CDN$ 10.42
FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
And Be a Villain has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

And Be a Villain Mass Market Paperback – Feb 1 1994

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

See all 19 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
CDN$ 2.44
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
CDN$ 10.42
CDN$ 1.32 CDN$ 0.01

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • And Be a Villain
  • +
  • If Death Ever Slept
Total price: CDN$ 31.34
Buy the selected items together

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Crimeline (Feb. 1 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553239317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553239317
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 1.7 x 17.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #237,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Madeline Fraser, radio talk show host extraordinare, had a natural dread of dead air. So when one of her on-air guests signed off at the mike after drinking a glass of a sponsor's beverage, it was a broadcasters nightmare come true. Enter Nero Wolfe. He agrees to take the case, with his sizable fee contingent on his solving the murder. But to Wolfe's surprise, everyone connected to the case now lies in unison about it.

About the Author

Rex Stout, born 1886 in Indiana/USA, worked at thirty different professions until he earned enough money to travel. In 1932, he began to write thrillers focusing on the famous detective Nero Wolfe. Nero is a gourmet weighing more than a hundred kilos, and moving as little as possible. Rex Stout finished more than fifty novels and received the "Grand Masters Award." He died 1975.
Rex Stout,1886 in Indiana/USA geboren, soll ca. dreiig Berufe ausgeubt haben, bevor er mit einem von ihm selbst konzipierten Sparkassensystem so viel Geld verdiente, da er ausgedehnte Reisen unternehmen konnte. 1932 begann er, Kriminalromane zu schreiben in deren Mittelpunkt fast immer der beruhmte Privatdetektiv Nero Wolfe steht. Dieser ist eine uber hundert Kilo "schwergewichtiger" Gourmet, der sich so wenig wie moglich bewegt und leidenschaftlicher Orchideenzuchter ist. Rex Stout wurde fur seine uber funfzig Romane mit dem "Grand Masters Award" ausgezeichnet. Er starb 1975.

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Although I've been trying to read the Nero Wolfe novels in chronological order, there are a few that have been hard to come by; "And Be A Villain," published in 1948, is one that I've had to read out of sequence. Not that much changes in terms of the main characters from one book to another, but author Rex Stout occasionally mentions a previously-solved case in passing, so I try to be aware of all the books that have gone before, if I can. In any event, this one involves a star female radio talk show host who has the misfortune of having one of her guests die, poisoned, on-air, and worse, the poison was placed in a soft drink that is a major sponsor of her show! Nero Wolfe, always having his self-comfort foremost in his mind, offers to work on the case for a hefty fee (he's just paid his taxes, and is feeling financially woebegone), but he soon finds that everybody connected to the case is lying to him. When another, seemingly unrelated murder occurs, other secrets begin to pile up, including a breath-takingly clever blackmail scheme and episodes from various people's past....As always, I enjoyed this taste of Nero Wolfe, although I must admit that his inherent sexism is a bit more heavy-handed in this story than in most. Still, that's a product of the times in which it was written, and with that in mind, I still found it intriguing and engaging enough to recommend it to all.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Audio Cassette
Meet it is I set it down
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.
- Hamlet, Act I, scene 5, soliloquy before swearing vengeance
As with all of Stout's Wolfe mysteries, the setting is contemporary with the time of its writing - in this case, 18 March - 3 April 1948, which makes it a period piece today. Radio, rather than television, was the dominant communication medium in the United States. Commercials were live, rather than pre-recorded; in the case of a talk show, the host would participate in the commercial in front of a live studio audience. (This persisted even into the early years of television. A Timex commercial that went seriously wrong, wherein the watch couldn't even be *found* after the it's-still-ticking test, persisted for decades in Johnny Carson's list of funniest incidents on his show, for example.) And at that time, a national income tax was a relatively new feature of life in the United States, and fell due on the 15th of March. All these factors matter in setting the stage for this story.
Hi-Spot, one of the sponsors of the Madeleine Fraser show, revelled in her live commercials for their product, wherein she and her guests would drink 'the drink you dream of.' But the PR dream turned into a nightmare when someone spiked one glass with cyanide, and Cyril Orchard, one of the show's guests in a discussion of gambling, died 'live' on the air.
But was the editor of _Track Almanac_ the intended victim? Among the suspects - some of whom may have been intended victims - emotions, blood, and money may have become entangled. Deborah Koppel, Fraser's business manager, is also her sister-in-law through Fraser's late husband - and her principal beneficiary. Does she blame Fraser for her brother's death?
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
By A Customer on May 24 2002
Format: Audio Cassette
This outing is set in a time long ago, when radio stars were national celebrities on a par with today's TV talk show hosts, and people actually clamoured to be in the audience. The Oprah of her day serves her guests the sponsor's carbonated drink on air, and one drops dead ... right there on live radio. Wolfe naturally figures out the killer's identity -- with a huge assist from Archie, just as naturally. Unfortunately, Wolfe doesn't do it in time to stop a trio of other murders from happening. He seems to feel genuinely remorseful about this, as if he were angry at himself. This isn't something we've seen often in Wolfe, and I found it appealing. Also, reading this was like getting a valentine from a long-ago era. While it may not have taken place that many years ago, today's world is far different from the one described here. Radio is not the prevalent broadcast media. Trains move at too leisurely a pace to be our primary mode of transportation anymore. And most of all, our criminals today are far more efficient and sophisticated. I kept waiting for Wolfe to send Archie to the soda bottling plant to investigate, but it never happened. And then I realized it: no one even considered mass product tampering back in the day. It actually made me kind of wistful for those more innocent times.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm an occasional whodunnit reader, and this was my first Rex Stout book. I wasn't terribly impressed.
A few amusing vignettes, granted, but the writing (apart from literally one or two good lines) was middling at best, and the plot was hardly original or surprising -- although perhaps Madeline Fraser's secret would have been much more shocking in 1948 than it is today.
But the worst thing about this book was Wolfe himself. I just didn't find him convincing at all. (The other characters, though, were much more so, especially Archie, who admittedly was the narrator, which must work in his favour believability-wise.)
That's the problem with eccentic geniuses, I guess. You need to be a very good writer to pull them off. And Stout just ain't quite there. (Conan Doyle, whose Holmes & Watson Stout's Wolfe and Goodwin seem to be poor imitations of, was more successful with his great detective. Holmes, though equally eccentric, was somehow always palpably real. The character of Nero Wolfe, on the other hand, just seems artificial and contrived.)
That said, the episodes with Nancylee were funny. And the glimpses of the big-money sponsors' machinations were quite diverting too. Same goes for Archie and the way he reveals to the reader his frustrations with the "genius" Wolfe. It's just a shame the supporting characters are so much more compelling than the central one.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse

Most recent customer reviews

Look for similar items by category