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And Four to Go (Nero Wolfe #30)

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  1,573 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
Nero Wolfe must track down a killer who murders his victims only during holidays and who, so far, has left Wolfe with four puzzling cases to unravel.
ebook, 240 pages
Published July 21st 2010 by Crimeline (first published February 14th 1958)
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Jul 25, 2016 Evgeny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The anthology consists of four novellas:

Christmas Party.

Grumpy Santa
This probably is the most unusual beginning of all stories from the series. Nero Wolfe wants Archie Goodwin to drive him to meet an orchid expect. Archie Wants to go to a Christmas party his female friend invited him to. Nero Wolfe persists in his wants. Archie produces his own marriage license and says he need to go to the party and does so. Dead body promptly made an appearance and both detectives became personally involved in the case. A
Bill  Kerwin

An entertaining group of four Nero Wolfe short stories, three with holiday themes.

In the first, Archie attends a Christmas Party at a design studio, a party equipped with a professional Santa. Soon someone is poisoned from drinking Pernod, and Santa is nowhere to be seen. In the second, Wolfe, takes up orchid-napping by proxy at New York's fashionable Easter Parade, where Mrs. Bynoe, the wearer of the aforementioned orchid, is murdered. In the next, murder occurs at the restaurant union's Fourth
Ronnie Justice
Jun 08, 2014 Ronnie Justice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 20, 2015 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
AND FOUR TO GO. (1958). Rex Stout. ****.
Stout brings together four novellas in this collection. Three of them are set around holidays. They are clever and witty exercises in the mystery genre. The edition I read had a preface by Jane Haddam. “Murder is No Joke” is the only one not set around a holiday. This story was also included in another book by Stout titled “Death by Three,” but with some differences in the female lead character. These are short reads, but you won’t be disappointed. You wil
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Four short stories, three with a holiday theme (Christmas, Easter, Fourth of July), all from the 1950s.

I think I liked "Christmas Party" best.
Adam Graham
Sep 24, 2012 Adam Graham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What could be better than the numerous Nero Wolfe books including three Novellas? How about one featuring four? Well, it doesn't quite work out that way, but there are still some worthwhile stories in the lot:

"The Christmas Party"

Archie connives to get a fake wedding license for a dancing partner who wants her to boss to marry her. The boss is being stubborn so Archie gets a fake marriage license blank with both their names on it to force the issue.

When Wolfe starts to get bossy and unreasonabl
Oct 19, 2016 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four short stories with Nero Wolf and Archie Goodwin. I like the longer books rather than the short stories. These four stories did not give me the satisfaction of watching Nero and Archie outwit the police and solve the murders. Three of the stories revolve around holidays and the last is based on Cramer's quote. I liked Murder is No Joke the best because it showed more of Archie and Nero figuring out what was wrong with a series of events in the story.
And Four to Go by Rex Stout showcases Stout's ability to master that difficulty medium, the mystery short story. Even the best writers sometimes have difficulty creating a successful whodunit in the shortened form. It's a challenge to give enough character development and plot detail to set up the mystery, and it's especially difficult if the author is going to try to play fair with the clues. These four stories show that not only could Stout give the reader brilliant novel-length mysteries, he ...more
Alexis Neal
This one's a rare four-story collection of holiday homicides.

The collection kicks off with 'Christmas Party', wherein Wolfe himself--in an effort to investigate the depth of Archie's commitment to a particular female--bartends a Christmas party. In disguise. As Santa Claus. When the host drops dead from cyanide poisoning, Wolfe skedaddles, but the police are understandably suspicious of the mysterious unknown Santa-bartender who vanished immediately following the murder. The only way to keep the
Nan Silvernail
Jan 27, 2012 Nan Silvernail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four mysteries for Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin that take up through the seasons, if we count the last as a Fall Fashion Week adventure.

