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Not Quite Dead Enough (The Rex Stout…
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Not Quite Dead Enough (The Rex Stout Library: a Nero Wolfe Mystery) (edition 1992)

by Rex Stout

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541818,550 (3.77)32
Member:GratzFamily
Title:Not Quite Dead Enough (The Rex Stout Library: a Nero Wolfe Mystery)
Authors:Rex Stout
Info:Crimeline (1992), Mass Market Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Mystery, Mass Market, Alan

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Not Quite Dead Enough by Rex Stout

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Not one of Stout's best, but enjoyable. The Archie/Wolfe relationship is active and the dialogue amusing. Pretty good mystery, too. I also enjoyed "Booby Trap", the second novella in the book. Once again, Archie is enthralled with a beauty. Good denouement. ( )
  Crotchetymama | Jun 6, 2014 |
Two WWII mysteries. Includes BOOBY TRAP. Archie in Uniform and Nero on a diet. ( )
  Gloria2013Books | Mar 17, 2013 |
This is a Nero Wolfe book set during World War II. It has two stories in it the first one with the same title as the book.
The story begins with Lily Rowan of escamillo fame chasing down Archie who is now a Major in Army Intelligence. Ann Amory, a friend of Lily's has troubles and Lily wants Wolfe to look into the situation. Archie goes to find Wolfe and gets a big surprise. Wolfe and Fritz are training for the army. Not only does Wolfe leave the house he and Fritz are running all over New York.
Archie finds Amory murdered and then comes up with a pretty clever trick to get Wolfe involved in solving the murder. The story is going along fine and then it ends very quickly. It's as if the author was told he only had three pages left for the book and he just made up an ending. Minus one point.
The book gives a flavor of how serious everyone was about hating the Germans and winning the war. Having grown up in America the superpower it is hard to imagine how it must have been to really be afraid the enemy would destroy us.
Booby Trap
This is the second story and there is no double entendre involved. Many of the characters carry over from the Army Intelligence group from the first story. It begins with Wolfe insisting that Archie return a super hand grenade to the Army. He was given one for his intelligence work around it. The grenade later blows up in the office of Colonel Ryder killing the Colonel. At the time Ryder dies they are looking into the suspicious death of Captain Cross another member of the group. Before Ryder dies John Bell Shattuck, a highly placed civilian, had brought the group an anonymous letter he received about the death of Captain Cross.
Wolfe is working as a consultant with the Army and starts an investigation of Ryder's death. Ryder's secretary, Sergeant Dorothy Bruce, is the mystery lady of the story. She caught Archie's eye from the first time he met her. They get to know each other better during the story with perhaps more to come. The ending is a little better than the first story but not much. Fewer pages means less story.
This is my least favorite Nero Wolfe out of the eleven I have read so far. I don't like the novellas and the author's treatment of the war situation did not ring true. ( )
  wildbill | Dec 24, 2011 |
Rex Stout's Not Quite Dead Enough is actually two novellas rather than one novel: the title story and a second one, called Booby Trap. Both are set during WWII, but Major (!) Archie Goodwin's primary military job is the same as his civilian one, to look after Nero Wolfe. That portly gentleman starts out in the first tale with a determination to lose weight and join the Army; he attempts to do this by following a severe diet and taking brisk walks - outside! No sacrifice is too heavy for Wolfe to bear, it seems. Unfortunately, he's stopped using his brains, and since the Army needs him to work with them on a sensitive military case, it's necessary for Archie to find a way to get him back into his detective habits. As it happens, he finds himself at a building full of goofs, and shortly thereafter one of the tenants is dead; will this case be enough to bring Wolfe to his senses once again? In Booby Trap, Wolfe is fully functional once more and there really is a military case that needs looking into - it seems somebody is stealing industrial secrets, under cover of requiring the information for military purposes. Nefarious enough, but when people start dying in unlikely ways, people who've been investigating that very situation, well, it's likely that only Nero Wolfe can suss out the guilty party and resolve the case....As always, Archie's narration is snappy and smart, and seeing in one's mind's eye the image of Nero Wolfe, health buff, is enough to make any book worth reading! Both are short, and as such have fewer complications than many of these stories, but they'll still leave you guessing all the way to the end. Recommended! (Note: The version I'm reviewing is the e-book.) ( )
  thefirstalicat | Nov 25, 2010 |
Neither a novel nor a collection of short stories Not Quite Dead Enough is made up of two novelettes: Not quite dead enough and Booby Trap. Neither has the tight writing of a short story and yet both feel rather bloated. Stout needs to explain what Wolfe and Goodwin do during the war. The first story explains how their wartime setup comes to be and the second shows them at work. Both suffer from extremely obvious solutions and in neither case is the denouement satisfactory. The first requires Lily Rowan to carry the idiot ball and the second requires members of the military to do so. ( )
  mmyoung | May 30, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rex Stoutprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Prichard, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rubinek, SaulNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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NOT QUITE DEAD ENOUGH: We swooped down and hit the concrete alongside the Potomac at 1:20 p.m. on a raw Monday in early March.

BOOBY TRAP: On our way out of the house—his house, which was also his office, on West 35th Street over near the North River—Nero Wolfe, who was ahead of me, stopped so abruptly that I nearly bumped into him.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553261096, Mass Market Paperback)

involving national security, Nero Wolfe must set the traps that will catch the pair of wily killers responsible. Reissue. NYT.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:38 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Nero Wolfe's search for a mad bomber in the tale "Booby Trap" accompanies the story of the famous detective's efforts to clear his assistant, Archie Goodwin, of a murder charge.

(summary from another edition)

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