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Fer-de-Lance Mass Market Paperback – Jan 21 1997


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Crimeline; Reprint edition (Jan. 21 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553278193
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553278194
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.7 x 2.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #101,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Ketcheson on March 13 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Nero Wolfe novels are pure mystery classics. I love the characters, the development of the story line, and everything else that comes with these books. Fer-de-Lance is a great example of a Stout novel.
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By Eilleen Baker on Feb. 19 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love Rex Stout's book. Archie Goodwin is a great narrator He tell a story the way it should be told
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Format: Audio Cassette
The quality of Rex Stout's writing is unique in its blend of mystery and detective techiques whereas some mystery/detective authors use only one method. The stories of Nero Wolfe are entertaining, well written, and full of colorful, eccentric characters. This story is well written with the small details and descriptions fleshed out nicely. The story is about two murders, initially unconnected until Nero Wolfe sniffs out the truth. Read several of the Nero Wolfe stories and you will feel right at home in the Brownstone on 35th Street. Fer-De-Lance might be the first of the Nero Wolfe series, but it is a wonderful first book. The rotund Nero Wolfe does the thinking and Archie Goodwin does the 'legwork' with a sweet, sarcastic nature. I strongly recommend this story and many others in the Nero Wolfe series to all mystery and detective story lovers.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Nero Wolfe series is absolutely outstanding, and this book serves as a good introduction for it. The plot concerns an Italian immigrant and a university president who have just been killed. Although there seems to be no link between the two, Wolfe discovers it and exploits it to expose a killer.

Don't expect an Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes plot for this novel--Stout wrote good mysteries, but his gems are in his characters. Wolfe, the overweight, orchid-loving, car-fearing gourmand, and his sidekick Archie, the epitome of the 1930's fast-talking, sarcastic detective, are lovable right from the beginning. Although Stout still has a few details to work out, the set-up is the same in this book as it is in the last. That isn't to say Stout didn't improve it--he didn't have to; it was perfect from the start. He achieved the rare find in the world of mystery--FOUR-dimensional characters in a plausible setting with a credible mystery.

Bottom Line: Serves as a good introduction, but don't expect a great mystery, just exemplary characters!! Make certain you get the Bantam Crime Line edition--it comes with an introduction and trivia about Nero Wolfe at the end of the novel--great for either the beginning reader or the long-time fan.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Where most famous detective series actually start at a beginning point--Doyle's Study in Scarlett actually starts with Watson meeting Holmes, and Christie's Mysterious Affair at Styles shows us Hastings meeting Poirot--this amazing series begins in medias res, running on all its cylinders. Archie Goodwin is drinking milk and making smart-aleck remarks; Nero Wolfe is more concerned with his orchid schedule and the quality of his beer than the conclusion of the case. It is amazing that Rex Stout created this wonderful world out of whole cloth; if you're familiar to the series, you feel right at home, and if you're new to it, you feel as if you haven't missed a thing.

The plotting here isn't particularly fabulous--the mystery involves the rather elaborate murder of a university president, and the suspects are narrowed to one well before the end. Nevertheless, the pleasures of this book are many. Stout combines Archie's gumshoe attitude with the eccentricity of Wolfe's genius detective--straight out of a British cozy. The relationship between the two--and their interactions, both with the secondary characters (the perpetually dispepsic Det. Cramer, Fritz, the haughty chef, Saul Panzer, the detective's detective, et al.) and with the various clients and suspects who present themselves are a joy to behold. As with the fun A&E video series, the enjoyment is derived from the attitude and the interaction, more than from the working out of the actual mystery. If you're a timetable-and-map fan, this series probably isn't for you. But if you like a memorable cast of characters interacting in perpetually surprising, always inevitable ways, this is a great place to start a wonderful series.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Rex Stout is one of my favorite authors of all time. If you're new to his works, beware, you'll become addicted. But that isn't such a bad thing, he was a prolific writer and you'll not soon run out of material. Fer-De-Lance is the first Stout published about the now famous team of inspiring, albeit grumpy and slighly neurotic, genius detective Nero Wolfe and charming legman Archie Goodwin, who frequently purposely ruffles Nero's feathers. This book is definitely worth reading. Highly entertaining, with one caveat: if you have never read Wolfe before, begin with a different one as your very first. Try Some buried Caesar, or The Silent Speaker first to help you develop a feel for this incredible duo....then I think you'll appreciate Fer-De-Lance more. (You can also find Nero Wolfe on cable TV... a serious treat for any Wolfe fan) Enjoy!
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Format: Audio Cassette
This is the first of the Wolfe series, and my second (I started with The Second Confession). I love the snappy banter between Wolfe and Goodwin, and Wolfe's eccentricities. Goodwin enjoys jabbing at his boss at every turn, and I can just picture the fat, lazy genius who refuses to get out of his chair when a lady comes to his presence. Wolfe scores a zinger early as he figures out the method with which Barstow is killed. The latter part of the book was dissappointing. We figure out the killer way too early, and the "suspense" ends up trying to figure out Wolfe's plan for the finale. Once we got there, I was stunned - surely Wolfe could have planned something better than that! Yes, the killer pays, but I expected Wolfe to come up with a cleaner way of disposing of the case.
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