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The Golden Spiders (Nero Wolfe #22)

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,549 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
Incredibly brilliant Nero Wolfe is famous for his genius at detection. He is also famous for his wealthy clients and extremely high fees. So why has Wolfe accepted a case for $4.30? And why have the last two people to hire him been ruthlessly murdered?
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 2nd 1996 by Chivers Large print (Chivers, Windsor, Paragon & C (first published October 26th 1953)
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Feb 02, 2015 Evgeny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is not good for a business of a PI to have his clients murdered shortly after they leave his office. Not only does it bring bad reputation, but it is also very damaging to self-esteem, something Nero Wolfe values highly. Thus this time it is personal. The detective who charges such high fees that only millionaires can afford his services most of the time now only has $4.30 to show for his troubles with not a single penny more on the horizon. It still does not matter as the reputation is at st ...more
Bill  Kerwin

This novel begins promisingly. A street kid who works the corner as a windshield-cleaner sees something suspicious, comes to Wolfe for help and is found dead soon the next day.

The resolution, however. is rather conventional, and the suspects not particularly interesting. As always, though, Wolfe and Archie are wonderful.
"The Golden Spiders" by Rex Stout.

Listened to on CD performed by Michael Pritchard. Nero & Archie at their best.

A young man arrives at Nero's door with a case. The case, he explains, began when he was attempting to wash the windshields of cars as they stopped for a red light. This particular case had a woman driving with a man in the passenger seat. Just as the young man glances towards the woman she moves her lips to mouth to say HELP and to call the police.

Then the light turns green and t
Luís Blue Yorkie
As Agatha Christie has his Hercule Poirot, Rex Stout has its Nero Wolfe. But the detective stories of Stout is unlike anything I've ever seen, and certainly, than you've ever seen.

I met Nero Wolfe through "Golden Spiders", a past research in the early 50's. It all starts with a poor boy who works cleaning the windows of cars stopped at the lighthouse. Only we're talking about New York. In another day of work on the streets, the boy is attracted to a woman inside a car. By flicking the sign, the
Nan Silvernail
Apr 03, 2012 Nan Silvernail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Twelve year old Pete Drossos, who lives in Nero Wolfe's neighborhood, saw something strange as he was trying to earn money by washing car windshields at a corner. He brought the information to the great detective. Just a couple days later the boy is run down in the street. While dying in the ambulance the boy tells his mother to take his savings to Wolfe and to ask him to solve the crime. It's only $4.30, but perhaps because the kid ate at Wolfe's table and it is thus a matter of honor, he's wil ...more

Connecticut, Y, Y, nove, quattro, tre, due

I classici del giallo hanno sempre un qualcosa in più che li rende irresistibili. Ai vertici della classifica dei più bravi c'è sicuramente REX STOUT che con il suo Nero Wolfe ha saputo far centro, inventando storie noir di altissimo livello. In I RAGNI D'ORO c'è una caterva di delitti. Sono per lo più omicidi stradali, ma si susseguono con una frequenza che il geniale Nero Wolfe non può non cercare di fermarli. All'origine di questa terribile catena c'è
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
A hit-and-run driver seems to be amok in Wolfe's neck of New York. After he mows down Nero's newest client, the largest detective in the world decides he has to earn that ten-grand retainer by finding out whodunit and why. There's more of a noir fiction feel to this installment as Archie tries his hand at blackmail/extortion--and maybe torture? Once again, Archie forgets that Kramer "never" lights a cigar in Wolfe's office (probably because for many years, he did!), and it's hard to believe he d ...more
Harker US Library
The Golden Spiders started out with an intriguing hook but it didn't really follow through. The plot also dragged on and did not feel resolved at the end. Detective Wolfe accepts a case for a cheap price (one of the main factors that actually convinced me to read the book), but really he only does it because he is paid his usual high price by someone else who is also involved in the case. Thus, unlike other popular classic detective stories (e.g. Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple), th ...more
Dec 31, 2012 Shireen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction, 2011, 2012
What can I say? I love Rex Stout books. They're my go-to when I need something light, easy to read, but with engaging characters, a realistic plot, and a good mystery. The Golden Spiders fills the bill just as well as other Stout books that I've read. Nero Wolfe is in all his massive glory; the food is as important as ever; Archie Goodwin is his usual irreverent self. But there is one difference from previous books I've read in this series: a scene of violence.

