Where There's a Will: A Nero Wolfe Mystery
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Where There's a Will: A Nero Wolfe Mystery (Nero Wolfe #8)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  969 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Investigating the bizarre will of late multimillionaire Noel Hawthorne--who left the bulk of his estate to his mistress and nearly nothing to his three sisters--astute sleuth Nero Wolfe stumbles upon a legacy of murder. Reprint.
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published October 9th 2006 by AudioGO (first published 1940)
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Jill Hutchinson
I don't know anything else to say about the Nero Wolfe books since I love them all. This one is a little different since Wolfe leaves his house to solve a mystery involving a high society and political family. The usual good bon mots and classic dialogue.......nobody has a command of the English language like Wolfe and it is not even his first language. But of course he is a genius so I expect no less!!! Another of the books in one of the greatest series of detective stories ever.
Rex Stout - 08 - Where There's a Will

Copyright 1940 -- Published 1941

Except for a few passing lines about statesmen it is difficult when one reads this book to discover any clues that it was written in the run up to the Second World War and published after the entry of a number of countries into that war. Canada is mentioned in passing as the place where Goodwin had encountered black flies on his vacation. Canada was at that point already in the war. One wonders if the outline for this book had...more
Vivek Hurry
A cracker of Nero Wolfe mystery! Start with a murder, add a generous handful of suspects, a sprinkling of clues, a dressing of another murder and garnish with Archie's inimitable commentary and banter. A perfect recipe. And it even gets the fat detective out of his house on a case! Superb!
An earlier book in the series, so Wolfe actually humors and consoles a couple of the female characters rather than treating their "feminine outbursts" with disdain as he does in later books. Since he also actually leaves his house when summoned by a politician (though it is the Secretary of State), I'll say this is the kinder, gentler Wolfe of the early days. In later books Wolfe's well-deserved reputation for success allows him to stick fast to more of his rules.

In this book Archie isn't quite...more
Richard Ward
Three sisters (June, May, and April) bring a family problem to Nero Wolfe. Their brother, Noel, has been killed by an accidental (they think) shotgun blast. He has left his fortune of seven million dollars mostly to his mistress. The sisters want Wolfe to convince the mistress to split the money with the widow. Before Wolfe gets started good on this job, the police announce that the man's death was really murder. The dead man's brother-in-law now hires Wolfe to catch the killer. Wolfe barely get...more
I borrowed this from the library. Good reading, although it was amusing and confusing to see the name of the inheritor change occasionally from Karn to Kara as well as the various other typos. It was authentic to the time! The other authenticity was the vocabulary, with several words being unfamiliar to me. Even Overdrive's ebook dictionary hadn't a clue. But Rex Stout's writing is such that the context helps the reader figure it out. My English prof back in university always said if you're goin...more
Christopher Rush
By the time of Where There's a Will, Rex Stout has clearly learned begun to adhere to Polonius's famous maxim, "brevity is the soul of wit." As enjoyable as the early Nero Wolfe adventures are, they are hampered by their at-times discursive length. In a sleek 160 pages, Stout delivers a finely-crafted mystery with enough humor, twists, and familiar character moments to satisfy any casual Wolfe fan. Beyond that, Stout has enough surprising elements to please and intrigue the more intense/devoted...more
Nan Silvernail
Nero Wolfe is visited by the three famous Hawthorne sisters, April, May and June. Their brother, Noel has died and is leaving most of his fortune to his mistress, slighting the wife whose face he had disfigured in an archery accident many years before. It would be a juicy scandal to say the least and the fur would surely fly. They want Wolfe to persuade the widow, the Lady in the Veil to not drag the fight out into open court and somehow get the mistress to divvy up more reasonably. It all seems...more

So I can't be certain, since it was twenty some years ago, but I think this was the first I ever read--and while I don't remember being hooked right away, I did beat it to the library to grab another one. As I recall, the copy of the book my aunt loaned me had a balloon-y cartoonish drawing of Wolfe shoving his face into an orchid under some 70's era kitchen green and orange stripes. Never judge a book by its cover indeed.

We are introduced right away to the remarkable Hawthorne sisters--April, M...more
Nathanael Booth
Every time I pick up a Rex Stout novel, I spend about half the book wondering what all the fuss is about. After all, it’s just people sitting around in a room expositing the plot. And then—and it’s always around the midpoint—I realize that I simply cannot put the book down. It’s that gripping.

"Where there’s a Will" is no exception. Its plot is interesting, if unremarkable. The twist at the end hardly qualifies as a twist; it’s more of a sort of mechanical reversal, one that doesn’t really alter...more
The back of my copy made it seem like the mystery in this book was: which veiled woman is the real widow? This added a level of interest above that of a regular Nero Wolfe mystery (if there is such a thing as a "regular" Nero Wolfe mystery). In actuality, the mystery is a much more standard: who is the killer? But it's still Nero Wolfe, so it's going to be interesting anyway.

