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The Rubber Band/The Red Box 2-in-1 (Nero…
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The Rubber Band/The Red Box 2-in-1 (Nero Wolfe) (edition 2009)

by Rex Stout (Author)

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1763101,161 (4)None
Member:irishblues
Title:The Rubber Band/The Red Box 2-in-1 (Nero Wolfe)
Authors:Rex Stout (Author)
Info:Bantam (2009), Edition: Original, 464 pages
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Nero Wolfe Mysteries: The Rubber Band [and] The Red Box by Rex Stout

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The Rubber Band follows a young woman on a quest to solve a mystery and fulfill a promise owed to her father (recently deceased). Of course, nothing is every simple in a Nero Wolfe mystery so from the beginning there is murder, intrigue, and suspicion on all sides. Wolfe (and Archie!) are at their best in this novel and culminates in a shocking ending that left me with my mouth agape in wonderment.

The Red Box started out in the style of a whodunit except where the suspects were numerous but the motive was unknown. As the story progresses, the mystery mounts around a core group of people (a family in fact) and Wolfe is forced to switch clients (unheard of for him) as the cast of characters is whittled down by murder. You can feel the mounting frustration with each turn of the page as Archie is left out of the loop (nothing new there really) and the lack of evidence takes a toll on the master detective.

Honestly, if you enjoy a riveting mystery novel then either (or both) will sate your appetite. ( )
  AliceaP | Mar 5, 2014 |
Two more entries in the Nero Wolfe series, these from 1936 and 1937 respectively. Told as always from the perspective of Archie Goodwin, who manages as usual to fall for the girl in each case (though, of course, they do not fall for him). And Nero Wolfe is magnificent as always, too. I only discovered this series in the last couple of years, when a number of 2-in-1 omnibus editions began to appear, and having read I think six so far, I'm quite enamoured of Stout's depiction of people and attitudes and events in 1930s/40s New York; I'm very pleased that I've got two more of these omnibus editions sitting on my to-read shelves! ( )
  thefirstalicat | Feb 25, 2010 |
It's Nero Wolfe. See my reviews of other Nero Wolfe books for my general feelings on that topic.

I will say that neither book ages well, as both depend on things that are no longer the case. I think that's more of a feature than a bug, as it sets them firmly in their own time. I do think one of the interesting things that Stout did with these books was reverse the usual ways of dealing with the passage of time. Rather than having the characters age in real time (or some facsimile thereof), or keeping them and their mileu set in stone, he kept the setting absolutely modern with what he was writing, and didn't age the characters at all. An interesting choice, and one that works very well. I'd recommend it to anyone writing a series that's more or less contemporary real world. ( )
  teckelvik | Oct 23, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553386034, Paperback)

A grand master of the form, Rex Stout is one of America’s greatest mystery writers, and his literary creation Nero Wolfe is one of fiction’s greatest detectives. Here, in Stout’s third and fourth complete Wolfe mysteries, the arrogant, gourmandizing, sedentary sleuth and his trusty man-about-town, Archie Goodwin, solve two of their most baffling cases.

The Rubber Band

What do a Wild West lynching and a respected English nobleman have in common? On the surface, absolutely nothing. But when a young woman hires his services, it becomes Nero Wolfe’s job to look deeper and find the connection. A forty-year-old pact, a five-thousand-mile search, and a million-dollar murder are all linked to an international scandal that could rebound on the great detective and his partner, Archie, with fatal abruptness.

The Red Box
Murder by chocolate? That’s the premise Nero Wolfe must operate from when a beautiful woman is poisoned after indulging in a box of candy. It’s a case that the great detective—no stranger himself to overindulgence—is loath to take for a variety of reasons, including that it may require that he leave his comfortable brownstone. But he and Archie are compelled by a mystery that mixes high fashion and low motives…and a killer who may have made the deadliest mistake.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:30 -0400)

The rubber band -- In all his years of detecting, the unflappable Nero Wolfe has never encountered an investigation as damnably messy as this one. For what began as a clean case of larceny quickly sank into a quagmire of blackmail and broken promises, international scandal and cold-blooded murder. Now Wolfe and his assistant, Archie Goodwin must bridge eras and oceans to find the link between a Wild West lynching and a respected British peer. Only then can they save Wolfe's beautiful young client -- and a hotly disputed stake of a cool million dollars. The red box -- A lovely woman is dead, and the fortunes of overextended theatrical producer Llewellyn Frost depend on solving the mystery of the red box: two pounds of candied fruits, nuts and creams, covered with chocolate -- and laced with potassium cyanide. When Nero Wolfe's suspicion falls on Frost's kissing cousin, Frost wants the detective to kill the sickly sweet case--before it kills him.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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