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And Four to Go (Nero Wolfe) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1992

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Product Details

  • Series: Nero Wolfe (Book 30)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Crimeline; Reissue edition (November 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553249851
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553249859
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By George R Dekle on July 19, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Nero Wolfe is constantly getting himself into fixes through three character flaws. Arrogance, Cupidity, and Eccentricity. He must then shake off his indolence and use his intelligence to extricate himself from whatever predicament he stumbles into. Frequently he must extricate himself through the device of an elaborate caper designed to expose a killer while simultaneously burying his embarrassment.
Each of the four stories in this book has as its centerpiece an elaborate caper. In two of the stories Wolfe engineers a caper to extricate himself from danger; in the one the caper places him in danger; in the fourth, he is victimized by a caper and solves the mystery through sheer force of logic and deduction.
In "Christmas Party" Wolfe's fear that Archie is going to marry causes him to masquerade as Santa Claus and become prime suspect in a murder. In "Easter Parade" Wolfe's envy of a rival orchid grower causes him to stoop to petit theft and become embroiled in a murder mystery. In "Fourth of July Picnic" Wolfe discovers a murder at a picnic, attempts to flee without reporting it, and must expose the murderer before he himself gets arrested for obstructing justice. In "Murder is No Joke" Wolfe provides all the usual suspects with an ironclad alibi. How can he break an alibi that he himself provides?
Classic murder mysteries rarely bear any resemblance to reality. I've handled hundreds of homicide cases over the years, and the puzzles presented by real life homicide investigations bear no resemblance whatsoever to the puzzles presented in murder mysteries. You can imagine my pleasure on finding that Wolfe solved one of the mysteries in this book with exactly the same stratagem employed in a case that I prosecuted years ago. I've long since lost track of the investigator who solved that little mystery, but if I ever see him again, I'm certainly going to ask him if he has ever read any Nero Wolfe.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michele L. Worley on January 19, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This edition now boasts "As Seen on TV!" on its cover, alluding to the fact that 1 (so far) of the 4 short stories herein has been adapted by A&E. Since 3 of the 4 are set during major holidays, Jane Haddam (author of the Gregor Demarkian holiday mysteries) was selected to write the forward. Apart from her forward and the afterward, the book is pure Stout, set after both _Black Orchids_ and _The Black Mountain_.
All four are murder investigations. The Ingram editorial review incorrectly implies that the killings were committed by 1 person - they're not. The cases are unrelated, and are only grouped in one volume because of a common holiday theme.
"Christmas Party" - The A&E adaptation is faithful to the story. Archie, having arranged for a day off, receives brusque instructions to cancel his plans and drive Wolfe out to Mr. Hewitt's for a special orchid powwow. He whips out a marriage license (!), with the news that he must attend his fiancee's office Christmas party that day. You've _got_ to read this one, if only for Wolfe's reaction to this. :)
"Easter Parade" - Rumor (via his gardener) has it that Millard Bynoe has bred a pink Vanda, but he refuses to admit it or display it before his wife wears a blossom for the Easter parade. Wolfe, giving in to acute orchid envy, has Archie arrange for a petty thief to steal it under cover of parade photographers. Unfortunately, that's the day that someone poisons Mrs. Bynoe, apparently with a dart shot from a fake camera.
When originally published in a magazine, the photos referred to in the text were provided in color as clues. The old hardcover edition of the book provided them in B&W; this edition omits them altogether. It's a pity, but does not detract from the story.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Paul Skinner on July 17, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Spend the holidays with Nero and Archie, and quickly discover Wolfe quick thinking as he solves the mysteries faster than you can turn the pages. The last one is particularly good, as Wolfe takes offense to the fool who tries to fool him. In the others, Wolfe himself is cast in the spotlight as the police begin to even suspect his involvement - but naturally, his intellect always bails him out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rob Wryter on June 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
These four long short stories (or novelettes, or novellas) seem mere tantalizing teasers compared to the savory richness of a complete Nero Wolfe novel. These four tales of America's favorite portly eccentric crime-solver in this compilation move so quickly they seem truncated and choppy, like a three-hour movie heavily edited to fit a two-hour time slot. Or as Wolfe might prefer, three pounds of bologna fit into a two pound package. All of them follow the same structure: Archie flirts, murder happens, Nero Wolfe asks questions, police detectives annoyed about it, murderer revealed in a formal group session with Wolfe. Happy holiday! Hoist a beer and smell an orchid!

All respect to Rex Stout, but he is that rare author who works better with the longer novel format which gives his rotund eccentric hero more room to show off the ponderous weight of his sleuthing abilities. But even a short Nero Wolfe story is better than no Nero Wolfe story.
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By Ohioan on August 30, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Even though I much prefer Stout's Nero Wolfe novels to the Nero Wolfe short stories, I enjoyed this shorter-than-usual batch of four. In the first, Wolfe plays Santa Claus because he thinks Archie is going to get married and leave him. Naturally a murder occurs -- and it looks as if the man playing Santa did it.

In the second story, Wolfe goes to embarrassing lengths to procure black orchids that don't belong to him, and the result is murder. And it looks to the police as if an employee of Wolfe's (not Archie) committed the murder. If the police only knew that Wolfe was having the event filmed and has hidden the film from them, there would be even more trouble.

The third story involves a Fourth of July picnic, Wolfe as the invited speaker, and somebody stabbed in the back while recovering from eating bad snails. The fourth story goes back to the French Resistance during World War II, the murder of traitors, a new life in New York City and then -- more murder.

All told, short but satisfying.
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