Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Where There's a Will: A Nero Wolfe Mystery” as Want to Read:
Where There's a Will: A Nero Wolfe Mystery
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Where There's a Will: A Nero Wolfe Mystery (Nero Wolfe #8)

by
4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,851 Ratings  ·  114 Reviews
Meet Nero Wolfe, an orchid-growing, gourmandizing, eccentric genius, and his assistant Archie. Eavesdrop on Nero and Archie as they unravel murder after murder in this popular series of detective novels. All of our Rex Stout mysteries are the only unabridged recordings that are available to the retail market. Even 23 years after Rex Stout's death, his following continues t ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published October 9th 2006 by AudioGO (first published June 10th 1940)
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 Where There's a Will, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Where There's a Will

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Evgeny
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nero Wolfe's lifestyle takes up a lot of money. Sometimes he has to take some very questionable cases to sustain it. This time the money is running out so the great detective accepts a case of a type he usually avoids like a plague: a contest of a will left by a millionaire. The latter promised his three sisters and his wife big chunks of money, but after his death by accident it turned out he literally spit in the faces of them as he left a single fruit (you read it right: a real fruit) to each ...more
Jim
It is always enjoyable going back to read a Nero Wolfe story. It is like a nostalgic visit with old friends. Sure it is a murder mystery but there is minimal violence. Archie is a ladies man but again no sex. Rex Stout demonstrates you can tell a good story without either. Where There's a Will was written in 1940 and the story takes place in 1939. Roadsters. Pay phones. You could buy something for a dime or even a nickel. It is pre-World War II although things are heating up in Europe.

As is usua
...more
Leslie
Jan 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, owned
3.5*

This 8th book in the Nero Wolfe series was pretty typical. Although I hadn't read this one before, Wolfe and Archie behaved in the manner that I associate with them in my memory, though there was a little less talk about their meals than usual. Wolfe does briefly leave his brownstone to visit the client's home (a fact which surprised me no less than it did Archie & Fred!). A quick and enjoyable read.
Ellen
Nov 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Where There's a Will by Rex Stout.

One of the best and among my favorite Nero Wolfe books in this series.

Nero is called upon by 3 sisters to investigate the death of their brother Noel Hawthorne.

Nero is busy at work reflecting on each character while he deliberates the clues. Archie on the other hand is Nero's leg man running down possibilities as required. The entire clan is present during Nero's slow but steady deduction(s) and for his finale. Cramer at his most cantankerous almost has Nero th
...more
Angela
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nero and Archie and another adventure
Caroline
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
The only author I'm up to reading in sickbed, feeling like the living dead.

Which suggests that perhaps the introductory warning about the 'potentially lethal' consequences of selecting nonsequential chapters of the recently-read Wicked Weeds: A Zombie Novel, was no idle jest. Even if the non-standard Table of Contents suggests the jumbled sequence.

But actually, I think I'll probably pull through a very bad chest cold. Eventually. Hopefully there are sufficient Stouts on the shelf.

This is exce
...more
Steve
Oh yeah, read it!

"You're a detective. Detectives don't assume, they deduce."
Nero at his deducing and sleuthing best. Intriguing characters, many with motive and opportunity and none with alibis. Archie is not at the top of his witty quip game in this one, but loyal and protective as ever, and his usual frustrated step behind when it all falls out.
The grammar is precise, the logic tight and clever, the dialogue right on and the vocabulary challenging, as in books 1 through 6.
I love hanging out
...more
Jill Hutchinson
I don't know anything else to say about the Nero Wolfe books since I love them all. This one is a little different since Wolfe leaves his house to solve a mystery involving a high society and political family. The usual good bon mots and classic dialogue.......nobody has a command of the English language like Wolfe and it is not even his first language. But of course he is a genius so I expect no less!!! Another of the books in one of the greatest series of detective stories ever.
Stacie  Haden
Solid, as usual.

New York 1939
Gary
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stout is still growing in his craft. We have more characters, with many well developed, and a followable and strong plot. We have gone beyond a long funny story to a suspenseful mystery, too.
Mmyoung
Apr 30, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Rex Stout - 08 - Where There's a Will

Copyright 1940 -- Published 1941

Except for a few passing lines about statesmen it is difficult when one reads this book to discover any clues that it was written in the run up to the Second World War and published after the entry of a number of countries into that war. Canada is mentioned in passing as the place where Goodwin had encountered black flies on his vacation. Canada was at that point already in the war. One wonders if the outline for this book had
...more
Joe
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With the bank account dwindling and some not so gentle prodding from Archie, our favorite portly genius detective – Nero Wolfe - interrupts his schedule and a meal or three, and accepts the type of case he loathes – the contesting of a will. The Hawthorne sisters – April, May and June – are convinced that there’s something fishy about their recently deceased brother’s final bequests - Particularly because most of the money – several million dollars – has been left to the “other woman”.

