As enjoyable as any other Nero Wolfe book I have read I found the solution a little confusing, but the mystery is not the part that i find so enjoyable in mystery novels, so that was fine Archie and Wolfe and Cramer, etc., are all as fun to read about as usual I ve never read this volume of the Nero Wolfe series or even got to see a film or TV adaptation of it, though there is at least one out there I certainly am glad I finally got to it, particularly given my disappointment with the last few Stouts I listened to of late Wolfe, Archie and even Fritz are on top form, even though shards of Wolfe s hardest and fastest house rules fly every which way in less than a week Poor Kramer never knew what hit him until long after it had.A New York upper crust chess club sets up a challenge in which a man plays several opponents simultaneously in a blind game meaning he is told their moves as he sits in another room He never sees the boards, but sends messengers to make his moves for him He drinks hot chocolate mid game and dies of poisoning, shouting accusations of one man I was horribly afraid it would be a repeat experience of reading Cards on the Table an entire murder mystery centred around a game I no longer play and had not much interest in the finer points of though to be honest, I never did learn to play bridge Fortunately it was much interesting and entertaining than that was There are a few variations, not just from Wolfe s rules but from the canon as we know it For example, many books tell us that when Wolfe starts working his lips, you can shout or throw furniture and he ll remain oblivious because his brain is engaged Here we are told that his lip exercises mustn t be interrupted, because he will be angry Archie has quit his job several times, but this is the first time in my experience that Wolfe fires him.An excellent, engaging and entertaining read in the best Stout tradition I m relieved I was afraid I had somehow managed to outgrow Wolfe and Co and that really would not do. Miss Sarah Blount, Better Known As Sally, Has Come To Wolfe To Plead For His Help With Her Father S Case Matthew Blount Is Charged With Poisoning A Man To Death At The Gambit Club, And All Evidence Points To His Guilt Sally Knows That Her Father Is Innocent, But Doesn T Trust His Lawyer, Who Seems Too Interested In Her Mother Despite The Lack Of Cooperation By Matthew Blount Or The Lawyer, Wolfe Takes The Case, Trumping The Police With A List Of Four Suspects But When One Of Those Suspects Turns Up Dead, Wolfe Is Forced To Retrench, So Unnerved That He Forgoes A Fabulous Lunch And Ignores His Treasured Orchids Sally S Increasing Interest In Wolfe Is Only One Of Many Trials He Faces In This Witty, Cleverly Plotted Tale Rex Stout S Literary Creation, Nero Wolfe, Is One Of The Greatest Fictional Detectives Of All Time And, As Always, Archie S Assistance As The Perennial Wise Guy And Legman Complements Wolfe S Devotion To Orchids, Gourmet Meals, And His Specially Constructed Brown Leather Chair Together, Archie And Wolfe Make An Entertaining Odd Couple I took a quick break from a disturbing read about the Holocaust to visit an old friend, Nero Wolfe Those of you who know me realize that I am a total fanatic for this series written by Rex Stout I have not read the new books by Robert Goldsborough and this one does not disappoint As are most of the Wolfe books, the story is short and full of surprises In this number 37 of the series, a man who is a chess master dies mysteriously by arsenic poisoning at an exclusive chess club where he is playing against six other participants The culprit seems to be identified almost immediately but, as usual, Wolfe is not convinced and uncovers some shady dealings to prove the man innocent Another winner from Stout whose eccentric detective, Nero Wolfe and his able assistant Archie Goodwin who narrates the tale, have become icons in the field of crime novels. at twenty minutes to ten, I stood in the alcove at the end of the hall next to the kitchen, observing through the hole in the wall, the cast that had been assembled for what I consider one of the best charades Wolfe has ever staged. Well, I dare to disagree This is my 10th book in the venerable Nero Wolfe series that I am reviewing on Goodreads and to me the most unremarkable one even if it marginally deals with chess, a topic that interests me quite a lot I read the novel several weeks ago, did not have time to write the review, and now when I finally found a free hour I am unable to remember even the basic outline of the plot and have to skim the book again.A president of a big corporation is in jail, charged with murder Miss Blount, his 22 year old daughter, hires Nero Wolfe to prove her father s innocence The murder happened in a chess club when a chess prodigy who was playing twelve simultaneous blindfold games was poisoned having drunk hot chocolate Miss Blount s father was apparently the only player who had an opportunity to administer the poison The reader learns that Miss Blount offers 22,000 up front to entice Mr Wolfe Neat amount twenty two thousand dollars in 1962, when the book was published, would be worth about 180,000 in today s money Naturally, the events in the plot begin