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Over My Dead Body (Nero Wolfe, #7)
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Over My Dead Body

(Nero Wolfe #7)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  3,450 ratings  ·  174 reviews
Over My Dead Body is the seventh Nero Wolfe detective novel. The story first appeared in abridged form in The American Magazine. By the time it was published, the Wolfe/Goodwin books had become an established series but Wolfe's background had never been explored. Here Stout starts to do clarify Wolfe’s youth by bringing in in a number of characters, including some from Mon ...more
Kindle Edition, 271 pages
Published November 21st 2012 (first published January 3rd 1940)
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4.08  · 
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 ·  3,450 ratings  ·  174 reviews

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Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nero Wolfe is lazy. He only works when his bank account strongly demands it. At the beginning of the book he has enough money not to bother with any cases or clients for a while. When a young Yugoslavian woman shows up asking the detective to help her compatriot and friend with the trouble over accusations of a theft, Nero Wolfe refuses right away without bothering to listen to her pleas. The woman drops a bomb - literally speaking - which left both him and Archie Goodwin speechless (as well as ...more
The seventh book in the Nero Wolfe series and we learn some interesting facts about the genius detective. Even Archie Goodwin is shocked to learn that Wolfe has a daughter. And there was a time when he didn't spend all of his time in his brownstone on W. 35th Street tending his orchids and enjoying gourmet meals prepared by his personal chef, Fritz Brenner. A time when he was active in Montenegro politics.

It is 1938, the eve of World War II. The United States is officially neutral but Americans
Bill  Kerwin

A woman arrives from the Balkans--is she Nero Wolfe's daughter? An enjoyable mystery.
Elizabeth (Alaska)
I had no idea who did the murder, but I was in good company. Wolfe seems often to know who and why very early, though he doesn't tell us. In this, he admitted even quite late in the novel that he didn't know who did it. Inspector Cramer spent more time hanging around in this one, which was certainly different. He said it was because he didn't have any idea who did it and he figured if he stayed near Wolfe, then things would certainly become clear. Archie displayed more brilliance than usual, but ...more
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
wow who knew that Nero Wolfe had a DAUGHTER and was a freedom fighter in his youth. WOW and learned even more about the area of Serbia/Croatia.
Mar 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, kindle
This is a serviceable Nero Wolfe mystery newly available for Kindle. Just right for reading on a trip, I thought. The mystery revolves around Wolfe's long lost adopted daughter and intrigue in the Balkans. However this book didn't grab me like some Wolfe mysteries. Perhaps because the reasons for my trip were not all happy ones, no book could have been 5 stars.
Pamela Shropshire
Well, that was enjoyable. Not only do we have a double murder to solve, but there are SPIES. I do love spies - in fiction, anyway.

A young woman visits the brownstone; she is clearly a foreigner, and she gives a clearly fake name. She hides a paper inside a book entitled United Yugoslavia; the paper contains enough cryptic information that Wolfe realizes the woman is mixed up in some international intrigue. Actually, the young woman is traveling with a friend; and one of them has with her an adop
Bryan Brown
Sep 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
This story was a return to form after the previous adventure taking place all outside of Neros home. The characterization changes I liked so much from the previous book all continue in this one. Archie is still witty and suave, Nero is still brilliant and grumpy.

The most remarkable thing about this story is that Nero made no money at all. I had forgotten than though I had remembered the secret twist of the story.

A brief note on another reoccurring character, the NYPD Homicide Inspector Cramer.
Jane Stewart
Not as good as previous books, but ok.

I love some of the things Archie does and the way he and Nero think. If you’re new to this series, I suggest reading Fer-De-Lance and Some Buried Caesar before reading this - only because I think they are better. They are all stand alones.

Two female immigrants come to New York and teach fencing. One is accused of stealing from a customer. Two men end up dead.

The audiobook narrator Michael Prichard was good.

