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Three Doors to Death (Nero Wolfe #16)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,939 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
Three cases bring perplexing challenges to Nero Wolfe, as a man unsuccessfully attempts suicide just before he is killed, a murder victim's family hides the identity of the killer, and a horticulturist discovers his girlfriend's body.
ebook, 240 pages
Published June 9th 2010 by Crimeline (first published April 21st 1950)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Evgeny
Dec 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book consists of three novellas:

Man Alive. A brilliant fashion designer committed suicide in a very bizarre fashion. His niece came to Nero Wolfe asking for help. Initially Archie Goodwin thought it would be typical - for them - investigation where they would have to prove in was a murder and find the guilty party, but it turned out to be not the case at all. I will not spoil it, but there will be murders.

Omit Flowers. Nero Wolfe's friend and compatriot Marko Vukcic asked the detective to
...more
Bill  Kerwin

An entertaining collection of three Nero Wolfe novellas: "Man Alive," a high fashion murder case, involving the appearance of a "suicide" in disguise; "Omit Flowers," a restaurant-chain millionaire family murder case Wolfe tackles as a favor to his old friend Marko; and "Door to Death," a greenhouse murder with Wolfe--looking for a temporary replacement for gardener Theodore--present at the scene of the crime.

All in all, a consistent, absorbing trio of entertainments.
Maria
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great. Orchids, haute cuisine, NYC pavements and landmarks from the 1940s, excellent characters.
Eric_W
Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I suppose I could spend some time detailing the plots of these three novellas, but when it comes right down to it they are formulaic, but my, what a formula. I love Rex Stout, although the early novels are probably better than those toward the end of his life. Nevertheless, if you have never read any Nero Wolfe stories, you must. The characters are classic and the word interplay between them is wonderful.

My favorite is the third. Wolfe is desperate as Theodore has left for an extended period of
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Vicki
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is better than finding an unread title of a Nero Wolfe volume by Rex Stout? It's finding three, all consolidated into one volume entitled Three Doors To Death. The three novellas were published in magazines in the late '40's, but Stout's writing ability and clever plotting is as fresh as ever.

Archie Goodwin remains Nero Wolfe's stenographer, gofer, assistant detective and Man on the Spot for the brilliant detective who hates to leave his home as much as he hates to miss a meal. In his witty
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Julie
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This book is a collection of three shorter Nero Wolfe stories - Man Alive, Omit Flowers, and Door to Death.

In Man Alive, a young woman who was told her uncle had committed suicide believes that she has seen him a year after he vanished. Before Wolfe and Archie are able to track him down a body is found in a locked building to which only 5 keys are thought to exist, and their client is the one who stumbles across the body. Inspector Cramer, who clearly should know better, interrupts Wolfe's lunch
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Alison C
Three Doors to Death, by Rex Stout, is another compilation of three Nero Wolfe novellas, including "Man Alive" (1947), "Omit Flowers" (1948) and "Door to Death" (1949). The first concerns a young fashion designer whose uncle apparently kills himself but then turns up in disguise, only to be murdered; the second is a classic locked-room type mystery centering on a family whose patriarch has been stabbed to death in a house containing only family members and a former serious chef whom, of course, ...more
Marlowe
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nero Wolfe solves three separate mysteries with the help of his assistant, Archie Goodwin. In the first, Man Alive, a fashion designer who supposedly committed suicide has returned only to be murdered. There are only five people alive who could have murdered him and it’s Wolfe’s job to find out which one did it

In the second story, Omit Flowers, a chef is accused of murdering his boss’s husband. Wolfe, suspecting the widow and her “flock” of children, must prove the chef’s innocence by catching t
...more
Cheryl Brandt
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a past fan of Nero Wolfe books. I have read a number of them in past years and when I ran across this one on sale for $0.99, needless to say, I grabbed it.

As always, Archie's voice tells the tale. As Nero's General factotum and dogsbody, Archie is privilege to most of the action, sometimes instigates, and in general translates Nero to the reader.