resembling a game of chess The reader learns what a gambit is It s an opening in which a player gives up a pawn or a piece to gain an advantage We have some reasonably relevant chess quotes and even Robert Fischer, the future 1972 world chess champion, is mentioned I would have particular reasons to get interested in the novel as it was precisely in 1962 that I got seriously interested in chess and joined a chess club in Warsaw, Poland In fact, the very next year I had an opportunity to meet the very same Robert Fischer, when he played few games in Warsaw.Alas, the plot is quite predictable and the reader will likely lose interest quickly, as I did As in all Nero Wolfe novels the writing has the specific old style charm and of course Archie Goodwin is the most remarkable and unforgettable character, as opposed to the clich of Mr Wolfe There are several neat pearl of wisdom scattered in the text, of which I will quote one Nothing is impossible in the relations between men and women To sum up, I am unable to recommend the novel as it barely clears the two star level Even so, I will continue reading the series, in search of an installment as great as the magnificent Murder By the Book.Two stars. COUNTDOWN Mid 20th Century North American Crime BOOK 164 of 250 Hook 4 stars I know a gambit could refer to a chess move in which a players gives up a piece, intentionally, to advance his her game, and was immediately curious as to how that would be used in a Stout mystery So I pulled the book off the library shelf Yes, there will be chess, many chess games, or just one big game Pace 3 Solid.Plot 3 12 men play chess against a single player in a 2nd room There are 4 messengers who relay the plays back and forth Within a few moves, the single chess player dies from poison And you ll have so many questions to think about People 3 Nero is his own person, original and fascinating Archie Godwin, his second hand man, does all the legwork But we learn little about anyone else.Place 2 No matter how hard I tried, I could not visualize the order in which the 12 players sat, nor the room in which they played, nor the room in which the single player played, nor how the messengers moved about But that s part of the mystery.Summary My overall rating is 3.0 I like the originality of the set, and Nero is, as usual, fascinating in the way he thinks But for me this work by Stout is just average. Archie is getting smarter with every book, lately. Great Wolfe, tightly plotted with no dull spots. Review updated on 4 13 2015.The book is not about this Gambit It is about this type of gambit Just for fun do an image search for the term and see which one would come up first hint the X Men character.A murder happened right in the plain view of a lot of people a chess master is killed in the middle of his simultaneous play with twelve members of an exclusive club A man is arrested, he is the only person who was able to commit the crime it was physically impossible for everybody else Everything is against him, but his daughter is convinced in her father s innocence and she hires the only person who might be able to help him Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, obviously.Usually a typical Nero Wolfe novel or a short story is not so much about the mystery, but much about character interactions and Archie Goodwin s witticism, and this is what makes the series really shine This book is all that, but it also happen to be a good mystery novel which will puzzle you as much as it did Nero Wolfe and his nemesis and friend Inspector Cramer and which is worthy the best of the undisputed Queen of Mystery Agatha Christie When the identity of the villain is finally revealed, it turns out there is no proof of the murderer s guilt which leads to highly unconventional tactics from the great detective and his sidekick bodyguard secretary.As usual expect to be entertained and a lot of chuckles while reading the book One item of note this is probably the first time Archie Goodwin solved the mystery before his genius boss To be fair, he obtained one vital piece of info which Wolfe did not possess until the latter made his report. Another great Stout How shall I review this book It s a murder mystery I could give you the particulars a young woman comes to Nero Wolfe and wants to pay him 20,000 to exonerate her father who she believes has been falsely accused of murder Nero is too busy tearing pages out of a dictionary he finds deplorable.Also, after hearing the situation, he concludes that it is hopeless It will be impossible to prove her father s innocence.As you may guess, he does decide to take on the case and we are treated to several pages of Archie s hilarious narration of events It s what makes Stout s stories so worth reading.
Rex Todhunter Stout December 1, 1886 October 27, 1975 was an American crime writer, best known as the creator of the larger than life fictional detective Nero Wolfe, described by reviewer Will Cuppy as that Falstaff of detectives Wolfe s assistant Archie Goodwin recorded the cases of the detective genius from 1934 Fer de Lance to 1975 A Family Affair.The Nero Wolfe corpus was nominated
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- 17 February 2019 Rex Stout