Narrative mode: 1st person Archie. Unabridged a
Jan 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe books are always delightful reads, with his genius melding of Holmesian ratiocination and Marlovian tough-guy bark. This one is a little more complicated than some, with a complex geopolitical background and a large array of characters. Wolfe and his narrating leg man Archie Goodwin attempt to solve the murder of a fencing student, but the novel delves more than any other in the series (as I recall) into Wolfe's own personal history as a young man. Stout knows how to write ...more
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, mysteries
While Wolfe is back to his typical self (not leaving home as in the previous 2!), some of his personal background is revealed in this one. Archie seemed a bit more hardboiled than I remember! The series remains poised on the edge between hardboiled & Golden Age in style, a tricky feat that Stout manages to perfection.
Sean O
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rex Stout is one of my favorite authors, so it’s sad to be disappointed in a Nero Wolfe novel.

Two female fencing instructors from the old country (!) become embroiled in a double murder.

There’s some vague international subterfuge which doesn’t really have to make sense.

The weakness here is a large group of characters introduced, and nobody has any distinguishing characteristics.

Then it piddles around until the solution.

Archie makes two pretty successful tricks, and Wolfe doesn’t have any bi
Balkan politics of the just barely pre-World War II days keeps elbowing to the front of this book, when the reader wants more about Nero Wolfe's long lost (adopted, he tells Archie) daughter, who suddenly appears in New York asking for his help when she's accused first of theft, and then of murder. Naturally, Wolfe is sure she's innocent, once he's convinced himself that she is his daughter, even after a second body is found in her apartment. The international aspect--and pressures from on high- ...more
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a hopeless Rex Stout fan, so I am almost never disappointed in these classic novels. In this book, international intrigue involving the Balkins in the 1940's bring two immigrants to the U.S. One of them claims she is the adopted daughter of Nero Wolfe, famous PI. When a murder occurs where the girl works, Nero and Archie become involved. I enjoy the banter between Nero and Archie, Wolfe's right hand man. I enjoyed the twists and turns in this book that kept me guessing till the end.
Jun 09, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series, but haven't read one in quite a while. Wolfe and Archie Goodwin are, in my estimation, the best detective team since Holmes and Watson. Over My Dead Body isn't a strong detective story per se, but is a hugely enjoyable escapade related in Goodwin's incomparably witty and buoyant narration.
Ronald Wilcox
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Fairly typical Nero Wolfe / Archie Goodwin mystery. Great banter between the two men, interesting plot twists, but not the best NW mystery. This time around a man is stabbed to death with a fencing épée and Wolfe gets involved when a woman claiming to be the daughter he hasn't seen since age three is a suspect and needs his help to clear her name of robbery and murder.....
Glenn Harris
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another fine Nero Wolfe mystery, this time involving a young woman suspected of murder and claiming to be his long-lost daughter. I confess that I sometimes tire of Archie Goodwin; he can be too much of a wise-ass and it's hard to get past the various bigotries of the day that he displays so vividly. Still, the mysteries are always good and Wolfe is a unique character.
Alexander Peck
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am reading through all the Nero Wolfe novels and this is the best I have hit so far. The mystery is a little simple but it is fun.
I don't think this book would be a good introduction to the series but if you read a couple of these this one should make you happy.
Nero Wolfe doesn't disappoint. The NYC life, Archie Goodwin and their relationship with the police makes it almost like a carnival.
Jan 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nearly too many suspects to keep up with. Unique plot based on (I guess) Mr. Stout’s experience in politics. Discovered that Mr. Stout is where most of those classic detective icons come from.
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My very first Rex Stout/Nero Wolfe adventure and I'm already a devoted fan. Found this in a cute local used bookshop before a big trip and thought it would be an interesting read. This novel punches far above it's lightweight paperback figure. For so slim a book, Stout sure stuffs the pages with action, witty banter, colorful (and believable!) characters, spies, international intrigue, family saga, and a fast paced whodunnit. The preview pages include glowing quotes, and one from none other than ...more
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks, mystery
I had seen an adaptation of this book as part of the Timothy Hutton Nero Wolfe Mysteries series before I read it. That is both good and bad.

