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And Four to Go Mass Market Paperback – Nov 1 1992


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Crimeline; Reissue edition (Nov. 1 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553249851
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553249859
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 1.5 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #29,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Nero Wolfe is constantly getting himself into fixes through three character flaws. Arrogance, Cupidity, and Eccentricity. He must then shake off his indolence and use his intelligence to extricate himself from whatever predicament he stumbles into. Frequently he must extricate himself through the device of an elaborate caper designed to expose a killer while simultaneously burying his embarrassment.
Each of the four stories in this book has as its centerpiece an elaborate caper. In two of the stories Wolfe engineers a caper to extricate himself from danger; in the one the caper places him in danger; in the fourth, he is victimized by a caper and solves the mystery through sheer force of logic and deduction.
In "Christmas Party" Wolfe's fear that Archie is going to marry causes him to masquerade as Santa Claus and become prime suspect in a murder. In "Easter Parade" Wolfe's envy of a rival orchid grower causes him to stoop to petit theft and become embroiled in a murder mystery. In "Fourth of July Picnic" Wolfe discovers a murder at a picnic, attempts to flee without reporting it, and must expose the murderer before he himself gets arrested for obstructing justice. In "Murder is No Joke" Wolfe provides all the usual suspects with an ironclad alibi. How can he break an alibi that he himself provides?
Classic murder mysteries rarely bear any resemblance to reality. I've handled hundreds of homicide cases over the years, and the puzzles presented by real life homicide investigations bear no resemblance whatsoever to the puzzles presented in murder mysteries. You can imagine my pleasure on finding that Wolfe solved one of the mysteries in this book with exactly the same stratagem employed in a case that I prosecuted years ago. I've long since lost track of the investigator who solved that little mystery, but if I ever see him again, I'm certainly going to ask him if he has ever read any Nero Wolfe.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This edition now boasts "As Seen on TV!" on its cover, alluding to the fact that 1 (so far) of the 4 short stories herein has been adapted by A&E. Since 3 of the 4 are set during major holidays, Jane Haddam (author of the Gregor Demarkian holiday mysteries) was selected to write the forward. Apart from her forward and the afterward, the book is pure Stout, set after both _Black Orchids_ and _The Black Mountain_.
All four are murder investigations. The Ingram editorial review incorrectly implies that the killings were committed by 1 person - they're not. The cases are unrelated, and are only grouped in one volume because of a common holiday theme.
"Christmas Party" - The A&E adaptation is faithful to the story. Archie, having arranged for a day off, receives brusque instructions to cancel his plans and drive Wolfe out to Mr. Hewitt's for a special orchid powwow. He whips out a marriage license (!), with the news that he must attend his fiancee's office Christmas party that day. You've _got_ to read this one, if only for Wolfe's reaction to this. :)
"Easter Parade" - Rumor (via his gardener) has it that Millard Bynoe has bred a pink Vanda, but he refuses to admit it or display it before his wife wears a blossom for the Easter parade. Wolfe, giving in to acute orchid envy, has Archie arrange for a petty thief to steal it under cover of parade photographers. Unfortunately, that's the day that someone poisons Mrs. Bynoe, apparently with a dart shot from a fake camera.
When originally published in a magazine, the photos referred to in the text were provided in color as clues. The old hardcover edition of the book provided them in B&W; this edition omits them altogether. It's a pity, but does not detract from the story.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Spend the holidays with Nero and Archie, and quickly discover Wolfe quick thinking as he solves the mysteries faster than you can turn the pages. The last one is particularly good, as Wolfe takes offense to the fool who tries to fool him. In the others, Wolfe himself is cast in the spotlight as the police begin to even suspect his involvement - but naturally, his intellect always bails him out.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"And Four to Go" is a collection of four novellas by Rex Stout, all of course featuring Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. In "Christmas Party," Wolfe goes to the extreme of dressing up in a Santa suit in order to spy on a small party that Archie claims he must attend at his fiancee's request; of course, murder rather upsets the plans of all involved. "Easter Parade" highlight's Wolfe's interest in (and greed about) orchids as he sends Archie to find someone to steal a never-before seen orchid from the chest of a woman in an Easter Sunday parade; and the "Fourth of July Picnic" deals with a party of restaurant union members, to which Wolfe has been invited to speak, at least until one of the organizers turns up dead. Finally, "Murder Is No Joke" concerns the fate of a woman who has wormed her way into the heart of a famous fashion designer's operations, with dangerous results for everyone involved. Overall, these stories are entertaining appetizers, less complicated than full-length novels of course but quite tasty anyway. Not among the best of Stout's work, but as always, certainly worth reading.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 35 reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Nero Wolfe--A.C.E. Detective July 19 2002
By George R Dekle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Nero Wolfe is constantly getting himself into fixes through three character flaws. Arrogance, Cupidity, and Eccentricity. He must then shake off his indolence and use his intelligence to extricate himself from whatever predicament he stumbles into. Frequently he must extricate himself through the device of an elaborate caper designed to expose a killer while simultaneously burying his embarrassment.
