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Trouble in Triplicate (Nero Wolfe #14)

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,406 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Nero Wolfe investigates the murders of Dazy Perrit, an underworld kingpin, Ben Jensen, a well-connected publisher, and Eugene R. Poor, an inventor of novelties. Reissue.
Paperback, 1ST edition, 186 pages
Published September 1951 by Bantam Books (first published February 11th 1949)
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Nov 25, 2014 Evgeny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a compilation of three Nero Wolfe novellas:

Before I Die. A well-known New York gangster asked Nero Wolfe to help him with a blackmail problem which cannot be solved by conventional gangster methods. Archie is dead set on refusing to take case (this has got to be the first time), but there is a severe meat shortage in US and Nero Wolfe do not consider a meal without meat as such. He accepts the offer in exchange for a nice chunk of beef - in addition to his regular fees.

This is probably t
Bill  Kerwin

There are pleasures here for the Nero Wolfe addict in this collection of three novellas, but this is far from Rex Stout's best. Highlight: chafing under WW II rationing, Wolfe the gourmet works for a crime boss in order to obtain good black market meat.
elisia conrardy
Jun 25, 2014 elisia conrardy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trouble in triplicate

I just can't stop reading the Nero Wolfe books by Rec Stout. this is another winner. The pairing of Wolfe and Goodwin is excellent. but I have to say Saul Panzer and Fritz give the books a tie that keeps you wanting to see more and more of them. in my minds eye I see the characters acted out by actors who played a few years ago. Even if you didn't see the few episodes that were made. I think you will enjoy getting to know the characters. stout is an excellent story teller.
"Trouble in Triplicate" is the 14th book in Rex Stout's "Nero Wolfe" series. It's NOT a novel. Instead, it's a set of three short stories ("Before I Die," "Help Wanted, Male," and "Instead of Evidence" -- each only about 70 pages long). The book, itself, was first published in 1949. But, the short stories, for some reason, are out of order amongst themselves and within the series (they were initially published in 1947, 1945, and 1946 (respectively), whereas the previous book was first published ...more
Jan 08, 2015 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
TROUBLE N TRIPLICATE. (1949). Rex Stout. ***1/2.
This is a collection of three short stories – almost novellas – by Stout, featuring Nero Wolfe. The stories contained are:
Before I Die: Dazy Perrit comes to Wolfe’s office with a problem. He is being blackmailed by his daughter. Well…she is not actually his daughter, but a young woman whom he has hired to pretend that she is his daughter. Perrit is a big-time gangster, and didn’t want any of his enemies to find out that he had a daughter. That woul
Alison C
Trouble in Triplicate, by Rex Stout, consists of three Nero Wolfe novellas packaged in one book. The first, "Before I Die," involves a gangster who wants to hire Wolfe to protect his daughter and to prevent a hired woman who's pretending to be his daughter from blackmailing him further than she already has; "Help Wanted, Male," has Wolfe in fear for his own life, needing to hire an imposter to cover for him while he seeks the would-be murderer; and the last, "Instead of Evidence," finds Wolfe in ...more
Christopher Rush
I probably should give this 4 stars, but I am selfishly holding it back because I still have a lingering (14-year-old) uncertainty about the "Help Wanted, Male" and "Before I Die" episodes of the Hutton/Chaykin Nero Wolfe series, mainly because I missed them the first time around and only saw them later, so they felt "off" (and still sort of do, though now I've read them, perhaps they'll feel more like "real episodes" ... if that makes sense). I do, now, like the little bit of change of the "Bef ...more
Nan Silvernail
Apr 16, 2012 Nan Silvernail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 Nero Wolfe Mysteries

1) Before I Die - Right in the middle of the wartime meat shortage a well-known gangster with an underworld problem and a connection to the black market walks into the old brownstone. What, for Nero Wolfe could be better? Fritz better warm up the oven while Wolfe warms his brain and Goodwin warms his feet - and his gun!

2) Help Wanted, Male - A man comes to Nero Wolfe with a note that says, "ARE ABOUT TO DIE— AND I WILL WATCH YOU DIE!" By the next day he is dead. Regrettable
How Stout loved writing novellas! Three good ones are collected in this book. First there's "Before I Die," in which Wolfe--tired of the meat shortage--gets involved with gangsters; the classic "Help Wanted, Male" which features a threat to Wolfe's life, and last the memorable "Instead of Evidence," another story of a threatened man. What can one say?--Archie, Fritz and Theodore are all in the house on West 35th Street, and for a while the reader is back in the mid 1940's.
May 25, 2014 Hope rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 stars for the second story, "Help Wanted, Male," which is brilliant and funny and just as good as the stories in Black Orchids and Four to Go, my favorite Stout collections (themed around orchids and holidays, respectively). The final story here, "Instead of Evidence" is profoundly creepy and not in a good way. Skip it, I think.
Nov 29, 2014 Ted rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These stories are set during or just after WW2. Three short(er) mysteries for Nero Wolfe and Archie, with the usual cast present for two and missing for one. (The tough boys are all in Europe or the Pacific, and Archie wants to join them.)

