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Archie Meets Nero Wolfe: A Prequel to Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe Mysteries (The Nero Wolfe Mysteries) Paperback – November 13, 2012


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Archie Meets Nero Wolfe: A Prequel to Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe Mysteries (The Nero Wolfe Mysteries) + Murder in the Ball Park (The Nero Wolfe Mysteries) + Nero Wolfe: The Archie Goodwin Files
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Product Details

  • Series: The Nero Wolfe Mysteries
  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: MysteriousPress.com/Open Road; 1st edition (November 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453270973
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453270974
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (262 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Archie and Nero Wolfe fans rejoice! Robert Goldsborough, who so deftly and ably continued the Wolfe series a few years back, has returned to tell the story every fan wanted to hear: the origin of the Wolfe/Goodwin partnership. This book has a hardboiled sheen worthy of the period it recreates and captures Stout’s recurring characters—not just Archie and Wolfe—with a fidelity that is damn near supernatural. And Archie’s voice and Wolfe’s grand demeanor are spot on. Here’s hoping Goldsborough finds a dozen more untold cases as he channels the great Rex Stout.” —Max Allan Collins, author of Bye Bye, Baby
 
“Devotees of the late Rex Stout’s bestsellers will be pleasantly surprised.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“Robert Goldsborough brings Nero Wolfe, late of Rex Stout, gloriously back to life.” —Chicago
 
“Mr. Goldsborough has all of the late writer’s stylistic mannerisms down pat.” —The New York Times

Book Description

The much-loved detective hero Nero Wolfe teams up with the new kid on the block, Archie Goodwin, in one of the strongest entries to the iconic detective’s canon in years

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Customer Reviews

The characters are the same and the plot good.
E. Fiegler
Saul Panzer is the one who likely has "total recall", and yet, oddly, it's not mentioned in this book.
D.K. Henderson
The book was easy reading,kept me interested and I couldn't really put it down until it was finished.
Susan Crist

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By WryGuy2 TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've enjoyed Rex Stout's Nero Wolf/Archie Goodwin stories for over 30 years, and I own every book and story Stout wrote on this intrepid duo. (Well, Archie is intrepid. :-) ) And I've read all but one of them. The reason that I haven't read that last book is because when I finish it, there will be no more, and a part of me just doesn't want the series to end.

So, I later bought and enjoyed Robert Goldsborough's seven pastiches, and although some parts didn't feel quite right (like Wolfe's almost fawning on several women characters in the earlier books), on the whole, they could have passed for something Stout had authored. But I thought that with "The Missing Chapter", which was about the murder of an author who continued a dead author's mystery series (and seemed to be a very big wink to the reading audience), that Goldsborough had hung them up, so to speak. So, I was pleasantly surprised to find, 19 years after that book, that Goldsborough had decided to write another Nero Wolfe novel. Below are my impressions of this book "Archie Meets Nero Wolfe", and note that I do not give any spoilers.

The book is well written and fits stylistically as a prelude to Stout's first Wolfe novel, "Fer-de-Lance". By that I mean the idiom and grammar fit to story's time frame (the late 1920's). While avid fans will undoubtedly notice discrepancies from the Wolfe "canon", I believe many of these were rational compromises made by the author to make the story work, and don't really affect the novel. With one minor exception, I enjoyed reading the book and it felt like I was reading something written by Rex Stout.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 5, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"I do not think you would find life in the brownstone to be onerous." That is the quote that best summarizes what Robert Goldsborough's prequel is all about. True to Rex Stout's original books, it's not really the mystery itself that is the most interesting feature of the prequel -- it's the relationship between the two main protagonists, in its budding stages here. (Also, similar to Rex Stout's own books, the whodunnit angle of the prequel is rather weak, and the dénouement underwhelming.) I had to chuckle while reading the prequel, because it seemed to resemble reading a romance novel: you just know that "these two were meant for each other"; you know they will "embrace each other" (if only figuratively here) by the time the book comes to a close; but those two don't know it *yet*, and it's fun to observe the process of them getting closer to each other. Speaking of Wolfe and Archie as "groom and bride" seems somehow justified after Rex Stout once caused outrage with a lecture suggesting that "Dr. Watson was a woman".

Indeed, the finest chapter in _Archie Meets Nero Wolfe_ is the very last one; Robert Goldsborough is excellent throughout in capturing the mood of the brownstone, but it all comes to a head in the final chapter. The very last dialogue between Wolfe and Archie is superbly, sparingly written in understated tones; and so is the final scene, with Goldsborough elegantly deciding to end the story before Archie gives his final answer to Wolfe. I think many a Rex Stout fan will be moved emotionally while reading the final chapter of the prequel.

The prequel has one distinguishing feature that no original Wolfe book could offer: it shows us Wolfe, Archie, Cramer and the rest of the staff during the Prohibition era.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By NCM on November 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had really high hopes for this book. I had been anticipating it since the announcement and jumped right in when it arrived at my door. I've read all of the Nero Wolfe/Rex Stout books and was eager to see how Archie Goodwin and Nero Wolfe ended up together on 35th Street.

Archie's voice just didn't feel right and the dialogue between the rest of the gang - Saul, Fred, Orrie(and even Del Bascom), seemed totally out of character, particularly with dialogue that is taking place in front of Wolfe. There are other things, but I don't want to give anything away.

It's a great story, however, for any other short comings. I did read the book through and will be hanging on to it. Robert Goldsborough provides several great connections to Stouts series and I will be reading some of his other Nero Wolfe books, but in the end I was disappointed, given the tone of some of the pre-release reviews.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Posey on February 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When Goldsborough had Wolfe -- WOLFE!! -- use "infer" where he should have used "imply," I quit reading. How do you burn an eBook?
But I was already pretty disappointed, as I deserved to be for betraying Stout -- and Archie, Wolfe, and all the crew -- by reading this zombiefied version of them. Goldsborough's Archie has no humor, and no irreverent wit; the text is acne-pocked with cliche, and the characters belong in Gepetto's workshop. Archie's exuberance, willingness to laugh at himself, and unexpected riffs are MIA if not DOA. If Archie's prose is Fred Astaire with firecrackers, Zombie-Archie's is T-Rex in army boots.
Perhaps the worst disappointment is the lack of spark in the initial meetings of the various characters. Except for Zombie Archie being the last one to join the crew -- in itself a very distasteful and unconvincing detail -- there is nothing really to mark this case as a landmark.
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