Might as Well Be Dead (Nero Wolfe, #27)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Might as Well Be Dead (Nero Wolfe #26)

by
3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  853 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Eleven years after his own thoughtlessness sent his only son, Paul, away from home, Nebraska businessman James Herold calls upon Nero Wolfe to track down the young man so that he can make amends. Reissue. NYT.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 13th 2003 by Bantam (first published 1956)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,192)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Alexis Neal
James R. Harold is looking for his long-lost son. The Missing Persons Bureau thinks it's a hopeless case, but that doesn't stop them from referring Harold to Wolfe (mostly so they can watch Wolfe stub his toe on it). And it certainly seems like a fairly impossible task. Paul Harold is a veritable needle in the haystack that is New York City. But as it turns out, finding him is easy. Overturning his recent conviction for first-degree murder, on the other hand--that will be a challenge. But Wolfe...more
Jill Hutchinson
Another goodie from the master of detective fiction, Rex Stout. In this book, Wolfe and Archie take on a missing persons case which has a bit of a twist which I won't reveal here. Additionally, a continuing character who only appeared periodically is murdered. Being a Nero Wolfe fanatic, I am extremely biased but if you haven't read this series you are missing something and the interaction between Wolfe and Archie is priceless.
Stephen Osborne
"When a hippopotamus is peeved, it's a lot of peeve." Archie Goodwin, the narrator of the Nero Wolfe tales, has a lovely turn of phrase. His employer does as well, although in a totally different way. When a lawyer suggests there should be a written agreement, Wolfe says,"There won't be. I take the risk of failure; you'll have to take the risk of my depravity." Wolfe often sends me to the dictionary, which isn't a bad thing. I've learned meanings to words I never would have known had that orchid...more
Perry Whitford
Nero Wolfe unusually decides to take a case gone cold from a 'cold-fish' businessman from Omaha, Nebraska, looking to find his exiled son after eleven years banishment for being wrongly accused of stealing funds from the family hardware company.
Perhaps insulted into action -if anything the slothful Wolfe ever roused himself to could be called by that name- the copious detective fires 'a random shot at an invisible target', planting an add and sending out Archie and Saul to be his bidding.

They re...more
Steven Vaughan-Nichols
One of the truly good Archie Goodwin/Nero Wolfe mysteries. It was a pleasure to revisit it.
Steven Key Meyers

Stout’s long-running riff on Sherlock Holmes is brilliant fun. In some seventy books and novellas written from 1934 to Stout’s death in 1975, Nero Wolfe is the brainy detective, Archie Goodwin his sidekick and housemate who writes up the stories. They are wonderfully readable entertainments, written in impeccably clean and propulsive prose. The usual setting is the great world city that was New York during Wolfe’s career, where Wolfe lives in an old brownstone from which he seldom stirs. He live

...more
Rascar Capac

The book was the first Rex Stout novel, featuring Nero Wolfe, I have read. I had heard a lot about the author, high recommendations, which were justified, as he was nominated for the greatest Mystery Writer of the Century, and his series the Best Mystery Series of The Century at Bouchercon 2000, the world's largest mystery convention.
The book starts when Wolfe gets a visit from James Herold asking him to find him his son, Paul Herold. The son was banished from his family and business when he was...more
Adam Graham
In Might as Well Be Dead, Wolfe is hired by a Nebraska businessman to find his son, Paul Herald. The older Herald had exiled his son eleven years earlier on the belief his son had stolen $11,000 from the business but had since learned that someone else committed the theft. He turns to Wolfe as a last result after having contacted the police and submitting a classified ad to get his attention.

Because Herald had monogramed luggage that he took with him, Wolfe supposed the that Paul retained the sa...more
Nan Silvernail
A father who kicked his son out because he thought the lad stole money from him and his business many years ago comes to Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin to find him. They find him all righty - on trial for the murder of the husband of a woman he has fallen in love with! Has he really gone that bad? Can Wolfe and Goodwin save him and reunite the lovers and the family?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SPOILERS CHANGING THEIR NAMES AND DISAPPEARING IN NEW YORK CITY

How unlucky can a guy ge...more
Nente
I'm not as a rule sensitive to feminist issues, but this is the limit. Not one of the characters, and neither, probably, the author, ever supposed that P.H. might be understood not as a Paul Harold, but as a Patricia Halliday or someone like that. Why didn't one call and ask if the advertisement was aimed at her?

That said, I liked everything else about the book.
Lisa Kucharski
Wolfe takes on a missing person who is found, and has also been convicted of murder. Taking the task to uncover a wrongful conviction as well as reuniting son to family.

In this book one of the team becomes a victim. It's written on the book cover's description. However, as one who is trying to read the books in order, and having had to read the series missing two of them due to waiting for them to get to the library... I discovered in this one the mention of another demise. So, if you have not r...more
Hope
I enjoyed the larger than usual presence of secondary Stout characters, like Saul, Fritz, and Lon, in this mystery about a man wrongly convicted of murdering his love's abusive husband.As usual with Wolfe books, you read for the characters more than plot.
Jz
#26 is a fun, quick read. I just loved the descriptions of the players, how they interacted, and how I actually guessed who-dun-it this time. (A rare enough occurrence that I get excited.) I get the impression that Rex Stout actually didn't like women, himself, from this book. The description of the mother of the condemned man was particularly unkind.
That said, i still liked the book as another period piece. Archie's descriptions of the clothes worn, especially by the men, are so vivid. I'm sur...more
Syrdarya
A man from Nebraska comes to hire Nero Wolfe to find his long-lost son, Paul Harold. Some years ago they had a falling out when the son was suspected of stealing a lot of money, but now the father knows Paul was innocent and would like to make amends. Archie sets out to investigate and discovers some information which leads him to believe that a man currently on trial for murder, Peter Hayes, is really Paul Harold - and he may have been framed again for this crime!

