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Prisoner's Base [Paperback]

Rex Stout
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 1 1992 Nero Wolfe
Hours after Priscilla Eads pleads with him to take her case, Nero Wolfe is shocked to find out that she was murdered, and soon he is investigating her fortune-hunting husband and greedy business associates. Reissue.

Frequently Bought Together

Prisoner's Base + Trouble in Triplicate + The Mother Hunt
Price For All Three: CDN$ 26.97

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From Library Journal

Prisoner's Base finds Nero Wolfe's legman Archie guilt-ridden and seeking the detective's help. Three women have been murdered, one a towel company heiress. Is her fortune-hunting husband involved, or were greedy business associates behind her death? As usual Wolfe's sleuthing talents puzzle out the truth. Michael Pritchard's clear, strong, and pleasant reading supports the tale and helps keep the atmosphere charged. Entertaining and suspenseful; recommended. Denise A. Garofalo, Mid-Hudson Lib. Syst., Poughkeepsie, NY
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent novel, it does not disappoint July 5 2004
This is a great Nero Wolfe story. It opens with Archie and Wolfe in a heated row. The two detectives have been known to push each others buttons but when Archie tears up his paycheck the resulting friction can be felt for the rest of the novel. Archie at one points runs out of the office and brownstone yelling that he doesn't care if he gets fired and goes to search for a killer himself. Along the way, Archie runs into a variety of strange characters including Sarah Jaffee, a young widow who still has a place set at the table for her dead husband. But the best part of all is this: as the pressure heats up to a boiling point, Wolfe finds himself with an unexpected client, Archie Goodwin.
William DeAndrea's terse introduction to the novel covers a lot in a few words. As he makes clear, this is an excellent novel for the new reader of the Nero Wolfe series. As a part of "The Rex Stout Library," a reprint of rare or "never before seen" memorabilia from Stout's archives is included at the back of the volume. I was disappointed with the item for this volume, the first typewritten page of Stout's manuscript. It does not exactly make a big splash, especially when the only difference between manuscript and final book form was the title. But that is my only criticism.
I recommend this book to all, avid mystery reader or not. I say not to fear for those fans of the television series that may be wary to tackle the volumes since Tim Hutton followed each novel very closely. The television show was excellent but there is even more detail in the book. For example, you get to learn exactly why Mrs. Jaffee should be able to recognize Eric Hagh along with how far an old man went when planning to strangle a young girl.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Multiple murders, but not a single client ? Feb. 10 2002
Note: The A&E adaptation with Maury Chaykin as Wolfe is remarkably faithful to the story. If you're interested in an audio edition, Michael Pritchard's unabridged narration is good. My review assumes that you have some familiarity with Wolfe & Archie; the series begins with _Fer-de-lance_ if you aren't already acquainted with them.
Wolfe has been goofing off lately, refusing 4 cases in a row, so the bank balance is at its lowest point in 2 years. Archie, fed up with sitting around, asks for a weekend off, and gets it, but when Wolfe makes a snide remark upon his departure, Archie tears up his salary check to help out (!). All of which leads to a certain tension in the brownstone the following week, so that when a pretty girl shows up (with luggage) asking to stay anonymously in the South Room for a few weeks, Archie says sure, come in and we'll try Mr. Wolfe. :) He manages to get a replacement salary check out of the incident, but due to a combination of circumstances, Wolfe doesn't throw the girl out until nearly midnight. By morning, Inspector Cramer is at the door, asking Archie how his fingerprints came to be on the luggage of a murder victim - the second victim of a double homicide.
Had the girl - Priscilla Eads - lived, Wolfe would either have taken a job from her trustee, Perry Helmar, to produce her, safe, in New York by her birthday, or taken a check from her (equaling the amount of Helmar's fee) to conceal her whereabouts as she originally asked. Unfortunately, when Helmar had offered the job, she had already been in the house, and she walked out rather than replace Helmar as Wolfe's client. Consequently, her murder leaves Wolfe with no client and no chance of a fee, and he won't investigate.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Prisoner's Base Dec 22 2001
I was glad that Bantam re-released this book after many years of my not being able to obtain it. Priscilla Eads, the heiress to millions of dollars, asks Nero Wolfe if she can stay in his house for a week. Shortly after Wolfe turns her down, Priscilla and her maid are found strangled to death. Archie asks Wolfe to investigate the murders. The plot is strong, although dark, and the characters are strong and believable, but the main enjoyment I get out of reading any of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe novels is another trip into the old brownstone house in New York on West Thirty-fifth Street with Archie Goodwin, Nero Wolfe, Fritz, fine dining, and orchids. It's always a pleasure to read a Nero Wolfe mystery.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easily Beats the TV Show Oct. 21 2001
I pulled out this old Rex Stout mystery after viewing the episodes adapted from this book on the recent A&E series. The television show didn't exactly capture the tone and depth of this novel, in my opinion, one Stout's best. It has a plot that is a bit darker than most of Stout's and the featured characters are about what you'd expect. I always enjoy the interaction between the fat man and his assistant. I recommend Prisoner's Base highly.
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