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Not Quite Dead Enough [Mass Market Paperback]

Rex Stout
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 1992 Nero Wolfe Mysteries
involving national security, Nero Wolfe must set the traps that will catch the pair of wily killers responsible. Reissue. NYT.

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Not Quite Dead Enough + And Be a Villain + Where There's a Will
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Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Archie's in the army. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Nero Wolfe & Archie Goodwin Feb. 19 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Can't find a better pair. With Nero on his special sized chair and Archie combing the streets of NY no criminal is safe. They get there man
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nero Wolfe Goes To War! Nov. 25 2010
By Alison S. Coad TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Rex Stout's "Not Quite Dead Enough" is actually two novellas rather than one novel: the title story and a second one, called "Booby Trap." Both are set during WWII, but Major (!) Archie Goodwin's primary military job is the same as his civilian one, to look after Nero Wolfe. That portly gentleman starts out in the first tale with a determination to lose weight and join the Army; he attempts to do this by following a severe diet and taking brisk walks - outside! No sacrifice is too heavy for Wolfe to bear, it seems. Unfortunately, he's stopped using his brains, and since the Army needs him to work with them on a sensitive military case, it's necessary for Archie to find a way to get him back into his detective habits. As it happens, he finds himself at a building full of goofs, and shortly thereafter one of the tenants is dead; will this case be enough to bring Wolfe to his senses once again? In "Booby Trap," Wolfe is fully functional once more and there really is a military case that needs looking into - it seems somebody is stealing industrial secrets, under cover of requiring the information for military purposes. Nefarious enough, but when people start dying in unlikely ways, people who've been investigating that very situation, well, it's likely that only Nero Wolfe can suss out the guilty party and resolve the case....As always, Archie's narration is snappy and smart, and seeing in one's mind's eye the image of Nero Wolfe, health buff, is enough to make any book worth reading! Both are short, and as such have fewer complications than many of these stories, but they'll still leave you guessing all the way to the end. Recommended!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite Stout's Best... May 26 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
But not bad, either. This Nero Wolfe offering consists of two stories. The first story, ï¿Not Quite Dead Enough,ï¿ finds Archie in the Army while Wolfe and Fritz train for active duty. (Really! No kidding!) While on furlough, Archie is suspected of murdering a young lady he had been out with for the evening. The second story is far superior to the first. ï¿Booby Trap,ï¿ while keeping the trappings of a military atmosphere (an Army colonel is murdered), provides a ï¿satisfactoryï¿ outlet for Wolfeï¿s genius.

You must understand that these stories appeared first in 1944. Stout was obviously painting Wolfe and Archie as patriotic crime fighters, which is admirable, but yields ridiculous results in the first story. The second tale is vintage Wolfe, containing everything Wolfe fans have come to expect (beer, orchids, colorful exchanges between Wolfe and Archie) and love (a woman in the brownstone, Wolfe leaving the house, Wolfe riding in a car, Wolfe attempting to sit in an unsatisfactorily built chair). If youï¿re a die-hard fan, youï¿ll want to read the first story, but youï¿ll savor the second. If youï¿re a newcomer, skip the first tale and watch Wolfe in top form in ï¿Booby Trap.ï¿
208 pages
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4.0 out of 5 stars In the Army now Nov. 25 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Both stories herein were written and set within the early years of the United States' participation in WWII; see _Trouble in Triplicate_ for later stories. Saul, Fred, and Orrie were overseas and out of the stories for the duration of the war. Archie joined up, but was assigned to Army Intelligence on the home front for the duration. (He tried more than once to get a combat assignment and got nowhere - as it is, he's paid about 1/3 his old salary, has the disadvantages of being in the Army, and Wolfe uses his Army loyalties as an excuse to withhold even more information than usual.)
As for Wolfe, Fritz, and Theodore...
"Not Quite Dead Enough" - March 1942. Archie's now Major Goodwin - very good, since he's been in the Army for only 2 months, and the idea of Army discipline...well, Archie refers to snapping to one's feet and so forth in the presence of a general as 'Rocketteing'. After clearing up 'that mess down in Georgia' (an unrecorded case of his own for Army Intelligence), his superior calls him in to ask why Wolfe hasn't cooperated when asked to work for Army Intelligence. Archie confidently assumes that the Army just mishandled Wolfe, and that he's sunk deep in his normal rut.
When he gets home and finds the office dusty, he's sure Fritz or Wolfe must be dead - it's just a question of which; on finding dust in the *kitchen* is dusty and health food in the refrigerator (!), he's sure they're *both* dead. But Theodore says no, they're in training to join the Army. Archie, after attempting to make Wolfe see reason, starts scuffling around for a case to jump-start Wolfe's brain - and when he finds one, deliberately sinks *himself* in it up to the neck.
Lily Rowan has a major role; she's much more visibly attached to Archie than in later books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great early Nero Wolfe book! April 23 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
1944 New York, the world is right in the middle of World War II, and Archie has done his patriotic duty an enlisted in the army, who dicovers they need Archie to in turn enlist Nero Wolfe's unique talents to solve a sinister mystery as a matter of national security.
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