Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Trio for Blunt Instruments (Nero Wolfe, #39)” as Want to Read:
Trio for Blunt Instruments (Nero Wolfe, #39)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Trio for Blunt Instruments (Nero Wolfe #39)

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  991 ratings  ·  38 reviews
If Nero Wolfe and his sidekick, Archie, would ever admit to an Achilles' heel-which they wouldn't-it would be a weakness for damsels in distress. In these three charming chillers the duo answer the call of helpless heroines with nothing to lose-except their lives. First a beautiful young Aphrodite comes to Nero looking for a hero-and the answer to the mystery of her father ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 1st 1997 by Crimeline (first published 1963)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Trio for Blunt Instruments, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Trio for Blunt Instruments

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonThe Big Sleep by Raymond ChandlerThe Maltese Falcon by Dashiell HammettThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonMurder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Detective Fiction
96th out of 719 books — 808 voters
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldA Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty  SmithBreakfast at Tiffany's by Truman CapoteExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Tales of New York City
335th out of 911 books — 849 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,433)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
The anthology consists of three novellas:

Kill Now - Pay Later.
Nero Wolfe's favorite bootblack witnessed a crime and he hinted at it to the detective while working on his shoes, but he did not give any details. He was later killed, but the police decided it was a suicide, so it is up to Wolfe to prove it was a murder and find the culprit. I need to remind you at the time the book was written bootblacks were a big deal: just take a look at the picture above for the proof. I will give extra bonus p
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
While not Stout's best work, these three novellas do keep the pot a-boiling (pun intended). I learned to oven-roast corn from the story "Murder is Corny", which I first read as a reprint in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine back in the 1970s. We tried Wolfe's method with fresh-picked sweetcorn from the backyard garden and it was unbelievable. The recipe is the best part of the story--but it's definitely worth it. Angels sing softly in the distance when you eat corn roasted this way.

"Kill Now, Pay La
Jill Hutchinson
If you see that I have read a Nero Wolfe book by Rex Stout you can bet that it gets a high rating. This series and the characters are my favorites of classic mystery. It is not so much the plotting of the mystery which sometimes is a bit weak as much as the ambiance of life in the rather luxurious old brownstone with Wolfe, his assistant/confidant Archie Goodwin, and Fritz, the best cook in NYC. The stories are eccentric and sometimes humorous and they hold your interest from beginning to end. T ...more
Ronnie Justice

If you haven't read Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe you should. If you have there is no need to keep reading this review.

Stout's work spans decades and reviewing each Nero Wolfe story is a little unnecessary and I intend to publish this same review as I finish the volume it appears with.

First, they all hinge on the amiable narration of Archie Goodwin, Wolfe's assistant. Second, Wolfe rarely leaves his house. Third, the mysteries are usually solved not by chance or obscure knowledge of some hideous poiso
mom and bob have gotten me into these silly books~ makes you say things like "pfui!" and wishing i had an orchid room at the top of my brownstone home..
Nan Silvernail
Kill Now - Pay Later
A chunk of petrified wood started the murder. A push through a high window finished it. Nero Wolfe's Grecian shoe-shiner is accused. His lovely daughter appeals for help. Wolfe must solve this or lose the best and most punctual bootblack he has ever employed. Intolerable!

Murder is Corny
A length of iron pipe ended the delivery man's life, so Wolfe's special order of fresh picked corn never arrived. Worse, the farmer's lovely daughter, semi-engaged to the deceased told the poli
#39 in the Nero Wolfe series. 3 novellas featuring the rotund detective:
"Kill Now — Pay Later" has Nero's bookblack accused of murder and suicide. His daughter begs Wolfe to clear her father's name and tells him her father had referred to Wolfe as "a great man, the greatest in the world." How could Wolfe resist.
"Murder Is Corny" has the deliveryman of Wolfe's weekly shipment of sweet corn bludgeoned to death at his prior stop and the police have found his notebook with Archie Goodwin's name list
Bill  Kerwin
Not Stout's best. The first of these three novellas "Kill Now--Pay Later"--in which Wolfe's bootblack witnesses a murder and is subsequently murdered himself--is a rehash of the typical Stout corporate crime tale, and actually contains the cliche of a victim writing his murderer's name in blood. (Stout was almost eighty by this time; maybe he just didn't give a damn.) The second tale "Murder is Corny"--in which Wolfe solves a crime by meditating on the unorthodox way his weekly delivery of gourm ...more
Brenda Margriet
Critics have said some of the best NW's stories are the novellas, but I've always preferred the longer novels. That being said, I've never met a NW/AG story I haven't liked.

"Kill Now — Pay Later" - Nero is furious when his bootblack is killed - now he has to find a new one. So when the dead man's daughter asks for help, it doesn't take Archie much prodding to get him involved.

"Murder Is Corny" - Once again, Nero is affronted when his delivery of corn is completely wrong - never mind the fact the
Three novellas and the first "Kill Now - Pay Later" was just plain bad. It was formulaic with Archie having to supply the tired plot of having difficulty rounding up the suspects into Wolfe's office. It felt like the characters were A, B and C with the names inserted when the story was finished.