Christmas Party - Wolfe wants to go see an English orchid specialist and has a problem. Archie has had a date set to go to a Christmas party for two weeks and won't break it. Worse, Archie produces a marriage license and says he cannot break the date because he is to meet his fiancee, Margot Dickey at the party! Wolfe may have to venture out onto the perils of
Rex Stout's "And Four to Go" (the 30th book (first published in 1958) in his "Nero Wolfe" series) is a collection of four very short stories: "Christmas Party" (1957), "Easter Parade" (1957), "Fourth of July Picnic" (1957), and "Murder is No Joke" (1958). As usual, Stout's writing is excellent. So excellent, in fact, that I've come to realize that I'd read cereal boxes written by him and probably enjoy it. In this case, that writing excellence makes up for the weaknesses in these stories. First ...more
This book has four novellas, three of which are centered around a holiday theme.
"Christmas Party" is one of the stories that was transformed wonderfully in the Tim Hutton television series. Archie goes to an office party and one of the bosses ends up dead, apparently killed by Santa Claus. Though Archie should be in the clear, his history with the police makes him somewhat of a suspect. It's up to Nero Wolfe to help solve the case.
"Easter Parade" focuses on Wolfe's orchid obsession. Archie is s
Alison C
And Four to Go is a collection of four novellas by Rex Stout, all of course featuring Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. In "Christmas Party," Wolfe goes to the extreme of dressing up in a Santa suit in order to spy on a small party that Archie claims he must attend at his fiancee's request; of course, murder rather upsets the plans of all involved. "Easter Parade" highlight's Wolfe's interest in (and greed about) orchids as he sends Archie to find someone to steal a never-before seen orchid from th ...more
Nancy Butts
Jun 05, 2016 Nancy Butts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Book #30 in the Nero Wolfe series is an anthology of four stories, not the three novellas that so many of the Wolfe books are. And I enjoyed this one a great deal. Three of the four deal are set on holidays. "Easter Parade" was originally published in "Look" magazine with photographs supplying the clues. But you get the same clues in the text, so don't worry. There there are also "Christmas Party" and "Fourth of July Picnic," two more stories where Nero leaves his brownstone on West 35th Street. ...more
Aug 30, 2016 Serena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
3.5 stars

Christmas Party *****
Easter Parade ***
Fourth of July Picnic ***
Murder is No Joke ***

My Rating System:
* couldn't finish, ** wouldn't recommend, *** would recommend, **** would read again, ***** have read again.
David Monroe
I'm not a big fan of Stout's Wolfe short stories. Stout excelled at ambiance and characterization. His short stories tend to limit those qualities. If you like other Wolfe media, these stories served perfectly for adaptations to radio and television. Check out the early 1950s Nero Wolfe radio plays with Sydney Greenstreet or the harder to find 1982 Nero Wolfe radio plays by the CBC. The 2000 - 2002 A&E series with Tim Hutton and Maury Chaykin adapted several of the shorts, including two from ...more
Dec 27, 2010 Rick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, nero-wolfe
I give this collection only four stars because three of the stories in it are ordinary by Stout's standards (which is to say still better than most), but the first story, "Christmas Party," is one of his best. From the very opening scene, in which Archie decides to teach Wolfe a lesson that leads to disatrous consecuences, the relationship between the two men (always the most interesting facet of the stories) is at the forefront. Also spicing this one up is the presence of Chery Quon, for my mon ...more
Dec 30, 2013 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wolfe
All four short story/novellas are really good. Wolfe transitions to a shorter form better than I world have thought. Since they are so much shorter, Stout cut out some of the dialogue between Wolfe and Archie which is usually my favorite part of any Wolfe book. However, the plot of each story is great and I definitely recommend reading the stories. I read them all together as one book and did not grow tired of them. I rank the four as follows:
1. Easter Parade
2. Christmas Party
3. Fourth of July P
Shmuel Ben-Gad
Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries hearken back to Poe and Doyle in that the tales ar of an eccentric genius detective and narrated by his sidekick. Stout's Archie Goodwin, though ,is a stronger (and much wittier) presence than most other Watsons. This is a collection of four novellas and is not a bad place to become introduced to the Wolfe and Goodwin canon. These are not fair play puzzles (which is my favorite type of detective story)--indeed none of the Nero Wolfe tales I have yet read are--but ...more
Aug 01, 2013 Peggy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The more Nero Wolfe books I read, the more I like them. I adore Archie and his snappy narration. Yes some it is dated, but to me that's part of the charm. This is a collection of 4 short stories that (mostly) go by seasons - the first story takes place at Christmas, the second at Easter, the third on the 4th of July, and the fourth, well, it seems to be stuck on the end with no reference to season or holiday. But, no matter, they are fun to read, and since they are unrelated to each other, you c ...more
Strange. I checked this out of the library because my Goodreads library said I've not read it, but as soon as I read the story titles I knew I had. I read the first two pages of each to be sure I hadn't read one or two in another collection, and all are not just familiar, I instantly recalled every detail, so I've read them at least twice. So no telling what format or when, but I've definitely read this one.
Brenda Margriet
Mar 27, 2013 Brenda Margriet rated it liked it
Not sure whether I've read this before. I know I've read both versions of "Murder is No Joke", where Archie and Nero are on the phone when a woman at a fashion house is murdered, but "Easter Parade", where a woman is killed by strychnine on a needle as she leaves a church on Easter morning was definitely new.

