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The Rubber Band/The Red Box 2-in-1

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  404 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
A grand master of the form, Rex Stout is one of America’s greatest mystery writers, and his literary creation Nero Wolfe is one of fiction’s greatest detectives. Here, in Stout’s third and fourth complete Wolfe mysteries, the arrogant, gourmandizing, sedentary sleuth and his trusty man-about-town, Archie Goodwin, solve two of their most baffling cases.

The Rubber Band

Paperback, 446 pages
Published February 24th 2009 by Bantam
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Community Reviews

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Jan 19, 2010 Mark rated it it was amazing
When I was a kid, I was a murder mystery junkie. I read some Rex Stout/Nero Wolfe short stories in Ellery Queen Magazine (which I used to subscibe to) but they didn't really do it for me. I was more into the Agatha Christie brit-crime than the American model. I picked this up at the library and now I realize I was totally too young to get it. There's a reason why certain authors/characters are considered classics in the genre and I get it now. Where to I start? Archie and Nero Wolfe are great ch ...more
Aug 26, 2009 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Nero Wolfe leaves his house!
Jul 31, 2010 Hobart rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010-reads
With the third installment of many series, you can see the author settling into the world he's creating and while there are hints of it, Stout's been pretty at home since Day 1--he just adjusts the furniture a bit in The Rubber Band.

I have a pretty good sense of history, but it consistently throws me when someone in an early 20th century novel makes a reference to something in their recent past (or, in this case, the past of their parents) which is straight out of a Western movie. I can look at
Feb 21, 2017 Stephanie rated it really liked it
I love me some Nero Wolfe! I wish they had kept the show going. Best part of these two stories was the one where Nero actually left the house! LOL
Dec 27, 2011 John rated it really liked it
A good classic pair of Wolfe mysteries that happen to go well back-to-back. Both mysteries are Byzantine enough that I felt like I almost had a grip on the solution, but in the end fell short. Both made me laugh out loud at some of the banter between Wolfe and Goodwin and Cramer. Both mysteries had long memories back into the past, and both featured a bunch of corpses.

The Rubber Band was the more clever of the two mysteries on a technical level, I felt, weaving a number of strands together into
Feb 08, 2014 Alicea rated it really liked it

The Rubber Band follows a young woman on a quest to solve a mystery and fulfill a promise owed to her father (recently deceased). Of course, nothing is every simple in a Nero Wolfe mystery so from the beginning there is murder, intrigue, and suspicion on all sides. Wolfe (and Archie!) are at their best in this novel and culminates in a shocking ending that left me with my mouth agape in wonderment.

The Red Box started out in the style of a whodunit except where the suspects were numerous but the
Oct 24, 2014 Lisa rated it liked it
I've only finished the first in this 2-novels-1-book collection; I want to save the other for another moment when I'm feeling classical mystery inclined. I always enjoy Nero Wolfe, his mannerisms and love of language, Archie Goodwin's attitude and observations, the description of glorious meals provided by Fritz. The Rubber Band was a fun read, as ever with Rex Stout, dealing with an adventuress searching for the fortune her father said her deserved, an English Marquis, some characters from the ...more
Alison C
Mar 04, 2015 Alison C rated it liked it
Two more entries in the Nero Wolfe series, these from 1936 and 1937 respectively. Told as always from the perspective of Archie Goodwin, who manages as usual to fall for the girl in each case (though, of course, they do not fall for him). And Nero Wolfe is magnificent as always, too. I only discovered this series in the last couple of years, when a number of 2-in-1 omnibus editions began to appear, and having read I think six so far, I'm quite enamoured of Stout's depiction of people and attitud ...more
Oct 21, 2014 Carolyn rated it it was amazing
My mother and I collected every Nero Wolf mystery. I have them safely stored away. Then I reread these two goodies. I had forgotten the quotable bits of humor and the incredible vocabulary. In The Rubber Band, the method of murder is the standard shot which a gun; in the Red Box the method is less direct. Authorities on these matters say that women prefer the more indirect. I guess Stout agrees, and that is as much as I am going to give away. Though I had read both, I forgot who did it, and sat ...more
Oct 04, 2015 Helen rated it really liked it
Spending time with Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin is always a good time. The Nero Wolfe mysteries are always enjoyable, even if, as with these two stories, the reader can guess by the end who the killer is and how he or she managed it. The fun comes from Archie, narrator and assistant to the orchid-loving genius detective. The A&E series of 15 years ago introduced me to the pair, and the books keep them alive in my memory. The series is good for times when you want a mystery to read where you ...more
Deb W
Nov 04, 2015 Deb W rated it it was ok
The Rubber Band was an interesting, if dated, mystery that had me guessing to the end.

