Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Over My Dead Body” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Over My Dead Body
Rex Stout
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Over My Dead Body (Nero Wolfe #7)

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  2,751 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
When a Balkan beauty gets in trouble over some missing diamonds, whom else can she turn to but the world-famous Nero Wolfe?  Especially since she claims to be Wolfe's long lost daughter!  The stakes are suddenly raised when a student at this woman's fencing school ends up dead after a pointed lesson.  As Wolfe and his sidekick, Archie, thrust and parry into a tangle of doc ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 191 pages
Published March 1979 by Jove Publications, Inc (first published January 3rd 1940)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Over My Dead Body, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Over My Dead Body

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 20, 2014 Evgeny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nero Wolfe is lazy. He only works when his bank account strongly demands it. At the beginning of the book he has enough money not to bother with any cases or clients for a while. When a young Yugoslavian woman shows up asking the detective to help her compatriot and friend with the trouble over accusations of a theft, Nero Wolfe refuses right away without bothering to listen to her pleas. The woman drops a bomb - literally speaking - which left both him and Archie Goodwin speechless (as well as ...more
Mar 22, 2013 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, kindle
This is a serviceable Nero Wolfe mystery newly available for Kindle. Just right for reading on a trip, I thought. The mystery revolves around Wolfe's long lost adopted daughter and intrigue in the Balkans. However this book didn't grab me like some Wolfe mysteries. Perhaps because the reasons for my trip were not all happy ones, no book could have been 5 stars.
Jane Stewart
Not as good as previous books, but ok.

I love some of the things Archie does and the way he and Nero think. If you’re new to this series, I suggest reading Fer-De-Lance and Some Buried Caesar before reading this - only because I think they are better. They are all stand alones.

Two female immigrants come to New York and teach fencing. One is accused of stealing from a customer. Two men end up dead.

The audiobook narrator Michael Prichard was good.

Narrative mode: 1st person Archie. Unabridged a
Balkan politics of the just barely pre-World War II days keeps elbowing to the front of this book, when the reader wants more about Nero Wolfe's long lost (adopted, he tells Archie) daughter, who suddenly appears in New York asking for his help when she's accused first of theft, and then of murder. Naturally, Wolfe is sure she's innocent, once he's convinced himself that she is his daughter, even after a second body is found in her apartment. The international aspect--and pressures from on high- ...more
Jan 31, 2008 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe books are always delightful reads, with his genius melding of Holmesian ratiocination and Marlovian tough-guy bark. This one is a little more complicated than some, with a complex geopolitical background and a large array of characters. Wolfe and his narrating leg man Archie Goodwin attempt to solve the murder of a fencing student, but the novel delves more than any other in the series (as I recall) into Wolfe's own personal history as a young man. Stout knows how to write ...more
Jun 09, 2011 Bruce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series, but haven't read one in quite a while. Wolfe and Archie Goodwin are, in my estimation, the best detective team since Holmes and Watson. Over My Dead Body isn't a strong detective story per se, but is a hugely enjoyable escapade related in Goodwin's incomparably witty and buoyant narration.
Glenn Harris
Mar 14, 2014 Glenn Harris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another fine Nero Wolfe mystery, this time involving a young woman suspected of murder and claiming to be his long-lost daughter. I confess that I sometimes tire of Archie Goodwin; he can be too much of a wise-ass and it's hard to get past the various bigotries of the day that he displays so vividly. Still, the mysteries are always good and Wolfe is a unique character.
Jan 30, 2014 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nearly too many suspects to keep up with. Unique plot based on (I guess) Mr. Stouts experience in politics. Discovered that Mr. Stout is where most of those classic detective icons come from.
Stacie  Haden
Good solid mystery and surprisingly funny
Jun 04, 2017 Gary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Characters getting stronger except for Cramer. Enjoyable story if a little dated, which I personally enjoy.
Vernon Salter
Oct 06, 2016 Vernon Salter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The beauty of these books is not only Rex Stout's writing style, but also the interesting depiction of early 20th century New York.
Jul 31, 2010 Hobart rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
All things considered, this is not my favorite in the series, though I admit to reading it at least bi-annually. It should be noted that "not my favorite" roughly equals a grade of B-.

This is the first time we get a feel for Wolfe's politics (and can guess at Stout's), although it's difficult to discern everything Stout's trying to say because of my lack of knowledge about politics in the area around Montenegro pre-World War II. One day I keep telling myself that I'm going to look into that and
Whistlers Mom
Sep 12, 2016 Whistlers Mom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a huge Nero Wolfe fan, but the books are well-written and entertaining. This one involves a young foreign woman who comes to Wolfe for help, but whose problems are much more complicated than they first appear.