Like with Robert B. Parker, Stout d
Aug 12, 2015 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE GOLDEN SPIDERS. (1953). Rex Stout. ***1/2.
The golden spiders of the title refer to a set of earrings worn by one of the principal characters. It all starts out with a young boy from the New York Streets trying to pick up a few coins by entrapping passing motorists into having their windshields cleaned by him as they passed him on the street. Many of you have been tricked into this scam performance if you have been slowed down in rush-hour traffic in any of our large cities. When he was wipin
João  Cardeira Jorge
A very entertaining read, up to Stout's usual high standard. The plot is intriguing and interesting, with a nice investigation, a good sense of pace and development and some truly tense moments. Archie is funny as always, with his smart-mouth antics and Wolfe... well he's Nero Wolfe. The dry, sometimes childish, fiendishly clever and ruthless Wolf. I suppose your enjoyment of this series comes from your opinion on Nero Wolfe. To be honest he is not very likable but he has so much personality and ...more
Dec 14, 2014 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#22 in the Nero Wolfe series. An unusual case for Wolfe with a 12 year old client and a $4.30 retainer. This story was filmed as the pilot for A&E's Nero Wolfe series in 2000. The series starred Maury Chaykin as Wolfe and Timothy Hutton as Archie. Both the book and the film were worth the time spent.

Nero Wolfe is hired by a neighborhood kid, for $4.30, to look into a woman with golden spider earrings who asked him to call a cop while she was stopped at a light. The boy was run down two days
Dec 28, 2015 astaliegurec rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rex Stout's "The Golden Spiders" (initially published in 1953) is the 22nd book in his "Nero Wolfe" series. It's another excellent one with all the good stuff you'd expect by this point in the series. The single thing that I can find that would have improved the book would be if Stout had Wolfe give some closure to the mother of the young boy we're introduced to at the start of the book. He brought her in for a scene and she just gets forgotten by the end. Other than that, no problems. So, I'm r ...more
Nancy Butts
Mar 31, 2016 Nancy Butts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Book 22 in the Nero Wolfe series, and this one is neatly-plotted. The golden spiders in questions are a startling pair of earrings seen by a 12-year-old street urchin when a woman in a car whose windshield he’s washing asks him to call the cops He goes to Nero Wolfe to hire him to help the woman, and then ends up dead himself a day or so later. You know, a lot of Wolfe’s clients end up dead: at least the ones we meet in the first chapter or two. So if you need to hire him, wait until later in th ...more
Christopher Rush
Another of the sadder Nero Wolfe stories, this one is also among the more frustrating, primarily because an innocent boy is killed and Archie and Wolfe don't feel all that bad about it. Wolfe's dander is up more because people get killed who have been to his house (bad for business) more so than because they are people who are killed. This was so far my least favorite (at least within working memory) mystery, in part because of their strange attitudes, the slow pace of the investigation at times ...more
Jeff Miller
Nov 11, 2012 Jeff Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m not sure why I don’t read more mysteries than I do since when I do pick up one I generally enjoy them. Unlike my normal book reading experience I encounter mystery authors more via television and movies causing me to go back to the source. Mrs. Marple, Lord Peter Wimsey, etc were long my favorites before picking up and enjoying the books even more. Another case in point was the A&E series Nero Wolfe based on Rex Stout’s fictional detective. I just loved everything about that series from ...more
Adam Graham
The Golden Spiders finds Wolfe and Archie in ill-temper. Archie decides to admit a neighborhood boy who comes to Wolfe because of Wolfe’s antipathy to police and the fact that he saw a woman in a car apparently in trouble. Wolfe handles the boy well and agrees to help by tracing the plate of the car.

However, the boy is murdered the next day and the case goes to another level. The boy’s mother asks Wolfe to find out why he was killed and offers her son’s savings which amounts to $4.30 to find the
Cathy DuPont
Mar 24, 2012 Cathy DuPont rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: My favorite bookseller, Vanessa with thanks again!
Seventy-four books! That's 74 books written by Rex Stout and I had never heard of him until recently. Where have I been?

