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Please Pass the Guilt by Rex Stout

Please Pass the Guilt

by Rex Stout

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Nero Wolfe (45)

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480321,469 (3.68)19



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One of the later mysteries which are usually not my favorites. It begins with Wolfe's reliable ally Doc Vollmer asking a favor for a colleague --a psychiatrist who has a client (who gives an obviously false name) who keeps seeing his hands covered with blood. Wolfe talks to the client and finds he was Kenneth Meers, a junior executive at a tV network, and a senior executive, a rival of his own boss in the upcoming decision on who would be the new head of the company --had blown himself up by opening a drawer in the desk of Meers; own boss's desk --a drawer containing nothing but a bottle of whiskey. Meers walks out after he is identified, but Archie Goodwin persuades the widow of the victim to hire Wolfe to find out who killed her husband--a task complicated by the fact that she confesses to Wolfe that her husband had opened that drawer to put LSD in his rival's whiskey to make him look bad in a crucial job interview that was to decide which of them got the top job. (I think Stout was trying too hard to be trendy by using LSD. A simple mickey finn would have made the rival look dopey and stupid, but LSD might produce bizarre hallucinations making it obvious he had been poisoned.) What I disiike about this story is that it is what I call a Hilary Waugh, as the device was used to often by that author--there is an obvious suspect, that suspect is seemingly cleared, and then after a long investigation the original obvious suspect turns out to e guilty after all. ( )
  antiquary | Jun 5, 2016 |
As much as I love the Nero Wolfe series, this is one of the weaker installments. The premise is good (a bomb kills a TV network vice president; no one knows if he was the intended target), but the usual sense of fun is missing. The main characters don't seem to have much to do here and neither the suspects/witnesses nor the investigation are that memorable. This would have been better as a short story. ( )
  Euryale | Mar 8, 2012 |
A well constructed mystery very much in the tradition of Nero Wolfe novels. Rex Stout 's depiction of Detective Wolfe and assistant Archie Goodwin (thru whom the story is narrated) is done perfectly, and the mystery and suspects are introduced and developed thoroughly and concisely. The early 1970's setting also adds interest to this novel. ( )
  KidQuislet | Mar 28, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stout, Rexprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nyytäjä, KaleviTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prichard, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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He grunted - the low brief rumble that isn't meant to be heard - turned his head to dart a glance at me, and turned back to Dr Vollmer, who was in the red leather chair facing the end of Wolfe's desk.
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Book description
From book back:

A bomb blows up in the desk of a top TV executive. Was it intended for him or the man who opened the drawer? They each had enemies enough to die a dozen times over. Was it the jealous wife or the ambitious partner? The secretary who got passed around like an inter-office memo? Or the man who couldn't wash the blood off his hands? Nero Wolfe didn't want any part of it - but he was up to his neck in the toughest case of his career.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553763083, Paperback)

When a boorish millionaire and a Mets fan with a phony name show up at his door with a tempting case, Nero Wolf finds himself investigating corporate treachery, domestic intrigue, and worse. Reissue. NYT.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:46 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A Mets fan with a phony name and a millionaire client arrive just in time to provide a case for Nero Wolfe to pay the rent. The bizarre visitors are in a frenzy about a death trap explosion in the discreet whiskey drawer of a top TV executive. To crack this case of bombs and bourbon, the indolent genius and his energetic assistant must pick their way though corporate chicanery, vile ambition, and a healthy swig of murder.… (more)

Legacy Library: Rex Stout

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Average: (3.68)
2 3
2.5 3
3 23
3.5 1
4 31
4.5 2
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