The case s
...more
Sarah
Nov 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The famous Hawthorne sisters come to Nero Wolfe with a sticky situation: their brother Noel has just died and willed his fortune to his mistress, leaving his unstable wife with a pittance and the sisters themselves with an assortment of fruit. They want him to minimize the scandal, a task rendered rather more difficult when Noel is revealed to have been murdered. Wolfe is compelled to leave his brownstone and suffer gastronomic horrors while questioning the crew of eccentrics. Archie is in fine ...more
Bill  Kerwin

An average Nero Wolfe. And Rex Stout's average is plenty good enough for me.
Philip Christman
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although not a great mystery fan, I've come to love the Nero Wolfe books by Rex Stout for the interplay between Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. Their interaction shows humor, respect, and irritation. One of the books shows Archie resigning (aagain), and Nero observing that someday he would no longer need Archie's services, and would marry him off to a woman of mediocre intellect. Of course, they forget their fighting by the next day.
Where there's A Will concerns three sisters named : April, May, and
...more
C.J.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rex Stout never wrote a Nero Wolfe mystery I didn't love. His standard ingredients are outstanding: intriguing characters and situations, a fast-moving plot, and Wolfe's Manhattan brownstone full of orchids, gourmet meals, and books, all presented to us by this Sherlock's smart-alecky Watson, the clever, charming, resourceful Archie Goodwin. Where There's a Will was particularly interesting to reread because it's an early book, written before Stout got fully up to speed (pub date 1940). Therein ...more
astaliegurec
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rex Stout's "Where There's a Will (A Nero Wolfe Mystery Book 8)" is yet another of his excellent ones. It's the 8th book in the Nero Wolfe series and was first published in 1940 (his last Nero Wolfe novel until after the war (he did publish two short-story collections during the war)). As usual, the writing, the use of the language, the characters, the universe, and the plot are all very well done. I can only come up with two extremely minor nits with the whole book: first, one character (May) s ...more
Linda
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It has been years since I read a Nero Wolfe book and I enjoyed it as much as I did when I began reading them in the 1070’s. The quirks and peculiarities of each of the different characters were still entertaining to read. This story remained true to the character of mysteries of that age. Meaning that I did not figure out the murderer. It will always be someone from left field that was not even a consideration in the rest of the book. But that’s ok. It does not take away any of the enjoyment of ...more
Ray Otus
Dec 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
The bank account is hurting so Nero takes on a disputed will case for some quick cash. Putting up with the hyperactive and overly dramatic family is bad enough, and then one of them gets murdered.

This was pretty good, but not quite on par with Some Buried Caesar or Over My Dead Body. I honestly got a little lost in all of the characters at times, even though most of them had a notable quirk or prop. (And for those keeping track, Nero leaves the house in this one, making it four out of the eight
...more
Jon
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stop number 8 on my tour through the Nero Wolfe series. By this point Stout has the formula down for a good Wolfe novel and this one ticks all the boxes with the slight exception of Wolfe leaving the office to investigate (somewhat) in the field. Not a perfect Wolfe novel but still fun. And anytime spent in a Wolfe novel is better than time in almost any other novel.
R.R. Brooks
As usual, Rex Stout gives us an amusing read in the viewpoint of Archie, who often comments on the habits and maneuvers of His Largeness Nero Wolfe. This tale of murder and illegality seems to be solved without the usual cleverness by the hero. Still, a good read.
Barbara Nagy
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wrote a review on my Kindle, but it kept telling me I needed 20 more words,even after I added more than that.

I have always loved the Nero Wolfe books, and am taking advantage of Kindle to reread them all. I highly recommend them!
James Spears
It was good story however it was slow and wordy until the middle of the book. This is where the plot thickens and there were more action. I would not say this is one of Mr. Stout best work, but it is fun to read.
Jeff Bleyle
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After finishing this one a comment made by Art Bourgeau in his 1986 The Mystery Lover's Companion about Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series came vaguely into my mind, so much so that I had to dig up my old copy of Art's guide to double check my recollection.
Dakota McCoy
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fun Nero Wolfe mystery with a particularly great final scene. You got me again, Rex Stout!!!! What a marvellous writer.
Carolyn
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite Nero Wolfe's so far.
Karen
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good Nero Wolfe mystery. I highly recommend Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries.
Rebecca Norton
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Always a great read

Archie makes these books enjoyable.Rex Stout writes great books sometimes I know who the murderer is and sometimes I don't. Doesn't matter
William Wren
May 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
This was a quick, easy read, and very light and very fast. It's my first Rex Stout (Nero Wolfe) book and, while I'm inclined to read more, I'm not in any great hurry to do so. But I will read more.
JZ
Mar 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-reader, mystery
Quick and easy. Still hates women. Nothing new here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Murder in E Minor
  • The Lacquer Screen
  • Confess, Fletch (Fletch, #2)
  • The Case of the Foot-Loose Doll (Perry Mason Mystery)
  • The Nursing Home Murder (Roderick Alleyn, #3)
  • Pearls Before Swine (Albert Campion Mystery #12)
  • The Bigger They Come
  • Murder-Go-Round: Thirteen at Dinner, The A.B.C. Murders, Funerals are Fatal
  • The Emperor's Assassin (Memoirs of a Bow Street Runner #2)
662 followers
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)
  • Black Orchids (Nero Wolfe, #9)
  • Not Quite Dead Enough (Nero Wolfe, #10)
  • The Silent Speaker (Nero Wolfe, #11)

