Saturday, February 27, 2010

Book Review: Murder by the Book by Rex Stout (1951)

Murder by the Book (1951) is an especially fun entry in Rex Stout's long-running Nero Wolfe mystery series. Its MacGuffin is an unpublished manuscript by a law clerk, and somebody is killing everybody who has read it. If you've never read a Nero Wolfe mystery, this is a good one to start with, as the whole cast is in good form and Stout is on top of his game.

Amazon: Murder by the Book by Rex Stout.

How acquired: Picked it up from a used book store for $2.95, probably in the time since I've moved out to Michigan.


  1. Next time we get together, I'll return a slew of borrowed novels and borrow THIS one just to renew my sense of Nero Wolf, which is a bit dated.

  2. I've always loved the Nero Wolfe series, and one of the things that always amazed me about them was that for the most part they were written in one pass without rewrites.

    My high school English teacher, Mr. Cubbins, always said "There is no such thing as good writing, there is only good rewriting."

    I guess Rex Stout never had Mr. Cubbins for an English class.

  3. Reading a Nero Wolfe story always makes me hungry.

  4. I agree! This is one of Stout's best. It's an excellent mystery (which isn't always the case in Wolfe stories) and he has all the characters running on all cylinders. (He'd been writing this series for 17 years at this point.) I like your suggestion of this one being the first one to read for a newby.

    -Seattle Wolfe Fan