Archie Goodwin is one of my favorite narrators, and he doesn't disappoint here. There are some surprises, as Wolfe gets ra...more
#8 in the Nero Wolfe series. Anytime someone tries to hire Wolfe to persuade another party to do something, or indeed for any purpose other than exposing a murderer, you can be sure that it's merely an introduction and that there's a murder to come. Reliable, always enjoyable series.

Nero Wolfe series - The Hawthorne sisters fear their sister-in-law will contest their brother's will and create a public scandal. They visit Nero Wolfe to ask his help in persuading the primary beneficiary — a young...more
More of a cozy-style mystery than you usually see in a Nero Wolfe mystery--very satisfying.
Wolfe starts out investigating the will of the late Noel Hawthorne and ends up investigating two murders.
Nev Thomas
Very good.Usual Nero Wolfe
Steven Vaughan-Nichols
Another excellent Nero Wolfe mystery revisited.
Morgan Alreth
Rex Stout was reported to have had an IQ of about 180. Anyone who has read one of his books will have no trouble believing it. This book is just as tightly reasoned as all the others. Just as well written, and just as carefully measured. I just didn't like the main characters. Nothing wrong with the story, and Wolfe/Goodwin are their usual fascinating selves. But their clients this time are a pain, in my opinion. I found myself rooting for the murderer.
Jolly in all the Nero Wolfe ways, if a bit abrupt at the end. I rather hoped something more would be made of the fruit, but there's a red herring for you.
Phillip Frey
Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe detective books are always satisfying, especially because of Nero Wolfe's right-hand sleuth Archie Goodwin. Archie's take on individuals, as well as on society, are insightful, and at times humorous. Archie does the legwork while Nero Wolfe runs the cases mostly from the library of his home. This makes Nero Wolfe a masterful puppeteer. Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe books are always a pleasure to read.
Stutley Constable
One of the more dragged out stories in the series. I liked it with the varied cast and the clashing personalities. The motives were easily understood once revealed and the method was straight forward for a nice change. The mystery this time was not how the murder was committed but who had committed it and that, for me, saved the book. This sounded like something that could actually have happened.
Vicki Cline
This one is unusual in that the action takes place over only two days, and for one of those days, Wolfe is at someone else's house. In fact, about four-fifths of the book takes place in this other house. I'm starting to wonder if Wolfe is more flexible about his actions than advertised. I should start keeping track.
Rich family, murdered man...of course someone's going to contest the will! Cast of quirky characters (including the veiled widow), and no one telling the whole truth. Archie is a little put out by Wolfe's secrecy, and very put out when Wolfe vanishes from the scene of another murder, but all comes together at the end.
Fun enough, but not one of my favs. Memorable in that it gets Wolfe out of the house and into a domestic situation he's not very comfortable with (so of course Archie enjoys giving him a hard time about it). Some interesting background on a few of Wolfe's other boys, including Johnny Keems and Fred Durkin.
Another neat mystery with the dynamics between Archie Goodwin and Nero Wolfe at its finest! So many twists and turns in the story with a resolution only at the end, found out because of the brilliant Nero Wolfe - but thanks to the hard work of Archie et al, plus the incompetence of the wrong-doer!
One for the fans; I’d never recommend that a new Stout reader start here. However, it does have a pretty fun plot once the momentum builds--and that doesn’t happen till about 1/3 of the way into the book. Big cast of characters to keep track of, too, right from the start.
I enjoyed the mystery to this novel, but I found it ended rather abruptly. All of a sudden they said who the killer was, and then they ended the book a page or two later. I just feel that a few more pages would have been nice as it would have been more of a conclusion.
A very entertaining mystery with a solid handful of twists and turns. Although certainly not neccessary to enjoy the book, I'm a big fan of the A&E Nero Wolfe series, which lends me very distinct voices for the characters, bringing them even more fully "to life".
What an obnoxious set of characters! I felt for Nero and Archie, because the people they had to deal with in this mystery were completely repugnant. Great mystery, and well written as always. Loving reading this series.
Not the best Nero Wolfe story I've read and it failed to grasp my attention. I even had difficulty in remembering which of the characters were which. But don't be put off, it may just have been the mood I was in....
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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...more
More about Rex Stout...
Fer-de-Lance (Nero Wolfe, #1) Too Many Cooks (Nero Wolfe, #5) Some Buried Caesar (Nero Wolfe, #6) The League of Frightened Men (Nero Wolfe, #2) Black Orchids (Nero Wolfe, #9)

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