I found the story engaging and...more
Ed
Book #28 in the Nero Wolfe series. Nero fight the dual challenge of reuniting a man with his son and getting the son out of prison - all without stirring from his W. 35th St. brownstone.

Nero Wolfe series - Nero Wolfe is employed by a Nebraska businessman to locate his missing son. The young man left his family in shame after being accused of embezzling from the family business. Now, after more than a decade, the family learns that the son was falsely accused, and they wish to make good on the m...more
Jamie
I was fortunate enough to find a pile of Rex Stout books at a used book sale and this was in the mix. More violent and sinister than previous books of his I've read, I still enjoyed the layering of the plot created by Stout. The body count is pretty high but the cast of characters is too, so it all works together in the end. The one thing that struck me about this particular Wolf novel is the no-question-about-it illegal sleuthing done by Archie and Saul. I found myself wondering if I agreed wit...more
Marcy
I read one or two Nero Wolfe mysteries when I was young and don't recall thinking they were anything special. Now I think I was just too young to appreciate them at the time. I rediscovered the series a couple of years ago and went on an absolute binge, reading up every last volume on the library shelves, including the ones I had to send them to fetch out of storage. I love the interplay between Nero Wolfe & Archie, and Rex Stout's witty, intelligent writing. I was glad to run across this on...more
Sharon Eudy Neufeld
good but not great Nero Wolf.

A midwest businessman hires Wolfe to find his son whom he disowned some 11 years earlier. He had believed his son had stolen $28,000 from his business. In 1956, that was enough for two nice houses or 10 nice cars! Now having found he is mistaken, he wants to locate his son and make amends. No Lily Rowan, virtually no orchids, less of Archie's wit than I enjoy, but a more believable denouement that some
JulieLaLa
What a great, convoluted story! It starts with a missing person who is found by Nero and Archie, who has also just been found guilty of murder, but, of course, he's most likely innocent. In trying to puzzle out the real killer, THREE more murders occur, much to Nero Wolfe's consternation, but, he gets the bad guy/gal in the end.
Quite a good mystery - probably my favourite of the more than half-dozen I've read so far!
Jason
This one was okay-not a great as the others. It didn't really hold my attention, and the solution kind of came out of no where.
CatBookMom
I'm not sure why this didn't please me as much as the other and far earlier Nero Wolfe audiobooks I've been listening to. Maybe because there is more off-stage happenings? Maybe because the original murder didn't seem nearly as immediate? I know I kept having to re-focus on the two principal female characters to distinguish them from one another.
Marvin
Mid-range Stout: familiar, readable, with a certain amount of wit and charm. The coincidence-laden mystery is nothing special, but is competently handled; as usual, the bulk of the book's appeal can be credited to Archie Goodwin and his abilities to A) needle Wolfe into action and B) narrate a story. Overall, an enjoyable yarn.
Marian
This is my first time reading Nero Wolfe, although me and the hub watched almost all of the supa-fun A&E series featuring an awesome Maury Chaikin as Wolfe. This book is probably representative of the series, which is more enjoyable for the central characters and time period than for the actual mystery/murder plot itself.
Vicki Cline
A man asks Wolfe to find his son, missing for 11 years. Turns out he has been convicted of killing his sweetheart's husband. Wolfe must find out whodunit and why. Before the end of the book, there are three more corpses. I can never figure out who the killer is in these books, but that doesn't bother me much.
Molly Hansen
It was interesting to read these stories with the history provided in the introduction. Like many others, I continue to re-read Nero Wolfe stories for the wonderful prose -- even though I often remember from the first few pages what twists will come down the line. I just thoroughly enjoy Rex Stout's writing!
John Carter
When I’d been reading mysteries for a year or two my mother said something about Archie Goodwin that I didn’t understand. “What? You haven’t read Nero Wolfe?” That was immediately remedied, and none too soon. This is a standard outing for the seventh-of-a-ton sleuth, which means very good indeed.
Audrey
This was the audio version of this mystery. Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series is one of my favorite mystery series.

Nero and Archie are at their best in this story as a tragedy hits a to close to home and they have to hunt down a vicious killer before he/she kills again.
Christine
This is classic Nero Wolfe. Archie is in fine form and all the usual stringers make an appearance. The widow is a beauty. The accused is pathetically in need of Wolfe's genius. A great fifties-era mystery, full of New York color. I loved it!
Jenn
You won't find me reviewing many mysteries, because I am totally incapable of doing it without spoilers. I have several Nero Wolfe books on here, and there will be more. If I ever come across one I don't like, I'll mention it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 39 40 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Murder in E Minor
  • The Barbarous Coast
  • The Dain Curse
  • The Big Sleep; Farewell, My Lovely; The High Window
  • The Case of the Singing Skirt
  • Flynn (Flynn, #1)
  • Maigret and the Man on the Bench
  • Sweet Danger (Albert Campion Mystery #5)
  • The Dreadful Lemon Sky (Travis McGee #16)
41112
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)

Share This Book

“I will ride my luck on occasion, but I like to pick the occasion.” 21 likes
More quotes…