The other two novellas, Murder is Corny" and "Blood Will Tell", extends the partnership of Wolfe and Goodwin, by having the suspicion fall Archie with Wolfe having to decide to extend himself or not and t
Fun trio of mysteries from the always awesome Rex Stout.
Kill Now- Pay Later -- Nero's shoeshine man may be involved in a murder. He was the first on the scene and the murdered man was involved with the shoeshine's daughter. But when the shoeshine ends up dead, Wolfe believes that the daughter might be next.
Murder is Corny -- Murder once again comes to Wolfe's house when a girl that Archie once dated discovers a body and claims that Archie was the man she was supposed to meet. Her father supplied
I love Nero Wolf and Archie Goodwin. Reading one of Stout's detective novels is just a feel-good trip into the past. And this was great because it was three short stories.
A great collection of Nero Wolfe short stories that give you a sampling of why this series is so beloved and why it's lasted so long.

Nice mix of mysteries and just a great read.
Three routine Nero Wolfe stories. The third one was the best for me. I think his style works better in this shorter framework,
The food, the orchids, the mental acuity of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin makes we want to read more.
CJ Reader
Archie at his very best wits, and what's not to enjoy about that?
Kate  K. F.
Trio for Blunt Instruments is a classic Wolfe collection with a mix of stories that are sad, tricky and charming. As I write up this review I can't remember any of the stories in particular which means it wasn't one of the more memorable collections. Stout has written so many Wolfe stories and I always enjoy them since I love going back into that particular vision of New York. A good read but not a stand out.
My first Rex Stout read. Mildly entertaining, quirky character.

11..He thought she was going to flop, and a woman off the rail is not only unwelcome, she is not to be borne.
17..Wolfe to woman who offered wad of bills to hire him:"Your money. Take it. It is, as you say, nothing for a job like this, and if I am quixotic enough to to undertake it I don't want a tip. Archie (his Watson) "It will take dexterity. Your intelligence guided by experience."
Vicki Cline
Another set of three novellas, no one stands out. I keep wondering why Inspector Cramer keeps pulling Archie in for questioning, holding him overnight in many cases, when he knows full well, after having been involved with dozens and dozens of cases with Wolfe, that Wolfe is always right and anyway, Archie is not going to give him anything useful. I guess there wouldn't be any conflict without Cramer's amnesia.
Jan 10, 2014 Jz rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery, own
I particularly liked the last one. Yes, again, I should have gotten it. So what? I like all the stories of Rex Stout, but some are better than others. The one about the corn didn't move me, on screen or in print. So what? I still get to spend some time in the presence of Archie and Mr. Wolfe. It's all good.
Stout nagu Stout ikka. Nero Wolfe ja Archie Goodwin, ei miskit erilist. Sama ladus stiil nagu tavaliselt. Tõlge ka täitsa kobe. Konkreetse üllitise keskmisest suuremaks kasuks kõneleb see, et kokku on kogutud kolm lühijuttu, mis tähendab, et linnas ühistranspordiga ringi kolistades jõuab parasjagu ühe lookese päevas läbi lugeda.
The last trio of novellas published during Rex Stout's life ("Death Times Three" was published posthumously, but the stories were much older): "Kill Now - Pay Later", "Murder is Corny" and "Blood Will Tell".

The first two tales are classic Archie & Wolfe. I felt the third one lacked the usual humor and energy.
Archie Pieplow
Rex Stout is one of my favorite authors and I love the Nero Wolfe series. Thanks to a brain injury I don't have a very good short-term memory, so I can re-read a mystery over and over again and it's always like reading it the first time.
G Steve
This book contains one of my favorite Nero Wolfe stories: Murder is Corny. It has everything: a girl, Archie being grumby, Nero being contankerous, Fritz whinging, dynamite, and the recipe for Sweet Corn.
I enjoyed this re-published collection of three short stories about Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. Can't put them down--pretty women in distress, great food, and art deco. What's not to love?
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael Richardson
This is three stories. I give them all a 7/10, but if really faint praise for Rex Stout.
Collection of Nero Wolfe short stories that are perhaps the best of the orchid loving detective.
I'm convinced now--I shouldn't have given these collections such short shrift. Fun read.
Read in college for my Intro to Literary Studies class (it had a mystery theme).
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 47 48 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Fade to Black
  • In the Midst of Death (Matthew Scudder, #3)
  • Chandler: Later Novels and Other Writings
  • The Case of the Blonde Bonanza
  • Murder for Christmas
  • Looking For Rachel Wallace (Spenser, #6)
  • Cinnamon Skin (Travis McGee #20)
  • Flynn (Flynn, #1)
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)
Fer-de-Lance (Nero Wolfe, #1) Some Buried Caesar (Nero Wolfe, #6) Too Many Cooks (Nero Wolfe, #5) The League of Frightened Men (Nero Wolfe, #2) Black Orchids (Nero Wolfe, #9)

Share This Book

“More people saying what they believe would be a great improvement. Because I often do I am unfit for common intercourse.-Nero Wolfe in "Blood Will Tell” 3 likes
More quotes…