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Three for the Chair (Nero Wolfe #28)

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  1,139 ratings  ·  40 reviews
One thing is certain to distract Nero Wolfe from his culinary and horticultural pursuits: murder. This time Wolfe and his able assistant, Archie Goodwin, are put in the hot seat when they are called upon to investigate three different murders.
ebook, 240 pages
Published May 26th 2010 by Crimeline (first published 1955)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,631)
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Evgeny
This anthology consists of tree novellas:

A Window for Death. A prodigal son An estranged member of a family comes back after a long time for a reunion.
A Prodigal Son
The said reunion was very short-lived as he dies from pneumonia. The late guy stroke it rich, but now his siblings see possible complications with their inheritance and one of them even suspects foul play in his brother's death. Nero Wolfe is the guy they ended up consulting. Can an obvious case of pneumonia be a murder?

An interesting deduction m
...more
Judy
Three novellas by Rex Stout. In "A Window for Death" a man returns to his family after years of absence only to be cleverly murdered. "Immune to Murder" features that rare occasion when Nero Wolfe leaves his brownstone to go to the Adirondacks where he has been invited to prepared a special trout dinner for a visiting ambassador and other dignitaries. Naturally one of them is found dead and it's up to Wolfe to find the killer. And in "Too Many Detectives" Wolfe and Archie Goodwin are summoned to ...more
David Miller
Three more first-rate Nero Wolfe stories. I love the orderliness of these books. As in "The Divine Comedy", once the pattern is established (the brownstone townhouse, the morning and evening hours with the orchids, the dislike of leaving home, the dichotomy of Archie as the man-of-action and Wolfe as the man-of-thought), much of the interest in each book is the deviation from the pattern. Two of the stories in this book have Wolfe leaving home. In one of them, Wolfe does the cooking, instead of ...more
Alger
Three uneven stories with few surprises.

It may be a sign that I have been reading too many of Stout's novels on recent weeks, but I am now able to not only pinpoint the murderer upon meeting them, but also to identify the method of killing. Stout was never an original author - merely a highly entertaining one - and so I try not to be too critical on the points of the mystery plot unless the premise is too absurd or otherwise distracting. My having over-read Stout certainly influences my opinion
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Alison C
Three for the Chair is another trio of Nero Wolfe novellas by Rex Stout, including "A Window for Death," about a uranium miner who attempts to reconcile with his family but is murdered during his attempt; "Immune to Murder," one of the rare tales where Nero Wolfe leaves his home, in this case to travel to the Adirondacks in order to prepare a special meal for a visiting ambassador, only to find himself detained and inconvenienced when one of the party is killed; and "Too Many Detectives," wherei ...more
Maura
not as good as a full length novel, but I'll take Archie in short story form any day. :)
Jonathan
I started reading Rex Stout’s books back in 1997 when I got a couple of the books as Christmas gifts. Now I am not much of a mystery reader except a couple of the Sherlock Holmes books. I couldn’t put down this book. It is one of the few books Rex has written that has not one story but three short cases that Nero Wolfe has worked. The stories in general are the best Stout as an author has ever done. This shows how his skill in handling characters and a plot in novelette form. The dialogue is gre ...more
Jessi
A Window for Death
A newly reunited family is once again torn asunder when the wealthy oldest brother dies. It's not a surprise, he had pneumonia, but his siblings wonder enough to hire Nero Wolfe.
Wolfe interviews the doctor, the nurse, the three remaining siblings as well as one spouse and manages to deduce the killer
Immune to Murder
Wolfe has been hired to cook trout for a diplomat but while at the man's rustic cottage, there's a murder. The victim was not particularly well-liked so there's no
...more
Adam Graham
While shopping in the thrift store, I found a 1968 Bantam Paperback copy of, Three for the Chair, a 1957 compilation of three Nero Wolfe novellas. While the book was not my planned next Nero Wolfe read, I decided to grab it cheap and enjoy the book.

There are three stories in this book and each should be reviewed in its own right.

A Window for Death:

A man who left his family under a cloud of suspicion and then made a fortune in mining, apparently dies of natural causes after returning home. Member
...more
Nan Silvernail
Three Nero Wolfe Mysteries

1) A Window For Death - A miner long thought dead returns and stirs up too much trouble for his family. Does his fortune belong to the family members who have been enjoying it or to the partner with whom he split everything 50/50? There's also an unsolved murder lurking in the past of the family, the miner's father whose bedroom window was left open to let the snow drift in one cold, cruel night... now the miner is dead from the same thing. Is the family cursed or is a
...more
Eli
It's been a long time since I pickd up a Nero Wolfe book, but time has not diminished the eloquent and intellectually stimulating tenor of this series by Rex Stout.

Nero Wolfe, for those not in the know, is a big, fat, private detective who resides in a brownstone in New York City, along with his factotum, Archie Goodwin; his horticulturist, Theodore Hortsmann; and his chef, Fritz Brenner.

Wolfe is a genius, and the first one to let you know so. He adheres to a strict schedule of eating, tending t
...more
meeners
more interesting by far than the three rather dull stories in this collection is the author bio of rex stout printed on the first page, pieces of which i will quote verbatim here:

--"born . . . the sixth of nine children of John and Lucetta Todhunter Stout, both Quakers"
--"educated in a country school, but by the age of nine he was recognized throughout the state as a prodigy in arithmetic"
--"spent [two years] as a warrant officer on board President Theodore Roosevelt's yacht"
--"worked as a sight
...more
Parson
Positives
+ Good humor. Beyond the wordiness, the writing style is enjoyable
+ Stout uses the oddest things as suggestions or evidence for Wolfe. (view spoiler)
+ The interplay between Archie and Nero is priceless. Snappy, truthful, witty, and hilarious.
+ The small eccentricities given to the characters (Archie's love of milk, etc.) makes the book amusing.