Each of the four stories in this book has as its centerpiece an elaborate caper. In two of the stories Wolfe engineers a caper to extricate himself from danger; in the one the caper places him in danger; in the fourth, he is victimized by a caper and solves the mystery through sheer force of logic and deduction.
In "Christmas Party" Wolfe's fear that Archie is going to marry causes him to masquerade as Santa Claus and become prime suspect in a murder. In "Easter Parade" Wolfe's envy of a rival orchid grower causes him to stoop to petit theft and become embroiled in a murder mystery. In "Fourth of July Picnic" Wolfe discovers a murder at a picnic, attempts to flee without reporting it, and must expose the murderer before he himself gets arrested for obstructing justice. In "Murder is No Joke" Wolfe provides all the usual suspects with an ironclad alibi. How can he break an alibi that he himself provides?
Classic murder mysteries rarely bear any resemblance to reality. I've handled hundreds of homicide cases over the years, and the puzzles presented by real life homicide investigations bear no resemblance whatsoever to the puzzles presented in murder mysteries. You can imagine my pleasure on finding that Wolfe solved one of the mysteries in this book with exactly the same stratagem employed in a case that I prosecuted years ago. I've long since lost track of the investigator who solved that little mystery, but if I ever see him again, I'm certainly going to ask him if he has ever read any Nero Wolfe.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Holiday spirit at the brownstone Jan. 19 2002
By Michele L. Worley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This edition now boasts "As Seen on TV!" on its cover, alluding to the fact that 1 (so far) of the 4 short stories herein has been adapted by A&E. Since 3 of the 4 are set during major holidays, Jane Haddam (author of the Gregor Demarkian holiday mysteries) was selected to write the forward. Apart from her forward and the afterward, the book is pure Stout, set after both _Black Orchids_ and _The Black Mountain_.
All four are murder investigations. The Ingram editorial review incorrectly implies that the killings were committed by 1 person - they're not. The cases are unrelated, and are only grouped in one volume because of a common holiday theme.
"Christmas Party" - The A&E adaptation is faithful to the story. Archie, having arranged for a day off, receives brusque instructions to cancel his plans and drive Wolfe out to Mr. Hewitt's for a special orchid powwow. He whips out a marriage license (!), with the news that he must attend his fiancee's office Christmas party that day. You've _got_ to read this one, if only for Wolfe's reaction to this. :)
"Easter Parade" - Rumor (via his gardener) has it that Millard Bynoe has bred a pink Vanda, but he refuses to admit it or display it before his wife wears a blossom for the Easter parade. Wolfe, giving in to acute orchid envy, has Archie arrange for a petty thief to steal it under cover of parade photographers. Unfortunately, that's the day that someone poisons Mrs. Bynoe, apparently with a dart shot from a fake camera.
When originally published in a magazine, the photos referred to in the text were provided in color as clues. The old hardcover edition of the book provided them in B&W; this edition omits them altogether. It's a pity, but does not detract from the story.
"Fourth of July Picnic" - Wolfe never leaves the brownstone on business; his friend Marko Vukcic (and by extension, his restaurant, Rusterman's) is associated with most of the things that can get him out. He has agreed to give a speech at the annual picnic of the Restaurant Workers of America, if they'll stop harassing Fritz to join their union.
"Murder is No Joke" - A different version of this story appears in _Death Times Three_.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4 stars for 4 stories July 17 2002
By Paul Skinner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Spend the holidays with Nero and Archie, and quickly discover Wolfe quick thinking as he solves the mysteries faster than you can turn the pages. The last one is particularly good, as Wolfe takes offense to the fool who tries to fool him. In the others, Wolfe himself is cast in the spotlight as the police begin to even suspect his involvement - but naturally, his intellect always bails him out.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Wolfe Pleasingly Plump, Stories unsatisfyingly Short June 2 2012
By Rob Wryter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
These four long short stories (or novelettes, or novellas) seem mere tantalizing teasers compared to the savory richness of a complete Nero Wolfe novel. These four tales of America's favorite portly eccentric crime-solver in this compilation move so quickly they seem truncated and choppy, like a three-hour movie heavily edited to fit a two-hour time slot. Or as Wolfe might prefer, three pounds of bologna fit into a two pound package. All of them follow the same structure: Archie flirts, murder happens, Nero Wolfe asks questions, police detectives annoyed about it, murderer revealed in a formal group session with Wolfe. Happy holiday! Hoist a beer and smell an orchid!

All respect to Rex Stout, but he is that rare author who works better with the longer novel format which gives his rotund eccentric hero more room to show off the ponderous weight of his sleuthing abilities. But even a short Nero Wolfe story is better than no Nero Wolfe story.
Holidays in the brownstone Aug. 8 2014
By Jeanne Tassotto - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a collection of four long short stories, or novellas from the 1930's, three of which focus on holidays.

The first involves Christmas, which shapes up to be a truly miraculous season when perennial bachelor Archie Goodwin announces his upcoming marriage and reclusive Nero Wolfe ventures out of the brown stone. Of course a dead body appears which compels Nero to get to work to solve the case.

The next holiday to be celebrated is Easter, when a rival orchid grower has developed a true rarity, one that some one has apparently decided was worth killing for.

Nero Wolfe, has agreed to the unthinkable, to leave the brownstone. He has agreed to accommodate an old friend by giving a speech at a 4th of July picnic. Naturally a murder occurs causing Nero and Archie to once again work on a holiday.

The final story delves into the past, as Archie and Nero struggle to sort out clues, some from long ago, to bring a murderer to justice.

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