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The Hand in the Glove [Paperback]

Rex Stout
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 21 1984
Wealthy industrialist P. L. Storrs has never approved of lady detectives, and he normally would not have made an exception of Theodolina "Dol" Bonner. But faced with a very delicate problem and surprisingly impressed, he hires her instantly. It seems that Storrs’ bird-witted wife has fallen under the spell of a smooth-talking religious charlatan, and now Storrs wants Dol to get the goods on him. But when the gorgeous gumshoe arrives at Storrs’ picturesque country estate, Birchhaven, to meet the scoundrel, she finds more than she bargained for – namely, the corpse of her client and a garden party teeming with suspects! This witty whodunit, brought dramatically to life by noted reader Judith West, was first published in 1937.
--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Product Details


Product Description

From AudioFile

It's 1937. "Dol" Bonner, New York private eye, searches for the identity of the killer who works in gloves and stealthily haunts the gardens of the rich. Judith West must stay in character while creating accents for the rich and eccentric. She doggedly follows the narrative as Bonner follows every minute clue and nuance of the murder, seeking to uncover whoever would perpetrate such a crime. A true 1930s mystery. M.B.K. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
2.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good fit March 26 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
High-pitched and grating? We can't disagree with the one-star reviewer more. The voices are consistent and carefully chosen. We listened to this book while painting an apartment and found it thoroughly absorbing and well produced. We can't claim to own 30 unabridged Stout mysteries with which to compare this, but we can claim to know strong female characters strongly portrayed. Having listened to stories by writers such as Sara Paretsky and Sue Grafton, we think this performance ranks. It's consistent throughout, intelligently performed, and completely satisfying.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Narration hard to take! Feb. 5 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
I am an avid audio-book fan, and own 30 unabridged, Nero Wolfe audio books. Naturally, this book interested me, and I purchased it with a Christmas gift certificate. What a disappointment!! The narration is high-pitched and grating. I truly cannot understand how the producers chose to use this narrator. My mother listened to the set before me and refrained from saying anything so as not to spoil the set for me. Once I commented on the poor narration, she felt free to say that she strongly disliked the narration to. What was Audio Editions thinking? Please choose the narrators with thought next time.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting work by the master of mystery Jan. 18 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a Rex Stout book, but Nero and Archie are no where to be found. This adventure features Dol Bonner, the tough-talking female detective who has appeared briefly in some Wolfe books. As a character, she's interesting. She had her heart broken before the book begins, and consequently insists that she "hates men." Yet some of her closest relationships are with men. She's proud and efficient and good at her work. However, while it's interesting to watch Stout flesh out a new character and to hear him write in a new voice, it's still not great Stout. Sometimes the story is told from Dol's POV, sometimes it shifts to her partner and friend Syliva, other times the story is told by some one else altogether. This is no where near as satisfying a way to tell a mystery as by telling it all from the detective's point of view, and letting us solve the mystery along with our narrator. So, while this book will be fascinating for Stout's fans, I don't think it holds up very well as a mystery on its own.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.1 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good fit March 25 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio Cassette
High-pitched and grating? We can't disagree with the one-star reviewer more. The voices are consistent and carefully chosen. We listened to this book while painting an apartment and found it thoroughly absorbing and well produced. We can't claim to own 30 unabridged Stout mysteries with which to compare this, but we can claim to know strong female characters strongly portrayed. Having listened to stories by writers such as Sara Paretsky and Sue Grafton, we think this performance ranks. It's consistent throughout, intelligently performed, and completely satisfying.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Introducing Dol Bonner Oct. 11 2008
By Jeanne Tassotto - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
From time to time Nero Wolfe and Archie realized that they needed a female operative to help solve a case. They always hired the best, Dol Bonner, who had her own private detective agency. In this novel, for the first and only time, the focus is on Dol and describes how she came to be in this most unusual occupation.

Before the novel opens Dol had been a happy young woman, her father was wealthy, she was engaged to be married and then things began to go wrong. First her father lost his fortune, then killed himself, then her fiance left her and Dol was faced with the necessity of fending for herself. She considered her prospects and decided on the highly unusual occupation of private detective. As the novel opens Dol's business partner and friend is being pressured by her guardian to disassociate herself with the agency. Soon Dol finds herself without a partner but with the guardian as a client, at least for a short time. Before the final pages the body count has risen but Dol has been one step ahead of the police to solve the crimes.

