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    April 01, 2013

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    Margot Kinberg

    Les - You make an interesting point about Stout's novellas. I think more than many authors, he was a master of that length story. And although you're right that people differ about which is the best, I like this collection too and was delighted to see you highlighted it here. One of the things these stories make me think of is how often Wolfe gets involved in cases unwillingly. It's such a frequent theme and yet Wolfe does it well enough that it doesn't get 'tired' in my opinion.

    Les Blatt

    Agreed, Margot. Wolfe usually is dragged into a case kicking and screaming, more often than not by Archie (as in the case of the cab driver with the dead body). It's great fun to see how Archie is going to manage it.

    TracyK

    I was just looking at that book on my shelf, thinking about reading it soon. I have been wanting to re-read some of the collections of novellas, because I think maybe I don't have those memorized. I have read the Nero Wolfe series so often I know every line practically. Maybe I should try rereading the non-Wolfe mysteries by Stout.

    Les Blatt

    The non-Wolfe mysteries are fun, Tracy, although I miss Archie's voice in all of them. But Tecumseh Fox, Alphabet Hicks, Dol Bonner and even Inspector Cramer, on their own, are still pretty good company.

    Brokenbullhorn.wordpress.com

    This is a good collection and certainly deserving of the praise you give it. I'd have to disagree on the non-Wolfe books as being nearly as good, as I classify them as Not nearly as good. A point of personal preference, certainly, but a caveat as well.

    - Richard

    Les Blatt

    Nothing wrong with personal taste, Richard, and - overall - the Wolfe books and novellas are much better than the non-Wolfe ones, although the latter still can be very enjoyable IMHO. In one case, certainly, Rex Stout rewrote a Tecumseh Fox novel, "Bad for Business," as a Wolfe novella, "Bitter End," which was MUCH better than the original, again IMHO.

    Yvette

    I re-read the shorts all the time, Les. I have a bunch of 'em in my Stout Stash. Rex Stout's novellas and/or short stories are wonderful. I'm not a big short story reader, but for Stout I break my own rules.

    The only short story I don't like is the one that takes place at the baseball park where the star player is murdered. Know the one I mean? I can't remember what collection it is part of. But I don't like the whole idea of it. Maybe cause I like baseball too much.

    Les Blatt

    Yvette, I'm guessing you mean "This Won't Kill You," set at the World Series, which was part of the collection "Three Men Out." I haven't read it in a while, but I trust your judgment!

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