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Champagne per uno (Nero Wolfe #31)

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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  1,640 ratings  ·  76 reviews
Faith Usher è una donna dalla personalità morbosa: gira con una fiala di cianuro in borsetta e racconta a tutti di volersi togliere la vita. Lo dice anche ad Archie Goodwin, il fedele aiutante del leggendario Nero Wolfe, che la incontra a una festa, ma il fiuto di Archie sente puzza di bruciato e il giovane si ripromette di tenerla d'occhio. Di lì a poco quando Faith cade ...more
Paperback, 191 pages
Published February 2006 by Mondadori (first published 1958)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,222)
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Evgeny
A sick friend asks Archie Goodwin to attend a charity dinner at a millionaire's widow home. One of the guests drops dead seemingly committing a suicide. The hostess does not want big publicity and thus she applies a lot of pressure on the District Attorney to conclude the investigation as soon as possible without looking at the suicide too closely - she has enough money to do it. Archie is the only person who is convinced he saw murder and he is ready to put his professional reputation at risk t ...more
Mike Coleman
My father believed that, after the Nero Wolfe series, the world had no further need for new mystery novels. I tend to agree.

I enjoy the contemporary mysteries by Michael Connelly, Elizabeth George, Patricia Cornwell, Louise Penny and many others, but then I go back to the Rex Stout books and realize that much of what has come afterward in the mystery genre is just so much "look-at-me" shouting. "I can write about child abuse." "I can write about mutilation of women." "I can describe an autopsy t
...more
Lukasz Pruski
Rex Stout's "Champagne for One" (1958) is the second Nero Wolfe mystery that I have randomly chosen to re-read in a quest to find out whether my reception of the novels that I highly praised when I read the entire set (46) of Wolfe mysteries in the Eighties and Nineties has changed. I review the first one, "The Mother Hunt" here .

Archie Goodwin, Nero Wolfe's right hand, is invited to sit in for the sick nephew of a very rich woman who sponsors a famous annual charity party for unmarried mothers
...more
Bill  Kerwin

A young woman is poisoned during a dinner party held annually-- according the terms of the will of an eccentric benefactor--for the "graduates" of a home for unwed mothers. Archie--pinch-hitting as a squire for the the evening--is the only one convinced that the poisoning isn't suicide. Wolfe gets involved--of course. Reluctantly? Of course.

Ingeniously plotted, with some unusually vivid characters and scenes. One of the best of the series.
Sophie
The best thing about any Nero Wolfe book for me is Archie's cynical, snarky commentary. Archie has no illusions about anyone, least of all Wolfe, and it is always entertaining to watch him doing his best to upset his boss's equanimity. Champagne for One is unusual in one respect, though, I don't think I've read a Nero Wolfe mystery before that didn't involve at least some love interest for Archie (not that "love interest" is exactly the right term for Archie's exploits, but it's Nero-Wolfe-perio ...more
meeners
one of rex stout's better mysteries. i have a hunch that longtime fans of stout will like this book regardless, while non-mystery readers most likely won't see the appeal. but feel free to prove me wrong.

random note: the introduction to this particular edition starts with the following sentence: "I first met Rex Stout sometime in the early 1950s when our daughters were classmates at Oakwood School, a Quaker boarding school in upstate New York." didn't think much about it until i turned the page
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Chazzi
Archie does a favour for a past client's relative and it turns out to be murder in high society.

While filling in at a charity dinner for a select group composed of unwed mothers, well connected single men and the doyenne of high society, one of the mothers dies of poisoning right before everybody's eyes. Her comments of committing suicide were well known, but did she really do it? Archie says no, but won't say why. Even under pressure by the attendees, the police and the D.A.

