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Death of a Dude (Nero Wolfe, #44)
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Death of a Dude

(Nero Wolfe #44)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,705 ratings  ·  103 reviews
Sedentary sleuth Nero Wolfe and his sidekick, Archie Goodwin, leave West Thirty-fifth Street for a Montana dude ranch to clear an innocent man of a murder charge.
Paperback, 210 pages
Published January 2nd 1995 by Bantam (first published August 20th 1969)
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Bill  Kerwin
Nov 29, 2009 rated it really liked it

Archie, while visiting gal-pal Lily Rowan's Montana estate, takes a leave of absence from his job with Wolfe in order to clear Lily's foreman from a charge of murder. Wolfe, rather than be deprived of his invaluable assistant, endures the perils of plane flight and canned tomato soup in order to get his trusty Dr. Watson back home.

The plot's not much, but it is serviceable, and Nero roughing it in the Wild West is something no Rex Stout fan will want to miss.
May 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I would like to ask a quick question before I begin speaking about plot: what is dude? Please do not use a dictionary. I will explain this in terms of popular movies and this would probably be the first time I tried to describe a book using unrelated movies. So the first idea of dude is probably this one:

The second idea coming to mind when somebody mentions the word is usually the following:
Bill and Ted

The definition the book uses however is this:
City Slickers
In other word, city slickers.

For another bit of trivia - v
May 17, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, gialli
Il mio esordio con Nero Wolfe non è stato dei più felici. Conosco il personaggio dai telefilm, ricordo che Tino Buazzelli lo interpretò tanti anni fa (ne ho visto qualche scena su youtube, non ricordo lo sceneggiato), e recentemente la Rai ha mandato in onda un’altra serie di Nero Wolfe, qualche volta mi è capitato di dargli un’occhiata e mi sono fatta un’idea su che tipo è: mastodontico, misogino, casalingo, ombroso, antipatico. Ho ritrovato queste caratteristiche nel “Nero Wolfe e il caso dei ...more
Una Tiers
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a nice chance of pace since Archie was in Lamehorse, Montana and the murder happened when a dude was picking huckleberries. Nero Wolfe leaves New York and faces a completely different lifestyle. He doesn't like not being in charge.
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
Not Stout's best work, although the mystery was fine enough.

Archie Goodwin is staying in Montana to investigate the murder of a man a lot of people would have liked to see dead. The main suspect is a man whose daughter was impregnated by the murder victim, the previous year.

Archie and Nero believe this man is innocent, but they are the only ones who do. We meet a lot of people through Archie who interviews anyone and everyone connected to the man who was murdered and might have a motive.

The endi
Jill Hutchinson
Apr 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
See my comments on "Full House" for review
Aug 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: series, read-audio
Interesting that this was published in 1958 but takes place in 1968? Nero and Archie in Montana, near Helena. Archie doesn't call him but Nero shows up and goes to work. Poor Archie in jail again. The smart remarks are toned down in this story and Nero is a much nicer person than normal. He even takes his shoes and socks off and gets his feet wet in the creek.
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Talk about a fish out of water! Nero Wolfe in Montana!!!!! When a man is killed near Lily Rowan's ranch, and Archie is ineffective getting the populace to talk, Nero leaves his creature comforts and arrives in Montana to help (well to get Archie to come home really, but if he has to solve the murder, so be it). Add in a couple of lawyers, a rude sheriff, a fascinating character named Woody and several trout and you've got yourself a Nero Wolfe mystery to savor!
Oct 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
DEATH OF A DUDE. (1969). Rex Stout. ****.
Allthough Stout drops you into the middle of a case, it eventually comes clear what is really happening. Archie, Wolfe’s assistant and full-time wise guy, is in Montana at the Bar JR ranch, working on the shooting death of Philip Brodell. Brodell seduced Alma Greve about a year ago and took off to the hills. Now he has returned, after Alma had the child. Soon after his return, he was found dead from a shot in the back on a huckleberry-picking expedition.
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
#44 in the Nero Wolfe series. Nearing the end of his career, Stout comes up with a show-stopper. Wolfe leaves his NYC, W. 35th St. brownstone for one of his very few acceptable reasons, in this case rescuing Archie Goodwin. This 1969 novel takes place entirely away from home and to the best of my recollection this is the first time that happens since Too Many Cooks (1938) and Some Buried Caesar (1939), #s 5 & 6 in the series.

Nero Wolfe series - Archie Goodwin was on vacation at Lily Rowen's
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a complex book in which Archie Goodwin (That is the main character and the detective's assistant), is forced to stay in Montana instead of returning to his beloved New York to get a friend charged with murder out of jail. This so annoys Nero Wolfe (Archie's Detective), that he leaves his house for the first time in six years. This book is full of elements of intriuge, mystery, and local politics. It seems short, but it is fairly complecated, and is not your average detective story. It is ...more
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, mystery
Boy, is this ever a different kind of Nero Wolfe book. There's no brownstone, barely any fine cooking, no orchids, and most amazing of all, Wolfe is out and about. The book is set in Montana, so Wolfe having to travel is a given. But it's fun to read how Wolfe conducts himself and copes with this unexpected turn of events.