Neutrals
+/- The choice of focused details (IE, the specs in "Immune to Murder") bord
...more
Susan
Two doctors have certified that the wealthy prospector died of pneumonia--but Wolfe knows that he's been murdered, in "Window on Death," one of Stout's best known novellas. The other two in this book feature Wolfe away from home, once in an Adirondack fishing camp where he's come to indulge an ambassador's whim; one in Albany, when he's been summoned during an investigation by the state into wiretapping. Good fun.
John
Rex Stout writes the best dialog ever.... and as always Wolfe, Goodwin, and Brenner (and friends) are fantastic characters. I've read every Nero Wolfe novel at least once, and this re-read was a romp as usual, through three short mysteries - not that I read Stout for the mystery itself (which are indeed not always all that much of a mystery); in actuality, I read them for the clever interplay of his protagonists.
Stephen Osborne
I don't read Nero Wolfe stories for the mystery plots. Those are secondary, nice as they are. I enjoy Stout because of the complex characters he's created, especially the rotund and frankly grouchy Nero Wolfe. It's especially fun when Wolfe is out of his element, his cozy brownstone on W. 35th St. And here we have Wolfe out cooking trout for ambassadors in one tale and arrested as a material witness in Albany in another. These crimes Wolfe solves not for money or because he wants to...he just wa ...more
Sarah
Apr 14, 2008 Sarah rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys a good (albeit somewhat old-fashioned) mystery or detective story
Recommended to Sarah by: Uncle Dick
Shelves: mystery
i had heard of the character nero wolfe (the private detective in many rex stout books), but had never read any of the books before. this one actually contains three short stories featuring wolfe and i really enjoyed them all. they were quick, easy reads and very entertaining. i didn't find myself trying to figure out who the culprit was as much as i do in other mystery books, which may be due to the shortened length of the stories, but overall these were thouroughly enjoyable and will likely le ...more
Ed
#28 in the Nero Wolfe series. Three novellas thematically joined by Nero Wolfe venturing from his W. 35th Street brownstone. Stout was a master not only at the novel form but also at novellas which would be serialized in magazines and then gathered (usually 3 at a time) in book form.

Nero Wolfe series - three novellas:
"A Window for Death," first published in The American Magazine (May 1956) as "Nero Wolfe and the Vanishing Clue"
"Immune to Murder," first published in The American Magazine (Nove
...more
Robert Heckner
Fairly entertaining stories. Prospective is a little bit strange.
Carol
OK, I've never read a Nero Wolfe novel I didn't love. Same for these 3 novellas, published in 1955 but apparently written earlier. Only their datedness, & particularly their glaring sexism (encountering a female detective on a case, Archie heroically tries to get past his bias against "she-dicks" so as to rate her as date material), bogged me down a little. Better IMO than being grossed out by the graphic violence of so many contemporary mysteries. And Stout keeps me guessing every time!
***Dave Hill
(Original review from Sep 2005)

Three “fish out of water” Nero Wolfe tales, each having to do with an occasion that brings Wolfe out of his comfortable brownstone and out to the scene of the (eventual) crime. The individual stories are fine ones, but the combination robs the oddity of … well, its oddity. Still, a decent Wolfe book is always worth it, and I’ve begun rereading my fairly extensive collection of them as “comfort food.” Good stuff.
Vicki Cline
This is another collection of three novellas, unusual in that Wolfe goes not only out of his house, which he hates to do, but out of New York City in two of them. In the last one, he and Archie are part of a collection of private investigators being accused of perfoming illegal wiretaps, and the person who hired them turns up dead in the building in Albany, NY, where they have congregated. It's a very interesting story.
Bill  Kerwin

Three highly enjoyable Wolfe novellas. In one of them, Wolfe is summoned by the state department to cook trout for a visiting ambassador, in another a squad of private detectives (including Wolfe and Goodwin) summoned to Albany for a wiretapping investigation all become suspect in the murder of a witness, and in the third the most important question is . . . what happened to the ice cream?
Rusty
Three tales for fun: A Window for Death, Immune to Murder and Too Many Detectives. Of the three, I enjoyed Too Many Detective most. It was fun to see the male reactions to the female private detectives and see who banded together to solve the murder. The personalities of these unique private detectives involved were delightful.
Mary
This volume includes 3 novellas...a format that works well for the style and the subject. Included here are "A Window for Death", "Immune to Murder", and "Too Many Detectives". It is in "Too Many Detectives" that we meet "Dol" Bonner-one of the only female operatives Wolfe ever works with.
J.
Three good novellas. They may lack much of the rich and entertaining detail of New York and the Nero Wold townhouse world that a novel will have, but they move along to the usual denouement meeting rapidly and contain of Archie's and Nero's character quirks to satisfy.
Jason
2 out of these shorts have Nero out of his NYC home-those I find especially fun reads-when Nero is out of his comfort zone, everyone watch out!
Ethan
If you don't know Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe, you don't know some of the most enjoyable, entertaining mystery stories ever written. Most stories are short, spiced up with some humor from the narrator, Mr. Archie Goodwin. Wonderful, short novels perfect for a long trip.
Shelley
Three fun Nero Wolfe stories, set in (and originally published in) the 1950s. These are the outside edge of my favorite Wolfe stories; I really prefer the older mysteries. But always fun and always a marvel of voice and first person narration.
Jane Elfring
I don't ordinarily read detection stories but this was an interesting read with an interesting detective. This book was actually 3 separate stories. Good for diversion or if you like the Nero Wolfe series.
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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
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)

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