Mystery & Thrillers Deals

  • The Last Passenger
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Thief
    $9.99 $2.99
  • From the Cradle
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Intrusion
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Obsidian Curse (A Stacy Justice Mystery #5)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Two to Die For (Lucy Kincaid, #12.5; Max Revere, #3.5)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • To the Grave (Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery Book #2)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • If Tomorrow Comes
    $12.74 $1.99
  • Bloodstone (A Stacy Justice Mystery, #2)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker & Holmes, #1)
    $7.99 $0.99
  • Into the Darkest Corner
    $7.74 $1.99
  • Dragon's Triangle (The Shipwreck Adventures #2)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • The End of Temperance Dare
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Skewed
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Unintended Consequences (Innocent Prisoners Project #1)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Steeplejack (Steeplejack #1)
    $8.51 $2.99
  • Girl Number One
    $3.99 $1.99
  • No Time To Blink
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Long May She Reign
    $8.99 $1.99
  • What You Wish For
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Detachment (John Rain, #7)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Don't Get Caught
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Disappearance at Devil's Rock
    $9.74 $1.99
  • Fallout
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Boy Who Stole from the Dead (Nadia Tesla, #2)
    $4.99 $0.99
  • Kindred (Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery, #5)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Informationist
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Local Girl Missing
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Finding Jake
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Violent Crimes (Amanda Jaffe, #5)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Temporary Agent (The Agent #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Punishment (Detective Barnes, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Terminal Rage
    $9.99 $3.99
  • A Lonely Resurrection (John Rain #2)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Killer Ascendant (John Rain #6)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • A Deadly Game: The Untold Story of the Scott Peterson Investigation
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Sunday Silence (Frieda Klein, #7)
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Last Queen of England (Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery Book #3)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Graveyard of Memories (John Rain, #8)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Pretty Girls
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Emerald Isle (A Stacy Justice Mystery #4)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Before You Leap
    $4.99 $1.99
  • First Strike (Dewey Andreas, #6)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Hangman (The Forgotten Files #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Tenth Justice
    $7.74 $1.99
  • An Invisible Client
    $5.49 $1.99
  • The Eight
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Best of Robert E. Howard: Crimson Shadows (Volume 1)
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Sin and Swoon (Blood and Bone, #2)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Devil in Silver
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Shark (Forgotten Files, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Stay Dead (Elise Sandburg #2)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Company of Demons
    $7.99 $0.99
  • The Fifth Letter
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Sacred and Profane (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #2)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Altar Girl (Nadia Tesla #0.5)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Darkness
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Redemption Games (John Rain #4)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Dry (Aaron Falk, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Huntress Moon (The Huntress/FBI Thrillers, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Pretty Little Liars (Pretty Little Liars, #1)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • City of the Lost (Casey Duncan, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • City of Stairs (The Divine Cities, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Case Histories (Jackson Brodie #1)
    $9.99 $3.99
  • The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Florida Roadkill (Serge Storms Mystery, #1)
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Step on a Crack (Michael Bennett, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • If I Run (If I Run #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Jar City
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Power Down (Dewey Andreas, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Poacher's Son (Mike Bowditch, #1)
    $7.09 $2.99
  • Accused (Rosato & DiNunzio, #1)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Edge of Apocalypse (The End, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Map of Bones (Sigma Force, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Duty To The Dead (Bess Crawford, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Baltimore Blues  (Tess Monaghan, #1)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Tips for Living
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Boy from Reactor 4 (Nadia Tesla, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Lost Empress (Genealogical Crime Mystery, #4)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Hounded (An Andy Carpenter Novel)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Girls on Fire
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Back Road
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Other Widow
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Suckers (Jack Daniels and Associates)
    $3.99 $0.99
“Fred put vinegar on things, and no man who did that ate at Wolfe’s table. Fred did it back in 1932, calling for vinegar and stirring it into brown roux for a squab. Nothing had been said, Wolfe regarding it as immoral to interfere with anybody’s meal until it was down and the digestive processes completed, but the next morning he had fired Fred and kept him fired for over a month.” 1 likes
“Likewise, the division between popular and serious work was a scheme perpetrated by academics in need of creating a false pantheon of living writers when it became impossible to come up with fresh dissertation topics (to earn degrees and prestige) concerning the writers in the true pantheon, who had been analyzed to exhaustion.” 1 likes
More quotes…