As you may have guessed, Archie is one of my favorite characters and it was like welcoming a friend after a long absence.

There are three cases here
...more
astaliegurec
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Three Doors to Death" is the 16th book in Rex Stout's "Nero Wolfe" series. Note that it's not a novel. It's three short stories ("Man Alive," "Omit Flowers," and "Door to Death") of about 70 pages each. The book, itself, was first published in 1950, while the short stories were first published in 1947, 1948, and 1949, respectively. Since this is the 16th book in the series, I'll assume you know the drill: the writing is good old Stout/Wolfe writing. No real surprises here. There are a couple of ...more
Gayle Francis Moffet
A delightful trio of short stories that showcases the fast wit, quick thinking, and the overall fun of the Nero Wolfe series as a whole. Archie investigates a supposed missing person at a women's clothing company, then he and Wolfe tackle a murdered man as a favor to one of Wolfe's friends, and then they're off to the wilds of Westchester county because Wolfe needs to poach an orchid man, but then--of course--there's a body.

Wolfe's world, even in short stories, is rich and lush. It's a treat for
...more
Peggy
Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is collection of three short stories about Nero Wolfe. Each story is a fast read. Of course with a short story there isn't the time for a lot of twists and red herrings, but each story is a fun read. Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin must solve three murders. In one a young model thinks she has seen her dead uncle and Wolfe must figure out what is going on. In another story Wolfe's good friend who is a restaurant owner asks Wolfe to clear his mentor of the murder of the owner of another chain o ...more
Rajan
May 03, 2016 marked it as dnf-did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Did not like. Did not finish. He is no sherlock
Jean
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a compilation of three mysteries solved by our intrepid investigators Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. Each story stands on its own as long short story or short novella with each requiring Wolfe to use his intellect to solve the mystery, usually without leaving his home.
Gary
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three fine Stout/Wolfe short stories. In the third, for the first time, plot runs too fine.
Usfromdk
Considering their length (I generally do not think too highly of shortish mysteries) they were not bad.
Marie
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three great stories. Loving Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. Thanks Rex Stout.
Katie Bee
Although this isn't my favorite of the Wolfe books, it's still fun to read! Particularly the final story of the three, which gets Wolfe out of the house and makes him trek cross-country. :)
Adam Graham
Sep 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It begins with a classic introduction from Archie Goodwin as he wants to avoid any confusion by strangers to the Wolfe genre who might think because Wolfe didn’t get paid in two of the cases that Wolfe makes a practice of solving murder cases pro bono. He also explains the symmetry of the stories. It does a great job setting the tone for what follows:

"Man Alive"

A fashion designer hires Wolfe because she believes she’s seen her Uncle at a fashion show. The problem? Her uncle committed suicide in
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Bev
Rex Stout's Three Doors to Death is a Nero Wolfe threesome--a collection of three short stories/novellas featuring that armchair detective genius Wolfe and his confidential assistant, secretary, and general Man Friday Archie Goodwin. Regular characters such as Fritz Brenner, Saul Panzer, Inspector Cramer, and Purley Stebbins also make their appearances and the stories run fairly true to the Stout formula. But it is such a successful formula--time after time, Wolfe has Archie gather the suspects ...more
Cher Bibler
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For some reason, I like the stories where Wolfe doesn't leave home, so I'm not that fond of Door to Death. However, I love Man Alive, which involves a fashion house and a budding designer and Archie going to a fashion show pretending to be a buyer. Omit Flowers has Archie inadvertently cooking up a clever ploy that gets him in to see the well to do family of a murdered man, and it turns out that his off the cuff excuse holds the key to unraveling the mystery. It could just be me that wants Nero ...more
Alexander Inglis
By 1950, Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe was a mainstream hit character and his 16th novel, Three Doors to Death, marked 16 years since the debut of his delightful series of tales of orchids, gourmet food, murders and a little sleuthing, all narrated wryly by Wolfe's side-kick Archie Goodwin. For this book, three novellas are included, each of which had appeared in "The American Magazine" in separate issues in 1947, 1948 and 1949.