Even though this is
...more
Hope
Haughty Mrs. Robilotti hosts an annual dinner for unwed young women who spend their pregnancies at Grantham House, the charitable institute founded by her millionaire first husband. By chance, Archie Goodwin is asked to fill in for one of the young society men at the dinner, which Wolfe calls a "burlesque of hospitality." The genius is right. Archie's social discomfort turns to horror when one of the young women is poisoned right in front of him. The other guests think it's suicide, but Archie ...more
Jessi
The whole time I was listening to this story, I kept seeing the episode of "Nero Wolfe" starring Timothy Hutton that this book was based on. They were very true to the story.
At the beginning of the book, Archie is invited to be one of the swains at a philanthropist's party. The man (now dead) left money so that five girls from his home for unwed mothers could learn the social graces. At the beginning of the night, Archie's companion tells him that one of the other girls carries a vial of poison
...more
Alexis Neal
It's just a fancy charity dinner for unwed mothers--what's the worst that could happen? Archie, roped into attending at the last minute as a favor for a sick friend, is about to find out. When one of the unwed mothers drops dead after sipping some cyanide-laced champagne, the police are ready to call it suicide. After all, the girl had cyanide with her, in her purse, and had threatened to kill herself with it in the past. But Archie saw the whole things, and he's positive the girl was murdered ( ...more
Bev
Rex Stout's Champagne for One comes garnished with an unhealthy dose of cyanide.

This outing for Nero Wolfe and his leg man Archie Goodwin doesn't begin with a client. No. It begins when Archie does one of his good deeds and acts as a stand-in dinner guest for an acquaintance, "Dinky" Austin Byne. Byne claims to have a cold and wants Archie to attend a black tie function at his aunt's house in his stead. Archie knows full well that Byne's cold is non-existent, but is curious enough about the dinn
...more
Nan Silvernail
Unwed mother, Faith Usher had some cyanide in her purse and told other unwed mothers and staff at Grantham House that she just might take it someday, so no one is surprised when she does so at a party - Except Archie Goodwin. He was there and was watching Miss Usher and her purse and he is willing to swear that she didn't poison herself. Now everyone's mad at him, but Archie is standing firm. He saw what he saw and didn't see what he didn't see. Can Nero Wolfe solve the mystery and vindicate his ...more
Ed
#31 in the Nero Wolfe series. In a familiar premise for a Wolfe tale, Wolfe and Archie have a contrarian position that a death was murder rather than accident or suicide.

Nero Wolfe supports Archie Goodwin's claim that a poisoned woman at a dinner he attended was murdered when everyone else would be happy to call it a suicide. The dinner was a charity affair for unwed mothers and the past of the poisoned woman provides Wolfe with a client and plenty of suspects.
Joan Schrock
Nero Wolfe, once again, solves what seems to be the impossible murder mystery with the help of his personal assistant, chef, and three investigators whom he hires to help with the leg work. Nero Wolfe never leaves his New York City Brownstone and rooftop greenhouse where he raises rare orchids. Rex Stout stories are a favorite of mine becuase they are light , easy reads with very little explicit violence or sex.
Apio
I picked up this book after watching an episode a Nero Wolf series in which a woman hires Wolf to get the FBI off her back after she mailed out 10,000 copies of a back exposing the FBI. After watching the episode, I decided to see what I could find out about Rex Stout. I learned that he had been involved in anti-atom-bomb activities, anti-McCarthyism activities and had himself been investigated by the FBI and a third of his file is for writing the book on which that episode was based. So I decid ...more
Anand Ganapathy
Another gem of a novel by Rex Stout. I don't post reviews of detective fiction generally as I might inadvertently divulge details of the plot. A must read for all fans of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. I surely am looking forward to reading the 4 books from this series that I have just ordered
Peggy
I am a hopeless Nero Wolfe fan. In this book, Archie Goodwin (Wolfe's right hand man) attends a dinner party where a death occurs. Everyone says suicide except Archie, who is adamant that it is murder. Lots of suspects, as usual, with Wolfe snooping to help Archie.
Jason
It constantly amazes me how Mr. Stout was able to slip in details about Nero and Archie so that anyone who hasn't read a Nero story will have the information they need, yet those who've read a great deal of them aren't bored with the same information being imparted. The man was a pure writing genius!
***Dave Hill
A well-crafted NW novel, featuring some of the best aspects of the series -- a focus on Archie (his attitudes, his social circle, his attitudes toward women, his determination, his ego), and on the Wolfe/Archie relationship (Wolfe's willingness to commit himself to Archie's cause, based solely on his assistant's testimony). It's also a nice exemplar of the society of the era -- one of the things Stout does so well in the 30-40 year range he wrote these characters.