THE HAND IN THE GLOVE was originally published in 1937 and the only novel featuring Dol although she appears from time to time in Nero Wolfe adventures. Stout's style is evident here, the characters are well defined, the problem is clever and complex but the snappy banter that marks the Nero Wolfe stories is missing. Another deviation from the Nero Wolfe novels is that the story is not told just from one point of view but jumps from Dol to her friend Sylvia's and others which is a bit confusing for the reader at times. Although this is not quite as good as the Nero Wolfe stories it is interesting for Wolfe fans to learn a bit more one of the few women in Wolfe's life.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you like the Nero Wolfe stories, then give this one a try – I think you’ll like it! Jan. 15 2014
By Kurt A. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Theolinda Bonner – “Dol” to her friends – is a tough, no-nonsense woman who is determined to make it as a private detective. Getting what promises to be her first and last case, she sets off to a dinner party, charged with exposing an occultist as a fraud. However, when the man who hired her is murdered under mysterious circumstances, Dol sets out to find out just who the murderer is. Something very strange is going on, and Dol is going to have to work hard, if she is to stay ahead of the police...and the murderer!

Dol Bonner is one of Rex Stout’s lesser known detectives. She only starred in this one novel, though she does appear in a few Nero Wolfe stories. Yeah, she is not as interesting a detective as Mr. Wolfe, but I nonetheless found her to be an interesting detective.

I liked Dol Bonner, and I must say I liked the mystery in this book. The story is as well written as any of Rex Stout’s other works, and is filled with all sorts of interesting and often quirky characters. If you like the Nero Wolfe stories, then give this one a try – I think you’ll like it!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Attention! Not a Nero Wolfe mystery! Oct. 27 2011
By Lanna S. Seuret - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If you are a collector, like me, of the Nero Wolfe stories by Rex Stout, be advised: I had
hoped perhaps this would include how Wolfe and Dol Bonner met, but it is solely her mystery,
and her first case at that!

The story is an excellent one, containing all the highly individual and recognizable characters, many delicious red herrings, and certain amount of clever dialogue and description; it even includes our well known cigar biting friend, Inspector Cramer, although
his part is relatively small, and he enters near the end.

Judith West is an appropriate choice for a story with really two heroines, Dol Bonner and
her business partner and long time friend, Sylvia, the ward of the murdered person. The
reading and characterization begin well enough, but, even though the characters are well
differentiated as introduced, I found two aspects began to grate on the ears: one, when portraying an angry or stern male character, her voice became unpleasantly strident; two,
the vocal characterizations bordered on melodrama, causing the diminution of human connection and empathy with the characters. There was one, the wife of the murdered man,l
for whom this melodrama worked wonderfully well! It was humourous and charming; but with
the other characters, especially Dol, I felt an increasing dissonance and lack of sympathy
resulting in a desire to conclude the story, rather than delicious satisfaction and connection.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Reading, Weird Book March 17 2005
By John P Bernat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Others below have expressed concerns about the quality of the narration in this audio book. We're not talking much about this book itself...

Rex Stout tried to subfranchise Nero Wolfe many times. He sold to radio and hated what the scriptwriters came up with. He sold to movies and then criticized how the screenplays were.

Well, actually, he was right. These adaptations are pretty bad, in all truth.

But when he adapts his own stuff, and then tries to inhabit a woman's mind, it's a mess. Inspector Cramer is the only lucid, well-developed charater in this book - and this comes from a mystery author who developed such memorable characters.

Dol Bonner is a crypto-lesbian who cannot come out in 1938. The only love interests she has in this story are other women, so I think my last observation is credible. And Rex just cannot be that attitudinally flexible. The storyline is weak and not consistently interesting.

Most fatal flaw: the abandonment of first-person narrative style. We like Archie Goodwin because we can see ourselves as fantasy Archies. But Rex was not adventurous enough to make "Being Dol Bonner, Gay Detective" in 1938 as a first-person piece. Even though we do not see this story exactly from Dol's viewpoint, everything described is within her sight. About three-fourths of the way through, we're suddenly observing a too-long scene which is outside Dol's consciousness. It's jarring and might be worthwhile, if it really led someplace.

But it is just a little meander. Rex felt like exploring nonconventional religion, nonconventional relationships and nonconventional detectives, but the guy's just way too conventional for the job. It's a noble experiment, but it failed. Stout knew; he never tried again.
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