"Man Alive" is about a fashion designer who has apparently commited suicide
...more
Rusty
Jun 14, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Finished the first of three Nero Wolfe cases - Man Alive. A young woman asks Wolfe to find her uncle who supposedly committed suicide a year ago but she is sure she saw him. When the uncle is actually killed at the business the woman is the chief suspect. Three deaths have occurred to those associated with the business - two accidents and a supposed suicide turned murder. Wolfe is suspicious. Completed the second case, Omit Flowers. Nero Wolfe is approached by a friend, a wonderful cook, who has ...more
Christopher Rush
Another good collection of fast-moving long stories, the introduction by Archie presents some interesting similarities that do not inhibit the reader from enjoying the stories by themselves. The overlaps add to the enjoyment upon further reflection, but it is doubtful the reader will be looking for them or aware of them while reading. Part of the pleasure of reading these Wolfe stories is their immersive, rapid nature. Like microwave popcorn, they are tasty, available, fecund, and enjoyable. One ...more
Jdetrick
Again, Rex Stout does an amazing job with short stories. He can tell an incredible story in just sixty to eighty short pages.
Bob Mackey
While I tend to prefer his novel-length tales, Nero Wolfe short stories usually hit the spot. They're typically punchy, frivolous, and cut every ounce of fat from your typical mysteries, leading to an extremely memorable collection of words. Author Rex Stout seems a bit off with this collection of three short Wolfe adventures, though, since none of them really grabbed me. And that's a bit odd, seeing as Three Doors to Death largely features Wolfe out of his comfort zone (his home), which typical ...more
Debbie
Oct 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
"Three Doors to Death" is a collection of three short mystery stories that were written in the late 1940s and set in New York. The mysteries were whodunit logic puzzles in style but have an underlying humor. Due to the short story format, the characters didn't have much depth or complexity...though Wolfe and his clever assistant were engaging and a little more filled out.

I think I like Nero Wolfe as a brainy detective better than Sherlock Holmes and the like. It's Wolfe's genius that allows him
...more
Nan Silvernail
Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(I'm being lazy with these next couple reviews because of my birthday. I may come back and edit these later.)

Three Mysteries for Nero Wolfe

Man Alive - Her uncle took off his clothes and jumped into a superheated geyser pool. So how is he still alive and showing up at a fashion show she is modeling in - and why?

Omit Flowers - Nero Wolfe's friend, Marco Vukcic's fellow chef, Virgil Pompa is in jail, accused of murder. Marco, his oldest friend appeals to the great detective to save him.

Door to Dea
...more
Tony
Stout, Rex. THREE DOORS TO DEATH. (1950). ***.
This is a collection of three novellas collected into one book that feature the sleuthing deducctions of Nero Wolfe and his assistant Archie Goodwin. The stories are:
“Man Alive,” where the setting is a fashion house in New York and a stream of beautiful ladies that temporarily set Archie off his equilibrium; “Omit Flowers,” where Nero Wolfe takes on a job for free for his friend Marko Vukcic, the owner of the only restaurant where Wolfe would deign
...more
***Dave Hill
Nov 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: text
I enjoy Nero Wolfe novels, but Rex Stout's short stories tend to really pop -- mainly because the usual "slog through the middle of the investigation" bits can be omitted, and Wolfe and Archie can cut directly to the parlor scene.

The three stories in this collection are great examples at the author's peak. "Man Alive" is a fashion industry tale, featuring a firm where senior people seem to have been dying without leaving behind bodies, until one is found, murdered, in their offices. "Omit Flower
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Play Book Tag: Three Doors to Death by Rex Stout 3 stars 1 7 Nov 18, 2016 09:02AM  
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41112
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)

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“Women don't require motives that are comprehensible to my intellectual processes.
(Nero Wolfe)”
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“Everything about her, the way she walked, the way she stood, her eyes and mouth and whole face, seemed to be saying, without trying or intending to, that if you happened to be hers, and she yours, life would be full of pleasant and interesting surprises.” 2 likes
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