Just to make an easy intro, here's a quote from Wikipedia. Yes, I know you can't believe everything on Wiki but this is probably correct: "The Nero Wolfe corpus was nominated Best Mystery Series of the Century at Bouchercon 2000, the world's largest mystery convention, and Rex Stout was nominated Best Mystery Writer of the Century." And I had never heard of him!

My first book r
Feb 18, 2013 meeners rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
i read rex stout books the way others watch late-night reruns of tv shows from one's childhood, for those times when you don't quite want to turn off your brain entirely but you're too tired or too run down to power it up to full capacity. there's something so inviting and warm about rex stout, despite the subject material. to make another analogy: i suppose it's something like the drowsy pleasure one gets from hearing old friends talking together while you lie half asleep on the couch, content ...more
Mar 27, 2011 Brendan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again, I read and enjoyed a Rex Stout Nero Wolfe mystery. I’m still unsure about whether I like these because of the fantastic job the A&E television series did adapting them OR if I like them because they’re smart and well-written. Either way, they’re a delight and I’m going to be reading more, certainly.

A few thoughts about this particular story:

* I thought one of the big clues was rather obvious, and had been revealed by a question Nero asked pretty early in the proceedings. Oh well
May 28, 2016 JerryDeanHalleck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the better Nero Wolfe books. This one starts out strong and except for a slight sag in the middle, is a real page turner. Its tightly plotted. Archie is much more involved in this one and engages in some gun play. On the downside, there's less of Archie's sardonic wit and the usual Archie-Nero banter in this one. And unlike some other Nero Wolfe villains, this one is quite a nasty piece of work and you'll be glad when they're brought to account.
Jamie Jonas
Mar 17, 2014 Jamie Jonas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nero Wolfe. Momentous words. I can hardly begin to sum up what Rex Stout's Wolfe novels have meant to me since I began reading them in my teens. Stout is one of the great masters of his craft, truly an artisan of words. Yes, Agatha Christie was great. Yes, I'm fascinated by the novels of Raymond Chandler. Yet all other mystery writers in my mind bow to the astonishing talent of Stout.

"Golden Spiders" is no exception to the other fine works by this author. It also has a few unique twists, such as
Jul 18, 2014 Ian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Half the fun of reading a Stout -- and I don't think you can say this for many mystery writers -- is seeing the witty parley between the characters. Getting invited into Wolfe's brownstone is alone worth the price of admission, and then the plot's gravy. This one was OK in terms of the story, with a decent twist thrown in at the end.
Feb 14, 2016 Susie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
These Rex Stout novels featuring Nero Wolfe are comfort reads, in this case comfort sounds. The narrator, Michael Prichard, has the perfect voice for Archie Goodwin, Nero Wolfe and all of the other characters. His voice reminds me of old time radio, and it suits.
Read this book for my mystery book club. Set in 1952, the book showed its age, though it was well written and exceptionally well plotted. Sexism was rampant. Entertaining and I'm glad I read it.
Robert Zwilling
Jan 08, 2015 Robert Zwilling rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent period piece about New York City, easy to read, great cast of unusual characters. Archie Goodwin's running dialog makes this detective series hard to put down without finishing.
Apr 27, 2015 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
One of the things I love about Rex Stout's books is how every one has a slightly different style of opening. This one was almost charming, although things quickly turned dark.
Jo Marie
Loved the beginning of this : a 12 year old boy hires Wolfe for $4.30! But the story got too complicated and convoluted. I do enjoy Wolfe and Archie though and the assistants, especially Saul.
Suzan Flammang
Sep 21, 2015 Suzan Flammang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin.

These books hold up well over time. I have read them several times over the years. Thank you Rex Stout.
Vicki Cline
Aug 27, 2012 Vicki Cline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-mysteries
A 12-year old neighbor boy comes to Wolfe with a story of a women with golden spider earrings who whispered to him from the driver's seat of a car to get the police. He figures there must be money in the story somehow, and he'll split the loot with Wolfe. A few days later the boy is dead - run over by the same car. Then the car is found and there's evidence in it to link the car to the death of another person. Finally, a rich woman is found murdered not long after coming to see Wolfe wearing gol ...more
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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 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)

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