Archie Goodwin really comes into his own here, and we get a deeper glimpse into his private life than we normally would. A thoroughly enjoyable read for Goodwin fans like me.
Greg McClay
Mar 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-agains
Its all in the timing but if you've never read a Nero Wolfe book don't start with this one. If you've read 3-4 of them I'd still suggest waiting. There's something about having read most of the books in the series that makes this that much more enjoyable and Stout probably knew it when he wrote it. Where as The Black Mountain involved heavy travel by Wolfe it was much more serious and personal, this is strict whimsy and all the better for it.
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
Sorry to give such a low rating to this Rex Stout mystery, but it didn't deliver like previous efforts. The language wasn't there, nor were Archie's great observations about women (fun), and the mystery was just flat.
Diane K.
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very entertaining book, if only for the change of pace.

Everyone, including the blurb writer for my hardback copy, comments on Wolfe being out of his element in this book. Actually, Archie is more the fish out of water. He has been coming to Lily Rowan's ranch (presumably) every year since she acquired it. He knows the people and town well. He is close friends with Harvey Greve, the accused, enough to state categorically that Harvey absolutely would never kill a man under the circumstances in w
Panu Mäkinen
On aivan poikkeuksellista, että ylipainoinen etsivä Nero Wolfe poistuu kotoaan työasioissa. Nyt kuitenkin käy niin, että hän matkustaa New Yorkista Montanan Lame Horseen, jossa hänen apulaisensa Archie Goodwin viettää palkatonta lomaansa ystävättärensä Lily Rowanin karjatilalla. Karjatilan hoitaja on pantu tyrmään epäiltynä kesävieraansa murhasta – tämä kun oli ensin onnistunut saamaan tilanhoitajan tyttären raskaaksi.

Kesävieraan kuolema irvailee maalaisšeriffien älynlahjoille ja heidän kyvyttöm
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Death of a Dude was very good. While on vacation, Archie Goodwin finds himself in the middle of a mystery and Nero Wolfe eventually “comes to the rescue”.

Sigh. The truth is, I’m sad. I’m nearing the end of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe saga and I hate to see it end! I’ve put off reading the last few books in the Nero Wolfe series because I want to prolong my enjoyment of them. I’ve become so attached to these characters, that I want them to keep going on and on. I love the way Rex Stout weaved the cur
Richard Schwindt
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Few literary characters were as ripe for a fish out of water story as Nero Wolfe. This in part because, outside of his New York brownstone he was out of water almost anywhere. A ranch in Montana more than fills the bill. Archie goes there every year with gal pal Lily Rowan but (of course) there is a murder. Ordinarily, that would not begin to interest Wolfe but pain (the prospect of Archie staying in Montana until the murder is solved) and gain (succulent trout from a nearby stream) combine to m ...more
Sara Wright
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

One of the few Italian words I know and I think is more wonderful to say than marvelous. I am joyfully reading through the Nero Wolfe series on Kindle Fire. And if other are also , as well as those who skip introduction, I plead with you not to skip them. They are by many different authors and give you a greater appreciation of Rex Stout and literature in general. I have downloaded one novel of each of introduction authors and have those to look forward to when I finish the Nero Wolf
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Nero Wolfe actually leaves his home and comes to Montana, of all places! Archie is there, staying at Lily Rowan's dude ranch, when one of her employees is arrested for murdering a 'dude' from a neighboring ranch who got his daughter pregnant. They are trying to prove he didn't do it, to no avail, when Wolfe decides to take a hand. Watching him try to cope in the 'wild west', without his cook and his normal comforts, is a lot of fun. Watching him cow the county attorney and deal with the closed-m ...more
Hannah Belyea
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it
After learning of a murder Archie is trying to solve while spending time with a friend, Nero heads out to Montana to assist in finding the culprit in time to get home for supper. Another classic and smart mystery that fans will enjoy for sure from this entertaining series. Wolfe is brewing up trouble in the good old west...
Michael Dunn
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
An unusual Wolfe book as it takes place out of the confines of NYC.
More of an Archie focus story, then Wolfe.
Not consistent with Wolfe leaving NY to go to Montana.
No Kramer and little of the supporting cast. Not really missing anything if not read.
Another excellent entry and now I'm sad that there are only three books left.
Jennifer Berg
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
An excellent Nero Wolfe--and one of the few stories that doesn't happen in NY.
Daniel Bratell
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Not one of the better. Too many characters to keep them all apart and too few clues to give the reader any inkling on what was going on.
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
No orchids this time, but a good story
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Set in Montana.
Beth E
Aug 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
This one was really dull, with not even a hint at the identity of the murderer until the last page.
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Is this the best Wolfe novel? No. Does it get five stars just for the moment where Wolfe gets out of the car and Archie nearly has a collapse from emotioooons? Yes, yes it does.
Pam Newell
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As always with Nero Wolfe stories, a great read I couldn’t put down until the end.
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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)
  • 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)