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If Death Ever Slept by Rex Stout
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If Death Ever Slept (original 1957; edition 1995)

by Rex Stout

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4551222,893 (3.8)63
Member:jonesli
Title:If Death Ever Slept
Authors:Rex Stout
Info:Bantam (1995), Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:12 in 12 Challenge (inactive), Your library
Rating:****
Tags:12 in 12, Happy Birthday, Finished December 2012

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If Death Ever Slept by Rex Stout (1957)

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» See also 63 mentions

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I have a notion this was one of the first Nero Wolfe stories I read I read them in no particular order, mostly out of the Bowling Green (Ohio) Public Library. It is not precisely a favorite of mine, but it is one that sticks in my mind --for little things, like Archie Goodwin suggesting he 5ake the name Adonis Guilfoyle while serving as Randall Jarrett's secretary. Jarrett (Prodded by Archie) has agreed to help Jarrett find evidence that will let him get his daughter--in-law out of the house while keeping his son. There is rather a neat scene in which a rug (obviously powered by a hidden person) opens an office door set to photograph anyone who opens it, In one sense this case is very obvious --there is a designated villain from the beginning --but the question is, is the rather unpleasant Mr. Jarrett right about her? He also has an attractive daughter who makes a point of telling young men she is interested in (including Archie) about how she shot a squirrel at the age of nine and later wrote a poem about it. The title of the novel derives from the poem. ( )
  antiquary | Feb 27, 2016 |
Perfect read for our drive to Southern California and home again. It kept us awake and guessing. We love Michael Prichard as a reader. He has the perfect voice for Archie. Wonderful play with language! Great laughs. ( )
  njcur | Oct 13, 2015 |
I liked the idea of 1950s NYC's answer to Sherlock Holmes, but I didn't really like this novel. Maybe I picked the wrong one to start with. But I didn't care about the characters, and the mystery seemed pretty pointless and was solved in a boring, unconvincing way.

However...check out some of the foods they ate during this book:

- shad roe with créole sauce
- bread triangles fried in anchovy butter
- "hedgehog omelet"
- avocado, whipped with sugar and lime juice and green chartreuse
- fresh strawberry omelet

It's a crazy world out there. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
Not the best Stout I've ever read, by any means. Felt like nothing much happened for a while and then Wolfe had his "confront the cast" moment and that was that. Meh. ( )
  dmmjlllt | Feb 4, 2013 |
This was the first Nero Wolfe mystery I ever read. I found it on my mother's bookshelves when I was around 11 or 12 years old and instantly fell truly, madly, deeply in love with Archie Goodwin, Wolfe's wisecracking, handsome legman. His description of Lois Jarrell from their first meeting hit me like a brick, and not only because I myself wore my brown hair in a ponytail and had greenish brown eyes:

"I pivoted. A girl all in white with bare tanned arms and a bare tanned throat down to the start of the curves and a tanned face with dimples and greenish brown eyes and a pony tail was coming. If you are thinking that is too much to take in with a quick glance, I am a detective and a trained observer. I had time not only to take her in but also think, Good Lord, if that's Susan and she's a snake I'm going to take up herpetology, if that's the word, and I can look it up."

It's a great book, is what I'm saying. I've read it at least a dozen times, and I will probably read it a dozen more before I turn my last page. You should read it at least once. ( )
3 vote rosalita | May 9, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rex Stoutprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Parker, Robert B.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prichard, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It would not be strictly true to say that Wolfe and I were not speaking that Monday morning in May.
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