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Plot It Yourself Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1985


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Crimeline (December 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553253638
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553253634
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #468,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From AudioFile

What's not to like about a Nero Wolfe mystery? The mysteries are short, cleverly plotted, well paced, and, if you're an audiobook listener, wonderfully read by Michael Pritchard. In this breezy title, Nero Wolfe, aided by his faithful employee, Archie, exposes an extortion plot involving plagiarism and catches a cold-blooded killer. Michael Pritchard has read nearly 20 books in Stout's series and has mastered Wolfe's deep, meditative voice and Archie's spry, chipper voice, as well as those of a host of other characters we recognize from one recording to the next. Listen to this tape simply for the fun of it! D.L.G. © AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Loved the TV shows love the books even more.
elisia conrardy
Wolfe studies the plagiarized manuscripts and concludes, from style and syntax, that they were all written by the same person.
Ohioan
Nero Wolfe at his best in another Archie and Nero first class mystery.
Schnauzerbark

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 20, 2003
Format: Audio Cassette
This is later Nero Wolfe, written in the 50s, filled with references to the Eisenhower administration. And this is noteworthy because I've always found the later Wolfe adventures lacking in charm and energy. Not this one. Archie finds himself in the publishing world, helping Wolfe sort out scandals, plagarism and murder. The setting is unique, the plot is engaging, Wolfe is his familiar old idiosyncratic self, and Archie is as witty a narrator as you could ask for. I was pleasantly surprised and delighted by this work.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michele L. Worley on November 10, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Archie Goodwin (with his endless battles with the forces of crime, law, and Nero Wolfe) is the chief joy of a Wolfe novel. In this instance, a case of wholesale plagiarism turns into murder, and while there are flaws in the handling of the supporting players and in some details of the investigation, we're given a few spectacular bouts of Wolfe-temperament in compensation, and some clever touches in the construction of the crimes.

In the past 4 years, starting in February 1955, four unsuccessful authors have accused 5 bestsellers of plagiarism, usually settling out of court. Amy Wynn's new bestseller, her first, is now a target, and the BPA (Book Publishers of America) and NAAD (National Association of Authors & Dramatists) have had enough. A joint committee, including some of the victim authors, has approached Wolfe, who accepts partly because Philip Harvey, the chair, wrote a book rating an A. (Archie opens the story explaining how he gauges Wolfe's opinion of a book.) You'll note that I don't name all the committee members; most are stage props, even those relevant to the investigation. Wolfe doesn't pep things up with opinions of their work.

Alice Porter's manuscript was found by a cleaning woman in Ellen Sturdevant's summer home. Simon Jacobs' 'What's Mine Is Yours' was sent to Echols' agent long before Echols' story came out, but nobody can prove whether the forgotten original tallies with the version brandished by Jacobs after the fact. After Marjorie Lippin's case, Jane Ogilvy's manuscript was found in her attic. (Ms. Lippin's heirs not only fought the suit, but demanded an autopsy, striking out on both.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By George R Dekle on May 2, 2003
Format: Audio Cassette
Nero Wolfe has few peers when it comes to figuring out whodunnit. He is without equal in concocting Byzantine plots designed to trick the badguy into a trap. In this book, however, he is as dumb as a doorpost when it comes to foreseeing the mayhem resulting from his activities. As a result, three people die.
Wolfe's self-esteem is so battered, he swears off beer and meat until he lays the killer by the heels. There are zero clues to the killer's identity, and the best efforts of Inspector Cramer, Purley Stebbins, and a host of NYPD officers cannot unravel the mystery. Unable to solve the murders by direct means, Wolfe decides that solving the case he was originally hired to investigate (a serial plagiarism case) will bring the killer to justice.
Wolfe and Goodwin explore the world of authorship and publishing (a world well-known to Stout), both failing to see the obvious key to cracking the case. When Wolfe discovers the key, he sets a plan in motion designed to unfailingly identify the killer. When the plan miscarries, Archie is crestfallen, but Wolfe starts making plans to order a steak. And then . . .
"Plot it Yourself" presents one of Stout's more labyrinthine plots, and some loose ends are still dangling as the curtain falls, but he still serves up a satisfying solution.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James A. White on November 6, 2003
Format: Audio Cassette
With an intriguing plot, summarized elsewhere, this is perhaps the best Nero Wolfe I've read. The characters are wonderful, Archie and Wolfe are in very fine form, and the mystery is superb. You'll be surprised at the killer, and Wolfe actually shows respect for the murderer. You almost think that Wolfe would rather not convict him/her.

Bottom line: Excellent, perhaps the best Stout, with a wonderful killer you almost feel sorry for.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is Nero Wolfe in top form. It's about intrigue in the publishing world, something Rex Stout obviously understood thoroughly. There's plenty of humor, which is a staple of the series, but there's a bit more edge than usual, and the end is rather haunting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John P Bernat on September 6, 2005
Format: Audio Cassette
What is plagiarism? How can a responsible editor be assured, in the pre-internet '50s, that he's notpublishing something stolen?

That's only the beginning of this great story. In this case, the plagiarist is so adept at his craft that he can even emulate female writers flawlessly.

And yes, fans of Serbo-Croat get to read or hear some Montenegrin cussing in this story. Who could ask for anything more??
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Reader from the heartland on December 23, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series, so the four stars are for this mystery. Four, because (in my opinion) there are better Nero Wolfe stories, although this is solidly good, and still well-worth the read.

However, the translation to Kindle leaves something to be desired. Orrie Cather is almost always referred to as Orrie Gather, with a G. Once, Saul Panzer is called Paul Panzer. There are other scattered errors, which I assume must be caused by a software program choosing the wrong word. It isn't bad enough to spoil the book, but I'd have enjoyed the "Nero Wolfe on Kindle" experience more if at least the names of characters were spelled correctly. Especially the series regulars.
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