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Death Times Three by Rex Stout
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Death Times Three

by Rex Stout

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Nero Wolfe (47)

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I really think that Stout's forte was in the novella. These 3 are no exception with some of the characterization (including Hattie Annis) is the best there is. ( )
  JeffreyMarks | Jul 11, 2013 |
This is an interesting collection of 3 novellas published after Stout’s death by his executer that had never appeared in book form before. The first on, “Bitter End” started out as the second Tecumseh Fox novel of 205 pages called Bad for Business. As was customary at the time it was offered to American Magazine in an abridged version or serialization before publication. The editor offered double Stout’s fee if he would rewrite it as a Nero Wolf story. Thus was born the first Nero Wolf novella. Stout wrote many more as we know, but this one was never published in book form. The plot coincides with the Fox novel which was published on schedule. I wonder what his readers thought who read both the Fox novel and the Wolf novella?

In February 1958 the 48 page novella “Murder in No Joke” was published in And Four to Go. Rex Stout then did something he almost never did—he did a rewrite and expanded it to 79 pages and re-titled it “Frame-up for Murder.” In June-July of that year Saturday Evening Post published this obviously superior version but it was never published in book form so languished in back issues of the magazine until the executor of Stout’s estate decided to put out this new volume of novellas.

The third novella has an even stranger history. Early in 1959 Stout wrote a 73 page novella called “Counterfeit for Murder” which is published under the title “Assault on a Brownstone” in this volume. Less than two months later he discarded all but the first seven pages and completely rewrote the story resurrecting the corpse of the old lady and substituting as the corpse the young lady who attracted Archie. The new story was published in serial form in a magazine and in Homicide Trinity. The editor of this volume speculates that the only thing that happened between the two writings was a fishing vacation with a dear friend who suddenly died of a heart attack the day after Stout got home and perhaps this was “grief” therapy to resurrect the older victim. The second story was a stronger story because the older character was a stronger character and the original story was never published until this edition. I was thinking while reading this that I wished the old landlady hadn’t died—I wanted to know her better. I’ll have to read the original now. It will be interesting to compare the two. ( )
  MusicMom41 | May 30, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rex Stoutprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
McAleer,John J.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prichard, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The Bitter End. In the old brownstone house which was the dwelling, and also contained the office, of Nero Wolfe on West 35th Street near the Hudson River, in New York, heavy gloom had penetrated into every corner of every room, so that there was no escaping from it.
Frame-UP For Murder. I was tailing a man mamed (sic) Jonas Putz.
Assault On A Brownstone. My rule is, never be rude to anyone unless you mean it.
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Book description
"Bitter End" - a reworking of the Tecumseh Fox story "Bad for Business" - was published in The American Magazine (1940); an expanded rewrite of of the novella "Murder is No Joke" was serialised in the Saturday Evening Post (1958); an unpublished early draft of the 1961 novella "Counterfeit Murder"
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553254251, Mass Market Paperback)

Archie Goodwin has his hands full when three baffling murders make him the recipient of a poisonous lunch, the fall guy for a beautiful woman, and the target of the U.S. Federal Government. Reissue.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:30 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

This collector's edition showcases Nero Wolfe's uncanny crime-solving ability--as well as his incredible appetite--when he tackles murder three times over. Features an introduction by Rex Stout biographer John J. McAleer. "Nero Wolfe . has entered our folklore".--The New York Times Book Review.… (more)

Legacy Library: Rex Stout

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