The Red Box was pretty much the same.

I don't think I will be looking for more by Rex Stout. Basically Archie runs around doing the fat man's bidding, and reporting back his observations, while the fat man drinks beer with his eyes half closed and attends to his orchids. After two hundred pages of that he solves the mystery, which he's figured out by his sheer mental capacities.

I don't think I could take a thir
Feb 04, 2011 Leesa rated it it was amazing
Another amazing Nero Wolfe mystery. The Rubber Band was incredible, possibly the best mystery I have read from Rex Stout in the Nero Wolfe series so far. It had lots of fun twists and turns, and the ending was quite unexpected. Likewise, the Red Box had some fun twists, with a surprise ending. It is testament to the talent of Rex Stout that I can never tell who the culprit is--he hides it well. Wolfe always surprises, with his shenanigans and tricks to force the villian to show him/herself. High ...more
Jul 21, 2010 Jessica rated it really liked it
"What for? I can see it. I sit down and explain to him why I think he's a liar. He says 'indeed' and shuts his eyes and opens them again when he gets ready to ring for beer. He ought to start a brewery. Some great men, when they die, leave their brains to a scientific laboratory. Wolfe ought to leave his stomach." - The Red Box
Apr 23, 2010 Hollidae rated it it was amazing
I read and love the Nero Wolfe books mostly for the relationship between Archie and Nero. They are like an old married couple, but of course they are not. Both of these titles do not disappoint, and I thought the mysteries were interesting. I would highly recommend Nero Wolfe to anyone - what a great character!
Apr 30, 2015 Pat rated it really liked it
Two very different stories in one book...It is amazing how Rex Stout has Nero Wolfe take on radically different cases from book to book but each one is unfolded in a series of moves that highlight Wolfe's genius -and the author's. Wolfe's office is the center of the action since he rarely leaves home and his keen mind drives all investigation and interrogation. Very clever reads!
Jan 07, 2015 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Classic Wolfe

Two more classic Nero Wolfe mysteries. I love the Nero Wolfe stories, with the cast of idiosyncratic characters. These stories also serve as a glimpse into past time periods.
Mar 23, 2009 Lisalou rated it it was amazing
Overall two good books. They are linked chronologically which wasn't the case of another double one I read. These two are early in the Nero Wolfe series. Well written, interesting endings and really quite funny.
K.B. Hallman
Archie and Nero never disappoint. Never.
Robin Hull hogg henley
Nov 12, 2014 Robin Hull hogg henley rated it really liked it
Good solid Nero Wolfe
Jan 27, 2015 ReadsinBed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Revisiting a favorite detective is never disappointing. If you are not familiar with Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, seek them out.
Sarah Christenson
Sep 07, 2013 Sarah Christenson rated it it was amazing
Another solid Nero Wolfe
Michael Baranowski
May 20, 2015 Michael Baranowski rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I feel that I should like Nero Wolfe. Even when I was reading this book I found myself appreciating it, which unfortunately can be a different thing than enjoying it.
Oct 16, 2014 Kathy rated it really liked it
Nero Wolfe is the best. Loved the radio series. Love the books. Occasionally the banter is hard to follow, but the interaction and characters are great. The mysteries do not disappoint.
Jill Hutchinson
Feb 13, 2010 Jill Hutchinson rated it it was amazing
See my comments on "Full House" for review.
Jud Hanson
Jul 17, 2016 Jud Hanson rated it it was amazing
Two more excellent Nero Wolfe novels: one involving a debt from decades earlier and the second involving family secrets that some will kill to keep. I highly recommend both novels.
Paul Walker
Paul Walker rated it really liked it
Oct 01, 2015
M Kemp
M Kemp rated it it was amazing
May 15, 2015
L A rated it it was amazing
Apr 02, 2015
Ben Jenkinson
Ben Jenkinson rated it it was amazing
Jan 16, 2012
Stella rated it really liked it
May 01, 2013
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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...

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“You can’t tolerate a decent and swift conclusion to a skirmish between an individual and what you call society, as long as you have it in your power to turn it into a ghastly and prolonged struggle; the victim must squirm like a worm in your fingers, not for ten minutes, but for ten months. Pfui! I don’t like the law. It was not I, but a great philosopher, who said that the law is an ass.” 1 likes
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