Seeing it first meant I knew the plot and whodunit before I read the book so the denouement was not as surprising as it would have been otherwise. But it also meant I could pick out the parts the adaptation chose not to include. And I understand that tv adaptations cannot include every minute point in the book, but the parts that were left out or adjusted le
Ray Otus
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
This book was exciting, the mystery is complex and confusing, and I think it may be my favorite in the series so far. This book reveals a lot of Nero's past. There's a big shock early on that is probably spoiled by a lot of reviews, but I'll leave it lie and let you discover it if you haven't already. Fencing, international intrigue, lots of inspector Kramer, the inside dirt on Nero, classy call girls and swarming stupid flatfoots ... this one has about everything.

I should explain my one and onl
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Nero Wolfe is confronted by a beautiful, tempermental female from the Balkans. She has been accused of stealing diamonds from a man's jacket. She demands he prove that she did not steal the stones. Her reason to choose him is not only his notoriety of solving crimes, she also claims to be his long-lost daughter!

The diamond theft is solved but the dead bodies that appear complicate things even more. There are also documents, identities, rumours and questionable intrigues that also come into play.
Barry Fulton
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Set in 1938, overweight, orchard-raising, homebound Nero Wolfe is asked by his alleged-adoped daughter, recently arrived from Montenegro, to keep her out of jail after she's accused of theft. With the help of his assistant, Archie Goodwin, she is soon off the hook, but then bodies begin to turn up and the real detective work begins. By the time I reached the end, I didn't really care who was the murderer--as the book is more about the relationship between Nero Wolfe, Archie, and others than it i ...more
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
This was one of the first Nero Wolfe books I ever read. It might even have been the very first. I loved it then. Now, having read them all, I find it distinctly middle-tier, with a few outrageously unlikely contrivances. But it still has plenty of good exchanges, mostly as always between Wolfe and Archie, and Stout always did a good job with one-shot secondary characters. I would like it more if his daughter had gone on to be an important part of the series. Not a main player, the books don't ne ...more
Virginia Tican
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nero Wolfe has a daughter albeit an adopted to whom he has been sending financial support until he lost contact from the people to whom he has entrusted the child's care to. Until that daughter? came to New York as a fencing and dance instructress and then 2 spies were murdered in connection to the school of fencing where Wolfe's daughter? and her friend? were teachers. It would be up to Nero Wolfe to sift through the lies and spies to get to the bottom of all the red herrings and to find out if ...more
Jeff Suter
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We learn a little about Wolfe's back story, and why, to a certain extent, he is like he is - including his obesity. In this story even Archie is surprised by the revelations. Cramer too is stumped by the case and quickly comes to the conclusion that the only way he is going to get a handle on the case is to let Wolfe have his way and hope he can use what Wolfe reveals for a prosecution.

When I finished the book, I watched the Timothy Hutton adaptation of this story from his 2001 TV series, and ha
Dec 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, mystery
I really didn’t get into the flow of this book. Here Wolfe is dealing with problems surrounding gang war among the royalty of mid-1930s Yugoslavia. The whole set-up was complicated from the very beginning. We find out that the recluse Nero Wolfe fought in the first World War, spied for the Austrians, and even adopted a 7-year-old girl when her parents were killed. Wolfe seems to have access to all kinds of communication sources to uncover “who’s who”.

Not my favorite, but entertaining enough for
Helen Thompson
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first knew this story from the A&E TV movie starring Maury Chaykin, Timothy Hutton & Bill Smitrovich and it was definitely in my top 3. To find out more details of Wolfe's personal life whilst watching him solve a series of murders through that brilliant episode was fantastic. And now I've read the book and I love this story even more. More depth, more detail, more twists & turns, bringing this wonderful story to life in my imagination supplemented with the visuals from the tv epis ...more
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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

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)
  • Where There's a Will (Nero Wolfe, #8)
  • Black Orchids (Nero Wolfe, #9)
  • Not Quite Dead Enough (Nero Wolfe, #10)
  • The Silent Speaker (Nero Wolfe, #11)
“Wolfe could get sentimental about it if he wanted to, but I don't like any stranger nosing around my private affairs, let alone a nation of 130 million people.-Archie Goodwin” 6 likes
“It strikes me, sir, that you are nearing the point where even a grateful American might tell you to go to the devil.-Nero Wolfe to an FBI Agent” 3 likes
More quotes…