Publication Order of Nero Wolfe Books
|Fer-de-Lance||(1934)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The League of Frightened Men||(1935)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Rubber Band||(1936)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Red Box||(1937)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Too Many Cooks||(1938)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Some Buried Caesar||(1939)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Over My Dead Body||(1939)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Where There's a Will||(1940)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Black Orchids||(1942)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Not Quite Dead Enough||(1944)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Silent Speaker||(1946)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Too Many Women||(1947)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|And Be a Villain||(1948)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Trouble in Triplicate||(1949)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Second Confession||(1949)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Even in the Best Families||(1950)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Three Doors to Death||(1950)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Curtains or Three||(1950)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Murder by the Book||(1951)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Prisoner's Base||(1952)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Triple Jeopardy||(1952)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Golden Spiders||(1953)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Black Mountain||(1954)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Three Men Out||(1954)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Before Midnight||(1955)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Might As Well Be Dead||(1956)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Three Witnesses||(1956)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|If Death Ever Slept||(1957)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Three for the Chair||(1957)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|And Four to Go||(1958)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Champagne for One||(1958)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Plot It Yourself||(1959)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Too Many Clients||(1960)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Final Deduction||(1961)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Homicide Trinity||(1962)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Gambit||(1962)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Mother Hunt||(1963)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Trio for Blunt Instruments||(1964)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|A Right to Die||(1964)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Doorbell Rang||(1965)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Death of a Doxy||(1966)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Father Hunt||(1968)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Death of a Dude||(1969)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Please Pass the Guilt||(1973)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|A Family Affair||(1975)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Death Times Three||(1985)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Publication Order of Short Story Collections
Rex Stout is an American Mystery writer who wrote between 1934 and 1939. He was able to write 33 novels and 39 short stories. Most of them were set in the state of New York. He was born in Noblesville, Indiana in 1886 but later on his parents moved the family of nine children to Kansas. Being a teacher, Stout’s father inspired him to read and by the time he was four years old, he had read the entire bible. Stout went to Topeka High School, Kansas, and later the University of Kansas, Lawrence. He worked in the Navy in US between 1906 and 1908 and afterwards for the next four years, he worked at several jobs including one at a cigar store.
Rex was appointed to the board of American Civil Liberties Union in 1952 and served one term. While there he assisted in beginning the Marxist Magazine. He also founded and later served as president at Vanguard Press, from 1926 to 1928 then as its vice president until 1931. Being a renowned Murder Mystery author, several of his books went on to be adapted for film, radio and television. He was head of Writers’ War Board at the time of the second world war, a radio celebrity and later on actively promoted world federalism. He was also president of the Authors Guild and of the Mystery Writers of America. He ultimately received the Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master Award in 1959.
1. The Golden Spiders
The Golden Spiders is a detective story by Rex Stout, first published in 1953 by the Viking Press. It was published in the United States in English and is classified under the Detective Fiction Genre. The book starts with a description of the main subject of the book . These are suspicious events that later on build up into the plot of murder mysteries that must be solved. Its introduction is quite captivating and leaves the reader riveted to the seat desiring to know just what else transpired afterwards. A young boy approaches Wolfe to report to him about a disturbing scene he witnessed of a woman driving a car but she was being disturbed by a co-passenger. The boy is murdered the following day as he was washing windows of a car.
The Main Characters
The readers are introduced to the the book’s main character, Nero Wolfe. He is a private investigator helped by Archie Godwin, his assistant and narrator of Wolfe’s stories. Both of them get taken up by events surrounding the sudden death of a boy called Pete who reported a suspicious happening and another death of a woman, Laura, who came and offered to pay retainer charges to enable the investigator unravel the murder mystery of the boy. Archie obtains a list of people who dined with Laura, the night before her death while Wolfe assigns duties to Saul Panzer, Fred Durkin, and Orrie Cather to look into and pursue different angles of the case. From then on, things get mysteriously interesting and the readers are captivated by unfolding events until the end.
