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Plot It Yourself by Rex Stout

Plot It Yourself (1959)

by Rex Stout

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Nero Wolfe (32)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6201024,967 (3.84)37
It's bad enough to steal someone's idea; but it takes real guts to claim it is your own, then sue the originator. That's just what a gang of hack writers do, ingeniously planting evidence to back up their claims. The frustrated authors call on Nero Wolfe for help. But when someone dies, Wolfe realizes it's no simple extortion scheme. He'll have to draw on his critical skills to close the book on a killer well-versed in the ABCs of murder.… (more)



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» See also 37 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Nero Wolfe investigates a case involving claims of plagarism and, of course, soon afterwards murder occurs. Towards the end, Archie gives some Ellery Queen type statements which (just as in the Ellery Queen books) made me feel dumb. If you are unfamiliar with Ellery Queen, he generally says in the second to last chapter that the reader has all the clues now and should be as able as Queen himself to identify the murderer. While I don't seem to mind when Wolfe (or Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot) say something like that and I can't see their point, it does bother me when Archie says it! ( )
  leslie.98 | Oct 6, 2019 |
I’m a fan of British cosy mysteries. I rarely read any of the American crime/mystery novels, although I do have some experience with the noir and the pulp genre. Plot It Yourself kind of falls in the middle of these genres. It is not violent (à la cosy mysteries) but it feels somewhat grittier.

Plot It Yourself written by Rex Stout was published in 1959. This novel features Stout’s creation Detective Nero Wolfe. It was published in the UK under the title Murder in Style.

Accusations of plagiarism are sending shock waves through the writer-publisher fraternity. A committee of writers and publishers come to Nero Wolfe as a last resort. But even Wolfe is baffled by this case of ‘plagiarism upside down’.

This is my first Nero Wolfe book. I know this is not the first book in the series. Starting as I did in the middle of a series of books, there is a good chance I’m missing a lot of background information.

Wolfe seems very inactive here and I don’t mean physically. It takes him forever to figure everything out. By the time he does do something, a couple of dead bodies have already piled up. But Wolfe admits he has bungled the case so maybe Stout wanted his detective to appear inactive in this book.

The final revelation was pretty good but nothing spectacular. I found both Wolfe’s and the criminal’s reactions really weird.

I really didn’t enjoy the way women were portrayed in this book. It is not sexist or anything. But the characters of Alice Porter, Amy Wynn, Jane Ogilvy all feel a bit off in some way.

The character of Archie Goodwin provides a nice balance to Nero Wolfe. I enjoyed their banters.

The police are portrayed as totally incompetent and very, very uncooperative. I wonder if they are like that in all of the Nero Wolfe mysteries.

My first Nero Wolfe mystery was enjoyable. I may read more of them in the future. But I have not become a fan. Overall, Plot It Yourself is a good mystery but not wholly satisfying. ( )
  Porua | Apr 25, 2018 |
Read it as "Plot it Yourself"

Big Ship
30 December 2016
  bigship | Dec 29, 2016 |
Always like Nero Wolfe

Will leave it to other reviewers to comment on teh plot

Like the way that archie talks to the udience

And in this one there is a homage "challenge to the reader"...pge 130 where Archie challenges the reader and again page 148 when Wolfe himself (cutely) says to Detective Cramer, after Archie has relayed the crucial conversation to Cramer and Wolfe confirms the summary is accurate, that 'You [Cramer] have heard all the hints "

Big Ship
30 December 2016 ( )
  bigship | Dec 29, 2016 |
A committee of authors and publishers hires Wolfe to deal with a series of claims of plagiarism against successful books (and in one case, a play). Wolfe quickly determines that all the stories which were supposedly plagiarized were written by one person, but that person was not one of the supposed plagiarism victims. One of these victims, an elderly pulp writer fallen on hard times, shows signs of remorse, but before he can confess, he is killed, and the case becomes a murder investigation. ( )
  antiquary | Jun 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rex Stoutprimary authorall editionscalculated
Prichard, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I divide the books Nero Wolfe reads into four grades: A, B, C, and D.
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Nero Wolfe is hired by a committee of writers and publishers to find a plagiarizer who has sued successful writers. Then three of the four writers are found dead, and Nero gets mad. Archie brings the last surviving writer to the office, together with all the committee, to get some answers!
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Legacy Library: Rex Stout

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Average: (3.84)
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2.5 2
3 22
3.5 7
4 42
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