This is one of the volumes I wo
...more
Cathy
This has all the elements of a great Nero Wolfe story. In my opinion, its one of the better books of the series.
Michelle Robinson
This was a good Nero Wolfe/ Archie Goodwin novel. I had never heard of this one and I am glad that one of my goodread friends had recently read and rated it.

It was brief, as many of Stout's novels are. However, the mystery was well plotted and I did not have any idea who had committed the murder until the end.

Dinky Byne was a disgusting little parasite but then people like that are often found in old mysteries.

This was a very satisfactory read. We see Fred Durkin being a bit much in this novel
...more
Stefanie
I picked this book up for two reasons: (a) My brother is a die-hard Nero Wolfe fan and (b) I had seen the dramatization and wanted to clarify a few points (and see how closely the novels were adapted to the screen). The result? I see why my brother enjoys these books, and the episode covering this book was astoundingly close to what appeared on the page. This particular mystery hinges on a motive that I don't think translates very well to a more modern era, which is why I wanted to make sure I w ...more
Uzma Shuaib
I love these books for Archie's wit. The case solutions never really satisfy me.
Elaine
Liked it and will be trying the others - thanks to Helene......
Sheela Word
Typically clever Nero Wolfe mystery. Someone is poisoned at a party for unwed mothers, right in front of Archie. It appears to be suicide but is, of course, murder. The most likely suspect hires Wolfe to carry out an investigation. One of Archie's acquaintances seems to know something, and Archie has to turn the screws to find out what. Meanwhile, the orchids keep blooming, the meals keep being fabulous, and the wit keeps flowing. Why are these formulaic novels SO MUCH fun?
Maria
Oct 05, 2013 Maria rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maria by: Wyatt
Shelves: mystery
I have heard of Nero Wolfe nearly all my life but have never been tempted to pick up one of these books until my son starting reading them recently. I borrowed this one and found it surprisingly well-written and interesting. No bad language (the worst word in it was "crap"), no unnecessary gore and violence, and a crime that couldn't have been committed but was. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and will soon be reading another.
Molly
Vera and I were talking about hard-boiled detectives and she asked me if I'd read any of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe books. I hadn't, so I gave this one a test run. Thank you, Vera! I loved it. I'm now in the throes of a crush with Archie Goodwin, the narrator. And Mr. Wolfe is too wonderful to pass up. Stout wrote something like 75 of these books. It's so delicious to know that I'll be able to snack on them in the upcoming years.
Vicki Cline
An acquaintance of Archie's asks him to fill in for him at a dinner given by the man's rich aunt for some unmarried mothers. One of them dies from poison and Archie is the only one who insists it was murder and not suicide, even though the young woman had often talked about killing herself and she was killed by the same kind of poison she carried around in her purse. As usual, I had no idea who the culprit was.
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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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More about Rex Stout...

Other Books in the Series

Nero Wolfe (1 - 10 of 47 books)
  • Fer-de-Lance (Nero Wolfe, #1)
  • The League of Frightened Men (Nero Wolfe, #2)
  • The Rubber Band (Nero Wolfe, #3)
  • The Red Box (Nero Wolfe, #4)
  • Too Many Cooks (Nero Wolfe, #5)
  • Some Buried Caesar (Nero Wolfe, #6)
  • Over My Dead Body (Nero Wolfe, #7)
  • Where There's a Will (Nero Wolfe, #8)
  • Black Orchids (Nero Wolfe, #9)
  • Not Quite Dead Enough (Nero Wolfe, #10)
Fer-de-Lance (Nero Wolfe, #1) Some Buried Caesar (Nero Wolfe, #6) Too Many Cooks (Nero Wolfe, #5) The League of Frightened Men (Nero Wolfe, #2) Black Orchids (Nero Wolfe, #9)

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“In a world that operates largely at random, coincidences are to be expected, but any one of them must always be mistrusted.” 10 likes
“You can't dance cheerfully. Dancing is too important. It can be wild or solemn or gay or lewd or art for art's sake, but it can't be cheerful.” 4 likes
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