Rex Stout
Rex Todhunter Stout was an American writer noted for his detective fiction
Detective fiction
Detective fiction is a sub-genre of crime fiction and mystery fiction in which an investigator , either professional or amateur, investigates a crime, often murder.-In ancient literature:...

. Stout is best known as the creator of the larger-than-life fictional detective Nero Wolfe
Nero Wolfe
Nero Wolfe is a fictional detective, created in 1934 by the American mystery writer Rex Stout. Wolfe's confidential assistant Archie Goodwin 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. Wolfe's...

, described by reviewer Will Cuppy
Will Cuppy
William Jacob "Will" Cuppy was an American humorist and literary critic, known for his satirical books about nature and historical figures.-Early life:...

 as "that Falstaff
Sir John Falstaff is a fictional character who appears in three plays by William Shakespeare. In the two Henry IV plays, he is a companion to Prince Hal, the future King Henry V. A fat, vain, boastful, and cowardly knight, Falstaff leads the apparently wayward Prince Hal into trouble, and is...

 of detectives." Wolfe's 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,...

 recorded the cases of the detective genius from 1934 (Fer-de-Lance) to 1975 (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...


The Nero Wolfe corpus was nominated Best Mystery Series of the Century at 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.
Stout was born in Noblesville, Indiana
Noblesville, Indiana
Noblesville is a city in and the county seat of Hamilton County, Indiana, United States, located just north of Indianapolis. The population was 51,969 at the 2010 census making it the 14th largest city/town in the state, up from 19th in 2007...

, but shortly after that his Quaker parents, John Wallace Stout and Lucetta Elizabeth Todhunter Stout, moved their family (nine children in all) to Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...


His father was a teacher who encouraged his son to read, and Rex had read the entire Bible twice by the time he was four years old.

I really mean what I say. A Charles Dickens|Dickens character to me is a theatrical projection of a character. Not that it isn't real. It's real, but in that removed sense. But Sherlock Holmes is simply there. I would be astonished if I went to 221½ B Baker Street and didn't find him.

Rex Stout, page 244

The incredible thing happens at the beginning of the story always, you notice, not the end. A Sherlock Holmes story is never a trick story.

Rex Stout, page 246

It is impossible for any Sherlock Holmes story not to have at least one marvelous scene.

Rex Stout, page 247

Of course the modern detective story puts off its best tricks till the last, but Arthur Conan Doyle|Doyle always put his best tricks first and that's why they're still the best ones.

Rex Stout, page 251

There are damn few great writers and I'm not one of them. While I could afford to I played with words. When I could no longer afford that I wrote for money.

Rex Stout, on why he turned from writing serious fiction to detective stories Lewis Nichols' interview appeared November 15, 1953.

There are two kinds of characters in all fiction, the born and the synthetic. If the writer has to ask himself questions — is he tall, is he short? — he had better quit.

Rex Stout Israel Shenker's interview was published December 1, 1971.

One trouble with living beyond your deserved number of years is that there's always some reason to live another year. And I'd like to live another year so that Richard Nixon|Nixon won't be President. If he's re-elected I'll have to live another four years.

Rex Stout

My God you love to get them, and good Lord you hate to answer them.

Rex Stout, on letters from his readers John F. Baker's brief article — "Rex Stout: 'No Man My Age Writes Books'" — appeared October 29, 1973 (pp. 28–29), with seven photographs by Jill Krementz|Jill Krementz.

The only thing I want is something I can't have; and that is to know if, 100 years from now, people will still buy my books.

Rex Stout, who published two titles — Nero WolfeThe Nero Wolfe Cookbook|The Nero Wolfe Cookbook and Nero WolfePlease Pass the Guilt|Please Pass the Guilt — in his 86th year