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Over My Dead Body (Nero Wolfe) by Rex Stout

Over My Dead Body (Nero Wolfe) (original 1940; edition 1993)

by Rex Stout (Author)

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8331816,920 (3.92)81
When a fencing student ends up skewered through the heart, a Balkan beauty claiming to be Nero Wolfe's daughter is accused of the crime, and Wolfe and Archie are thrust into a tangle of international intrigue.
Title:Over My Dead Body (Nero Wolfe)
Authors:Rex Stout (Author)
Info:Bantam (1993), 272 pages
Collections:Your library

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Over My Dead Body by Rex Stout (1940)

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Nero Wolfe is confronted by a beautiful, tempermental female from the Balkans. She has been accused of stealing diamonds from a man's jacket. She demands he prove that she did not steal the stones. Her reason to choose him is not only his notoriety of solving crimes, she also claims to be his long-lost daughter!

The diamond theft is solved but the dead bodies that appear complicate things even more. There are also documents, identities, rumours and questionable intrigues that also come into play. While Wolfe does the thinking, between his time with his orchids, wise-cracking Archie is doing the footwork to find out what is real and what isn't, who was where and who wasn't.

Add to this Sargent Cramer's men staking out Wolfe's house to see who comes, who goes and where they go, while Cramer hangs out in Wolfe's house. It is not one of the simpler cases that have come through Wolfe's door.

I've read a large number of these books, enjoyed them and was not disappointed with this one. ( )
  ChazziFrazz | Mar 6, 2019 |
It's an ordinary day at the brownstone when a young woman shows up, needing help from Nero Wolfe. She, like he, is from Montenegro and has recently emigrated to New York City, where she and her friend have gotten work at a fencing/dance studio (I remember the very idea that such a place existed boggling the mind of teenaged me). Now her friend's been accused of stealing some diamonds from a client's coat pocket, and they want Nero to bail her out. When he refuses, she plays her trump card: She is his adopted daughter, last seen by him in Montenegro when she was three years old.

Nero, of course, can't be bothered to stir himself from his gourmet meals or his orchids, but he sends sidekick Archie Goodwin to investigate. Along the way, the case is complicated by a murder and enough international intrigue to choke a fencing studio full of spies, which is pretty much what Archie and Nero are dealing with.

This is the seventh in the series, first published in 1940, and it suffers from the same affliction that the other early entries do: The characters haven't quite gelled and Stout seems not have decided whether he's writing gritty noir or lighthearted caper. That, combined with an excess of complicated political history that is only cursorily explained, presumably because people of the time were well acquainted with it, make this one of my least favorite entries. It's not terrible but it doesn't reach the sublime heights of Stout at its best. ( )
  rosalita | Nov 2, 2018 |
While Wolfe is back to his typical self (not leaving home as in the previous 2!), some of his personal background is revealed in this one. Archie seemed a bit more hardboiled than I remember! The series remains poised on the edge between hardboiled & Golden Age in style, a tricky feat that Stout manages to perfection. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jan 12, 2018 |
My first Nero Wolfe mystery. Odd and took a while to get into but perserverence paid well. I will look for others. ( )
  steve12553 | Jun 7, 2016 |
My first Nero Wolfe mystery. Odd and took a while to get into but perserverence paid well. I will look for others. ( )
  steve12553 | Jun 7, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rex Stoutprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jakes, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennanen, EilaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prichard, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The bell rang and I went to the front and opened the door and there she was.
When an international financier is confronted by a holdup man with a gun, he automatically hands over not only his money and jewelry but also his shirt and pants, because it doesn't occur to him that a robber might draw the line somewhere.
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