It was great to visit Nero and Archie again, but I do prefer the novels. Novellas are just over too soon!
Mar 27, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was 4 Nero Wolfe Novellas, the longest being about 70 pages. They were actually pretty good, although I am not a big fan of the novella format. The first one I had read before (or maybe it was made into a tv show, but I had forgotten whodunit. I think my biggest problem with the format is that the stories come to a more abrupt ending. Still, it was fun and I have always enjoyed Nero Wolfe stories.
Nov 06, 2014 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nero Wolfe is my favorite detective, Archie Goodwin my favorite sidekick and Rex Stout my favorite detective author. This is a compilation of 4 short mysteries, all ending, of course, with the suspect gathered in Wolfe's study, sitting in the red snd yellow chairs and falling for his trickery. I listened to this one on audiobook and just loved it. It's racist, sexist and all around something I shouldn't love but I can't help myself.
Samantha Flaum
Mar 02, 2014 Samantha Flaum rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Meh. While it's hard to say a Rex Stout book is bad, it's easy to say this one left me wanting more. As usual, they were interesting, thought-provoking mysteries, but they were too compact. It seemed like some crummy excuse lead Wolfe to solve the case each time, in such condensed circumstances. I prefer more detail.
Stephen Osborne
Dec 13, 2015 Stephen Osborne rated it it was amazing
Rex Stout is a master at the novella, as these four superb tales show. My favorite is Christmas Party, mainly because of the interplay between Archie and Wolfe and the great detective's dilemma--reveal himself to Inspector Cramer and look like a fool, or solve the crime before the police. The other stories are entertaining as well.
Lisa Kucharski
Feb 24, 2013 Lisa Kucharski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wolfe gets himself into several jams here, and to get himself out he has to solve the murder! I haven't come across anyone as good as Stout for short fiction, specifically- mystery. He is a master at this. Of course, the characters you meet here are interesting. (and some of them are murderers too)
Aug 05, 2012 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nero Wolfe series - 4 novellas: Christmas Party originally published in Collier's as The Christmas Party Murder; Easter Parade published in Look as The Easter Parade Murder; Fourth of July Picnic published in Look as The Labor Union Murder; and, Murder Is No Joke published in The Saturday Evening Post in a different version.
Vicki Cline
Jan 24, 2013 Vicki Cline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-mysteries
This is another collection of novellas, with four instead of the usual three. These were pretty good, especially the first one, which has a delightful twist I maybe should have suspected. In the first three, Archie just happens to be present at a murder, with Wolfe also there for the third. So they don't have clients per se, just need to get themselves out of a jam.
Luke Meehan
Stout at his reliable 'best'. I guess. Hell, I don't really remember who was who or who did what to whom in this book. But I liked it. I'm sure that reflects pporly on me, but it should be only held as complimentary to Stout's - admittedly formulaic - ability to roughly stir a bunch of stereotypes into an engaging mystery.
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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...

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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