Good stories by Stout, good reading by Prichard.
Monica Willyard
Feb 03, 2015 Monica Willyard rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nls
I enjoyed most of the books in the series. This one isn't my favorite, though it is a pleasant read. I especially didn't like the first story. The other two made it worth finishing.
Used to love but now seems artificial period piece --just a puzzle without character development. Archie very cool. Read at Judy d's in Amherst which was fun
Kate  K. F.
Dec 17, 2012 Kate K. F. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nero Wolfe is one of my favorite mystery characters as he plays on the tradition of the brilliant detective that never leaves his home. I appreciate the books with three stories in them as Rex Stout's writing is fast and witty and always leaves me wanting more. For lovers of older mysteries, these books are a treat. Archie Goodwin is Wolfe's Watson though he doesn't think that highly of Wolfe and enjoys the complex New York they live in. Readers of The Dresden Files and noir will recognize the s ...more
Paul Unruh
The book contains three short stories:
Before I Die
Help Wanted, Male
Instead of Evidence

Steven Freeman
Feb 02, 2016 Steven Freeman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Archie and Wolfe solve three mysteries where the victims all thought they were going to be murdered.
Jeff Hobbs
Read so far:

Before I Die --
Help Wanted, Male --
Instead of Evidence --
Aug 28, 2015 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book. Before I Die is the best.
Steven Vaughan-Nichols
Years ago this was my first Nero Wolfe book. The three novellas still engage and enthrall me.
Apr 01, 2016 Serena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
My Rating System:
* couldn't finish, ** wouldn't recommend, *** would recommend, **** would read again, ***** have read again.
Jul 19, 2013 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to say that the introductions to the Rex Stout series are as entertaining as the novels themselves. They usually have a direct correlation to the story (or stories) to follow, and this one was no exception. The intro dares you to read three Nero Wolfe stories in a row and defies you to then not be totally sucked into Nero and Archie's world. Then follows three great Nero shorts. Such fun abounds in these pages-confirming my opinion that Nero and Archie are two of the greatest characters i ...more
Nancy Butts
Mar 20, 2016 Nancy Butts rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Book 14, and another collection of three novellas, all with a common theme: people who aren’t who they purport to be. The first novella is about a crime lord who needs to get rid of a troublesome “fake” daughter that he himself hired to pretend; the second is about a surrogate that Nero Wolfe hires to pretend to be him when he receives a death threat; and the third id about a business partner in a post-war novelty firm who retains Nero Wolfe to investigate his murder before it happens.
Aug 10, 2012 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of three Nero Wolfe stories. In the first a mobster visits Wolf to get his daughter to stop blackmailing him. In the second a publisher that Wolfe worked with to catch a traitor recieves a death threat. In the third A novelties maker comes to Wolfe saying he knows who will kill him and is shortly thereafter killed by an exploding cigar. I love Wolfe and Archies banter and the humor injected in the stories.
Aug 29, 2010 Sun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of three Nero Wolfe stories that is better on second reading! I'd forgotten how funny Stout can be via the persona of Archie Goodwin. "Before I Die" features a particularly funny chain of events hinging on whether Wolfe should accept a mobster for a client. The second story, "Help Wanted, Male" shows what happens when Wolfe receives a death threat and the third "Instead of Evidence" is simply explosive.
#14 in the Nero Wolfe series.

Nero Wolfe series - Trouble in Triplicate is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas The book contains three stories that first appeared in The American Magazine:"Before I Die" (April 1947); "Help Wanted, Male" (August 1945); and, "Instead of Evidence" (May 1946, as "Murder on Tuesday"). Each of the stories involves a character who is posing as someone else.
Dec 13, 2011 Amos rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Three separate tales staring Mr Wolfe- a morbidly obese Sherlock Holmes type who solves crimes from the comfort of his own home while continuously shoveling beer & snacks down his throat. Sort of entertaining... Sort of gross... Sort of repetitive in form and in the tale's inevitable outcomes... (mildly)Enjoyed it for what it was, but doubt I'll be returning to this Wolfe's layer.....
Lisa Kucharski
Jan 21, 2013 Lisa Kucharski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay things you learn while reading this trio of short stories- 1. Death threats can be fatal. 2. Nero Wolfe doesn't do body guard work, he solves crimes he is not a crime-preventer... so don't ask him to protect you.

Lots of fun, crazy characters for Archie to goggle over and toss out the door. Bullets fly, people die and things explode. Now go read all about it.
Three short stories with Nero Wolfe. The first one was made into on the the AMC tv episodes starring Timothy Hutton. I believe the next two are also.

I am always of fan of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe, and these three stories reinforced that attitude. Nice twists and much fun to read!
Jared Gillins
Apr 12, 2016 Jared Gillins rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I like the occasional books where Stout includes three short mysteries instead of one longer one. Breaks things up.

All three of these were good, and I even figured one of them out on my own (Stout usually withholds just enough information to keep you in the dark).
Jun 05, 2010 Mmyoung rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Stout was never his best writing short stories nor did he deal well with the Second World War. None of the stories in this collection show Stout at his best nor do Goodwin and Wolfe show the skills or wit that generally endear them to readers.
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add cover 2 15 Feb 02, 2015 03:09PM  
  • The Last Coincidence (Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe)
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  • Taming A Sea-Horse (Spenser, #13)
  • Flynn's In (Flynn, #3)
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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