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Over My Dead Body (Nero Wolfe) Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1993

107 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"It is always a treat to [hear] a Nero Wolfe mystery. The man has entered our folklore." -- The New York Times Book Review

"Rex Stout and Nero Wolfe make a combination that is hard to beat." -- The New York Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

When a Balkan beauty gets in trouble over some missing diamonds, whom else can she turn to but the world-famous Nero Wolfe? Especially since she claims to be Wolfe's long lost daughter! The stakes are suddenly raised when a student at this woman's fencing school ends up dead after a pointed lesson. As Wolfe and his sidekick, Archie, thrust and parry into a tangle of documents, identities and international intrigue, another student body turns up, expertly skewered through the heart. Is Wolfe's long lost daughter the black sheep of the family, a hot-blooded mistress of murder?

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Product Details

  • Series: Nero Wolfe (Book 7)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (December 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553231162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553231168
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By David Kudler on November 13, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having read just about all of the Nero Wolfe series, I have to say, this one contains all of the elements that make Rex Stout's detective novels wildly entertaining, without most of the elements that make some of them maddening

In this mystery, the utterly unswashbuckling Wolfe is revealed, in his younger, svelter days, to have been quite a romantic. Not only did he fight on the anti-Imperial side in Montenegro during the Great War, but he adopted and may even have actually sired a young girl.

To his shock, this young Yugoslav maiden--whom he had lost track of--reappears in his life, up to her neck in a particularly messy, intricate affair that may or may not include missing diamonds, a dead body or two, international intrigue, and a bellboy's uniform. For all of the peeks into Wolfe's previously unsuspected soul, he remains as crumudgeonly and as immovable as ever. Archie Goodwin, of course, remains the wisecracking, milk-drinking sidekick, flirting with anything in a skirt and even giving a Nazi agent a black eye just for the fun of it.

The joy of these books is their marriage of the American gumshoe attitude and the British cozy focus on character. Where they generally fall short is their plotting. This entry in the series is, without a doubt, the most successfully rounded out of the lot. Stout manages to keep the mystery truly mysterious, and yet never manages to confuse the reader so thoroughly that s/he can't find the exit. The plot actually ends on the last page--many of the Nero Wolfe mysteries fizzle out, wrapping up a chapter or two before the end, leaving nothing but rumination and grumbling for the final pages. Others seem never quite to wrap up all the loose ends. Here, the conclusion is both inevitable and unexpected--utterly satisfying.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A. Wolverton VINE VOICE on April 9, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
'Over My Dead Body' finds a young lady who arrives at Wolfe's door claiming to be Wolfe's daughter. Wow! What a way to start the book! Things begin to heat up even more when the young lady is suspected of a murder in a fencing studio.
This is the seventh entry in the Wolfe series, and it is an entertaining one. Wolfe is in his usual beer-drinking, orchid-loving form, using that brilliant mind of his to sort out any difficulty. In this book, we begin to see a little more depth in two of the recurring minor characters in Wolfe's employ: First, Fred Durkin, the lumbering, bumbling guy who is not too bright, but is always there when Wolfe needs him. Second, Saul Panzer, who is probably just as good a detective as Archie (well, almost), but is completely no-nonsense. (And Archie thinks he's better looking than Saul.)
I'd give the book 4.5 stars if I could. The only problem is Wolfe says a few words and lines that really aren't in character for him. This would only distract readers who have read a lot of the books. Since this book is still fairly early in the series, Stout can be forgiven. 'Over My Dead Body' is definitely a Wolfe book not to be missed.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Roger Long on June 1, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book hits on all cylinders. The plot is excellent, intricate but clear. The characters are well drawn. The atmosphere, New York on the eve of World War II, is almost palpable. The dialogue is perfect. I'm at a loss as to what else to say about the book except, "Read it."

A Britsh undercover agent is murdered at a Manhattan fencing school, skewered by an epee with a gizmo attached that turns it into a weapon sans blunt end. Yugoslav women who are instructors there are possible suspects, one of whom is Nero Wolfe's adopted daughter from his days as an ill advised Austrian agent in the Balkans, pre World War, before we started numbering them. This alone is a startling revelation about Wolfe. Wolfe slender? Youthful? Abroad, outside, involved with people? I was astonished.

As usual, the beer drinking, orchid collecting, erudite, corpulent food lover Nero Wolfe declines, under any circumstances, to leave his brownstone abode with a greenhouse rooftop for his rare flowers. Using Archie, his assistant, as legs, Wolfe solves the baffling case. I knew he would. He's solved all the other mysteries in the Nero Wolfe books I've read.

Mystery fans who have not read mysteries from the golden age (pre-1950) do not know what they are missing. There is no sex to lure the lascivious reader, very little violence, no profanity. What there is (and this book is an excellent example of the sub-genre) is intelligence.
That's a rare commodity in most modern mysteries.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. W. Perry on January 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Rex Stout Nero Wolfe stories are old detective stories that are well written, usually without obvious conclusions and very comforting to those of us who are fans. Over my dead body pits Archie and Wolfe against at least a few categories of evils that still persist--quick profit financial types and those who would harm a society (not the USA) for their personal gain. These are old and set in New York of the past. For the history and popular culture evidenced alone, they are entertaining. If you like them, there are many more.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 18, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Very smooth, fast paced, one of the top ten of the Wolfe opus
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John P Bernat on October 8, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is, at once, one of the best books in the series and one which translated brilliantly to TV on the A&E series.

Rex Stout decides to deal us a little shock in this one: Nero Wolfe, woman-hater, has a daughter he's not seen since she was a baby. She comes from Yugoslavia to New York, unknown to her pops, and gets into a real tight spot involving murder by "coldymort."

When Archie learns this, he considers resigning on the basis of his boss's morals. You just have to read this one to find out.

Or, again, buy the A&E series - they did a great job here.
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