Joachim Fuchsberger (born 11 March 1927 in Zuffenhausen, today...

 as Archie Goodwin. After he protested that his story was used without permission, Rex Stout received a $3,500 settlement.
Italy

"The name Nero Wolfe has magic in Italy," wrote Rex Stout's biographer John McAleer. In 1968, the Italian television network RAI paid Stout $80,000 for the rights to produce 12 Nero Wolfe stories. "He agreed only because he would never see them," McAleer wrote.

From February 1969 to February 1971, Italian television broadcast 10 Nero Wolfe TV movies. These, in order of appearance were:
  • Veleno in sartoria / Poison at the Tailor Shop (The Red Box)
  • Circuito chiuso / Closed Circuit (If Death Ever Slept)
  • Per la fama di Cesare / For Caesar's Fame (Some Buried Caesar)
  • Il Pesce più grosso / The Biggest Fish (The Doorbell Rang)
  • Un incidente di caccia / A hunting accident (Where There's a Will)
  • Il patto dei sei / The pact of the six (The Rubber Band)
  • La casa degli attori / The actors' house (Counterfeit for Murder)
  • La bella bugiarda / The beautiful liar (Murder is Corny)
  • Sfida al cioccolato / Chocolate challenge (Gambit)
  • Salsicce 'Mezzanotte' / Midnight Sausages (Too Many Cooks)


In the Best Families
In the Best Families
In the Best Families is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, first published by the Viking Press in 1950...

 and The Final Deduction
The Final Deduction
The Final Deduction is a Nero Wolfe detective novel by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1961 and collected in the omnibus volume Three Aces .-Plot summary:Mrs...

 were also among the titles for which RAI bought the rights, but were not filmed.

This successful series of black-and-white telemovies stars Tino Buazzelli
Tino Buazzelli
Tino Buazzelli was an Italian film actor. He appeared in 46 films between 1948 and 1978.-Selected filmography:* Totò Tarzan * Against the Law * Ghosts of Rome...

 (Nero Wolfe), Paolo Ferrari (actor)
Paolo Ferrari (actor)
Paolo Ferrari is an Italian actor. He has appeared in 45 films since 1938.-Selected filmography:* A Man for Emmanuelle * White Voices * I Don Giovanni della Costa Azzurra * Totò cerca pace...

 (Archie Goodwin), Pupo De Luca (Fritz Brenner), Renzo Palmer
Renzo Palmer
Renzo Palmer was an Italian film actor. He appeared in 65 films between 1957 and 1988.He was born and died in Milan, Italy.-Selected filmography:* Shivers in Summer * Obiettivo ragazze...

 (Inspector Cramer), Roberto Pistone (Saul Panzer), Mario Righetti (Orrie Cather) and Gianfranco Varetto (Fred Durkin). The whole series became available on DVD in 2007.

Russia

A series of Russian Nero Wolfe TV movies was made in 2001–2002. One of the adaptations, Poka ya ne umer ("Before I Die"), was written by Vladimir Valutsky, screenwriter for a Russian Sherlock Holmes television series in the 1980s. Nero Wolfe is played by Donatas Banionis
Donatas Banionis
Donatas Banionis is a Lithuanian and Soviet actor. He is best known in the West for his performance in the lead role of Tarkovsky's Solaris as Kris Kelvin....

, and Archie Goodwin by Sergei Zhigunov
Sergey Zhigunov
Sergey Victorovich Zhigunov is a Russian actor and producer.Sergey Zhigunov was born in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. He graduated from the Shchukin Theater School in Moscow. Since 1990, he has been in charge of the Chance film studio . In 2000, he became the President of the Russian Film Actors Guild...

.

Other Appearances

Nero Wolfe was highlighted in volume 17 of the Case Closed
Case Closed
Case Closed, known as in Japan, is a Japanese detective manga series written and illustrated by Gosho Aoyama. The series is serialized in Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday since February 2, 1994, and has been collected in 73 tankōbon volumes as of September 2011...

 manga's edition of "Gosho Aoyoma's Mystery Library," a section of the graphic novels (usually the last page) where the author introduces a different detective (or occasionally, a villain) from mystery literature, television, or other media.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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