It's the eve of WWII and while the US is still technically neutral, anti-German sentiment is running high and even insular Americans are figuring out that this ISN'T just a European shooting match. The Balkans are a hot-bed of intrigue even in peaceful times, so it's a certainty tha
Feb 20, 2017 Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
Nero Wolfe doesn't disappoint. The NYC life, Archie Goodwin and their relationship with the police makes it almost like a carnival.
Jul 21, 2014 Tonileg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, series, clean
So my mother loves Rex Stout and his Nero Wolfe series of mystery books, my entire childhood of vacations always started and ended with one of those books in her hand as we flew over the Pacific ocean. So it might be come as a surprise to know that I only read my first Nero Wolfe book today when I fly with my own children over the different oceans in the world.
I liked it. I did not like it as much as Dorothy L. Sayers's Peter Whimsy books nor as much as my youth defining Arthur Conan Doyle's Dr.
Nan Silvernail
Feb 24, 2012 Nan Silvernail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What Flummery is this?! Can it be that Nero Wolfe has a daughter, let alone one who is accused of the theft of some diamonds and then of a murder? If she is his daughter, he hasn't seen her since she was three years old and he didn't find her on his last attempt to search her out. Against a background of Balkan intrigue can he prove she is innocent, whoever she is? Will Archie Goodwin marry the Boss's Daughter and become Wolfe's Son-In-Law? Pfui!

Honza Prchal
The book was entertaining throughout, and kept promising a better understanding of Balkan politics, and fencing, and the old role fo teh FBI ... it did not deliver.
It is amusing, but Nero Wolfe and his personal assistant are mere comic book characters.
Learning anything about any subject, including orchids, from these books, is sadly lacking. Rex Stout may understand what fine cuisine is, but he throws the mere glamour of it onto the page ... something he does with all of the other subjects I've
Bob Mackey
After two novels featuring reclusive sleuth Nero Wolfe pulled out of his home, Over My Dead Body returns to this comfort zone—as does author Rex Stout. This seventh installment of the series offers the typical Wolfe formula: Archie investigates, and returns to Wolfe results—rinse and repeat. Granted, it's a formula, but it's a formula that works well: Whenever I return to my shelf of unread books, it's almost impossible to avoid picking up Stout's literary comfort food.

A few things prevent Over
Apr 30, 2010 Mmyoung rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This book never really came alive to me. Perhaps the problem was that it was before the US entered WWII but after the war had broken out in Europe/England. It is less that the war casts a shadow on the book than the fact that the lack of shadow stand out. Wolfe is portrayed as a man who had lived much of his life in Europe and yet even when he makes amadversions aimed at the Germans and their allies in the Balkans this seem rather mild given the reality of what was happening in that part of the ...more
Apr 13, 2016 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read every Nero Wolfe mystery by Rex Stout, and I've read them all more than once. That is because what sticks in the mind is pretty much never the mystery or whodunit; what you remember is the interplay between Wolfe and his assistant Archie, the meals, the conversations. (This is a good thing because 1) the mysteries are not usually particularly clever, so it's just as well I'm not reading the books for them, and 2) it means I can read them over with no lessening of enjoyment, because I h ...more
Richard Bentley

Absurdity on absurdity.

OK, let's get this out of the way - a review that encompasses all Nero Wolfe mysteries. Picture this: A private detective, that never (well, hardly ever) goes out of his office; that stops investigations to tend to his orchids; that only sees clients and police officers in his office; that in the end compels all the interested parties, including suspects, to gather in his office where the suspect invariably confesses. A ridiculous scenario, to be sure, and unbelievably car
I am trying to go through all the Nero Wolfe stories in order, largely because my favorite author P.G. Wodehouse was a big fan; I read up to Some Buried Caesar some years ago and apparently forgot about the project. Obviously I have picked it up again. If you haven't read Nero Wolfe before, I'm not sure this is the one I would start on, but you should start on one of them. I don't think the detective genre was ever done quirkier or better.

This one was written in 1940, and while there is some pr
Jun 01, 2010 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For all I know, this may be a fairly mediocre novel among the dozens of Nero Wolfe mysteries that Rex Stout wrote. But I've only read one other (so long ago that I don't remember the title), and I found this book tremendously entertaining.