2. The League of Frightened Men
This was the second book that was written by Rex Stout. The book was published by Farrar and Rinehart on August 14, 1935 in the United States. It is also classified under the genre of detective fiction. The readers are introduced to psychologist Andrew Hibbard who seeks protection from Wolfe since he fears for his life. Much earlier on, Hibbard, in the company of his other friends, played a prank on Paul Chapin in their college days which left him permanently crippled. Soon after speaking with Wolfe, Hibbard disappears and is found dead. Another man in the same group of Hibbard’s friends is also murdered and a third one disappears. At this point, Wolfe begins to suspect Chapin as the one behind the murders of the group of men who scarred him those early days in college. This group of men was known as the “League of Atonement.”
This book also features Nero Wolfe as the main character, assisted by Archie. The other character that we are introduced to is Paul Chapin who is the main suspect in this murder mystery. He has denied his involvement in the murders but has declined to assist Wolfe and Archie in investigating them. After the murder of Dr Burton, Wolfe and Archie are shocked when Chapin is taken into custody by the police as the main suspect. However, Wolfe and Archie also suspect one Dr Elkus, whom they believe to be sympathetic to Chapin and is probably helping him with the murders.
3. The Red Box
This was the fourth detective fiction book by Rex Stout and was also published by Farrar and Rinehart on April 15, 1937. The book begins by the mysterious death of a model named Molly Lauck who had eaten a poisoned Jordan Almond from a certain Red box containing different types of candies. Wolfe is approached by Llewellyn Frost who insists that Wolfe investigates the murder and also helps to free his ortho-cousin, Hellen from her employer Boyden McNair at whose fashion boutique, Molly Lauck died. Wolfe and Archie delve into the investigations which get really interesting with time. Boyden McNair, one of the suspects tells Wolfe that he has made him an executor of his estate including a certain red leather box which had information about certain regrettable dealings from his past. Boyden believes someone, whom he doesn’t mention, wanted him dead. Before he could divulge any further information, Boyden dies in Wolfe’s office and the police seem to think that Boyden might have told Wolfe something more before he died. This happening effectively deepens the murder mystery, piquing the readers’ interest about how Wolfe gets to solve this mystery.
As with most of Stout’s other books, the main character of this one also is Nero Wolfe, assisted by Archie. Other characters include Llewellyn Frost, Boyden Mcnair, Helen, Lawyer Benjamin Leach, and Perren Gebert among others. Wolfe is presented with a very intriguing situation which he must help unravel. He believes that the red leather Box contains some information about this murder mystery which will enable the story move forward. Unfortunately, Boyden died before telling him the exact location of the red box and so Wolfe must work hard to find where it was. Interesting information is later revealed about the true identity of Hellen and the audience is treated to an interesting twist to this story pointing to the fact that nothing is really what it appears to be.
Rex Stout’s earlier Works.
Rex Stout started his writing career in 1910 and wrote for various magazines. By 1910/1911 he had already sold three poems. Rex’s stories were published in All-Story Magazine and the affiliates, in Smith’s Magazine, Lippincott’s Magazine that came out monthly, Golfer’s Magazine and lastly The Smart set Magazine between 1912 and 1918. His initial stories cut across genres such as romance, science/detective Fiction and fantasy and adventure. He also authored two novellas on murder with elements of stories from Wolfe. By 1916, Rex was tired of writing stories to get money for upkeep and decided to look for money through other means.
He resumed writing fiction but lost his hard earned savings in 1929 during the depression. He wrote the first book to be published “How Like a God” in the second person, in 1929. It was published by Vanguard press. “The President Vanishes” is a book he wrote in 1934. It was a thrilling story about politics. He turned towards detective fiction in the 1930s with the characters of Wolfe and Goodwin among his major contributors to his stories.That is what he concentrated on for the rest of his literary writing.
Rex Stout was a renowned and prolific author of his time who fascinated his readers and later his wide screen audiences with complicated murder mysteries that seemed hard to solve. He took readers on a winding path through the complexities and puzzles of his stories but eventually brought out the truth which would not have been discovered had the murders not happened in the first place. He had a way of plotting his stories that was uniquely his own and which many other authors could borrow a leaf from. He remains one of the most memorable mystery writers the world has ever had.