Raymond Chandler said, famously, that Dashiell Hammett "took murder out of the Venetian vase and dropped it into the alley," marking a distinct break with mode of mystery writing invented by Poe and popularized by Conan Doyle. Stout's discovery was not as an in
Mar 18, 2011 Rusty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Ah, the delight of these old mysteries. This one involved the murder of two men with a good deal of suspense and international intrigues to complicate the issue. Nero Wolfe and his assistant, Archie Goodwin, work hard to unravel the mystery surrounding the deaths. Wolfe is asked to help a young woman named Neya Tormic who claims to be his adopted daughter. She is accused of stealing diamonds. It seems that she stole nothing when the man accusing her says he found the diamonds after all. Then he ...more
Alison C
Over My Dead Body, published in 1940, features a pair of young Yugoslavian immigrant women, who are working at a fencing/dancing school when one is falsely accused of stealing diamonds from a student; no sooner is that matter cleared up than a body turns up dead - at a fencing lesson! And there are more bodies to follow, not to mention international intrigue and double-crosses at every turn. It's up to Nero Wolfe and his sidekick Archie Goodwin to uncover what's really going on, before more mayh ...more
Dec 10, 2016 Andres rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Esimest korda tegin ma Nero Wolfega tutvust üks 20 aastat tagasi. Tol ajal (kuigi ise napilt kümnene või isegi veel noorem) lugesin ma palju krimkasid ning E. S. Gardner, Christie ja Doyle olid suured lemmikud. Aga Sout ei istunud mulle üldse.

Ühe raamatu lugesin läbi ning rohkem pole ma tema teoseid kätte võtnud.

Nüüd aga sattus mulle üks Stouti "Öölane" pihku ning otsustasin talle teise võimaluse anda.

Peab ütlema, et täitsa mõnus lugemine oli. Ilmselt hindaksin küll madalamalt, kui ootused ei
Laura Hughes
Jul 06, 2015 Laura Hughes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I really don't have much to say about Nero Wolfe books. They're good. Clever mysteries with enough you can't get that you need it explained, but a few things you can get and feel smart about (usually about one page before it's revealed). As ever, narrator Archie is a smart and clever wiseacre and Nero Wolfe manages to solve the mystery without leaving the house or disrupting his schedule. Inspector Cramer is a major character in this one and is a pleasant addition with his aggrieved, resigned, y ...more
This was the first Nero Wolfe book that I've read, and I enjoyed it more than I expected. The pace was fast and the dialogue was rollicking and crisp. Also, the use of some of the slangy words that aren't in today's mainstream vocabulary made me laugh. It was published in 1940. With it's plot of a Balkan princess, spying involving Nazi's and British agents and international finance it was quite a prescient storyline for the time it was published.

There were a few slang words used in reference to
Rubén Lorenzo
Feb 22, 2015 Rubén Lorenzo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Sobre mi cadaver" en la edición española, es una novela del detective Nero Wolfe y su compañero Archie Goodwin.

Lo especial de esta aventura es que incluye datos sobre el pasado de Wolfe, además de presentar un caso perfectamente coherente y que se resuelve de una manera lógica y sencilla, pese a que en algún momento el lector puede creerse en un lío irresoluble (como debe ser en este género). Cuando lees el final te das cuenta de que todos los pasos que sigue el grueso detective tienen un moti
OVER MY DEAD BODY. (1940). Rex Stout. ***.
This started out as a pretty good mystery for Nero Wolfe and his confidential secretary Archie Goodwin, but Stout soon reverted to his old pulp days, as if he was being paid so much per word. The plot involves several people who are from Yugoslavia, one of whom turns out to be Wolfe’s adopted daughter. Back in the day, Wolfe adopted her when she was a young girl in order that his protection would at least provide her with something to eat. Soon, the stor
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Murder in E Minor
  • Out on the Cutting Edge (Matthew Scudder, #7)
  • The Big Sleep  and Other Novels
  • The Ivory Grin
  • Dress Her in Indigo (Travis McGee #11)
  • Buried for Pleasure (Gervase Fen, #6)
  • Necklace and Calabash
  • The Case of the Baited Hook
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
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)
  • Where There's a Will (Nero Wolfe, #8)
  • Black Orchids (Nero Wolfe, #9)
  • Not Quite Dead Enough (Nero Wolfe, #10)
  • The Silent Speaker (Nero Wolfe, #11)

Share This Book

“Wolfe could get sentimental about it if he wanted to, but I don't like any stranger nosing around my private affairs, let alone a nation of 130 million people.-Archie Goodwin” 6 likes
“It strikes me, sir, that you are nearing the point where even a grateful American might tell you to go to the devil.-Nero Wolfe to an FBI Agent” 3 likes
More quotes…