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View all 6 comments. Jul 01, Meredith Wemhoff rated it it was ok. View 2 comments. May 05, Jill Hutchinson rated it it was amazing Shelves: mystery-police-procedural. This is the most atypical of all the Nero Wolfe books as Wolfe not only leaves the house for an extended period of time but crosses the ocean in search of revenge.

His best friend from boyhood, Marko Vukic is gunned down in assassination style and Wolfe goes to Montenegro, the land of his and Marko's birth to hunt down the killers. He also discovers that his adopted daughter, Carla has been murdered as well. With Archie in tow, they hike the mountains of the rough and lawless country to search f This is the most atypical of all the Nero Wolfe books as Wolfe not only leaves the house for an extended period of time but crosses the ocean in search of revenge.

With Archie in tow, they hike the mountains of the rough and lawless country to search for the killers and Wolfe actually holds up very well under terrific physical effort A very different Nero Wolfe lives in the pages of this book and we get a rather personal look at the man himself. Jun 13, Cherie rated it it was amazing Shelves: read-audio , series.

The most exciting adventure Nero and Archie have ever had! I listened to this story again March 30 and 31st of Nero goes home to the place he was born and Archie pretends to be his son to catch a killer and bring him back to NY and justice. Aug 27, Andy Weston rated it really liked it. My first Nero Wolfe and I was a bit worried about joining the series at number 24, but I need not have been.

I read it primarily because I was cycling in Montenegro where the novel is set. I may be a little vague, but it looks as if we have three choices. One, stay here and get nowhere. Two, go home and forget it. Three, go to Montenegro and get killed. I have never seen a less attractive batch to pick from. Jul 04, Alger rated it it was ok. This is Rex Stout's clean-up novel. Having created a fully formed world for Nero Wolfe from the very first novel, Stout was left with something of a paradox.

Every story that strayed beyond the walls of the W. Over time Wolfe began to accrete a history. Most of these began innocently, his affinity for a particular restaurant evolved into a lifelong friendship with the restauranteur Marko Vukcic, which then added This is Rex Stout's clean-up novel. Most of these began innocently, his affinity for a particular restaurant evolved into a lifelong friendship with the restauranteur Marko Vukcic, which then added to Wolfe's adventurous youth in the Balkins. From there it was a small step for Wolfe to adopt Carla Lovchen, a daughter from that romantic past and a token of his homeland.

The paradox is, the more back story Stout gave Wolfe the less eccentric and interesting he became; the more human and less of a singularity. By the s, with that back story solidly established and twenty years in without a refresher, Stout apparently felt it was time to reboot and eliminate elements that no longer served as a source of plots, or even tied the series too firmly to its pre-WWII origins.

In typical Stout style, his preferred method is remarkably direct. In the first few pages we lose both of these legacy characters to a violent death, and Wolfe is motivated to bring the murderer to justice. As early as Fer-de-lance there were suggestions that Wolfe's extreme sloth was more pose than reality, a reputation for eccentricity works to free him up from convention and allows him to reject any demand upon a whim.

This is why Wolfe so often breaks his own rules when necessary, astonishing Archie with his sudden bursts of energy really, Archie should know better after all this time. The Black Mountain is best understood as the series extreme of this unexpected energy, where propelled by this doubly personal motivation Wolfe leaves Manhattan behind and travels to his birthplace in Montenegro. The story that follows his leaving the Brownstone is ridiculous in the extreme, owing more to James Bond than Sherlock Holmes.

In the end we are confronted, suddenly, with the solution to the chase in the least believable circumstances possible. All in all, this volume is a reboot, a palate cleanser, a clean-up novel, whatever you wish to consider it. After this, the Nero Wolfe series ossified entirely into its classic form, freed of the baggage of the earlier period, and these characters and their former importance almost vanish from our view.

Being so entirely out of step with the rest of the series is, in some ways, a virtue since it illustrates how fortunate we are that Wolfe preferred the confines of his Brownstone. If you've never read a Nero Wolfe, don't start with this one. It's only interesting to those who know the characters. This is nothing like all the others, but I still enjoyed it. Aug 25, Marie rated it it was amazing Shelves: audio-books , rex-stout-nero-wolfe.

All I can say is Wow! Considering the fact that this book was written in , it seems very prescient. Considering the fact that they believed there was always hope, if not for Montenegrins of that time, but for their children, is how Mr Stout "saw the future.

They w All I can say is Wow! They waited centuries but Montenegro finally became it's own country, under no one's rule. One of my favorite lines was when they were cold, and it was raining, and they were left standing outside under a tree and Archie surmised that the possible name of the tree was the dripping tree. There were times when the description of some of the treatment of the people, and the conditions they lived in was a little gruesome, but it was necessary for those conditions to be described because that's how things were.

Definitely worth the read.

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Mar 27, Ellen rated it it was amazing Shelves: mystery-nero-wolfe , my-favorites , stout. This is a rare opportunity to observe Nero Wolfe out of his element. Nero's closest friend Marko and owner of Rusterman's, his favorite restaurant is murdered. Nero leaves his Brownstone to solve a murder. Unheard of but it at long last it has happened. This is a first for Nero with Archie by his side of course. If you haven't This is a rare opportunity to observe Nero Wolfe out of his element. If you haven't listened to Nero Wolfe on CD by this artist please stop depriving yourself of a real treat.

I make no apologies for being a Nero Wolfe fan Rex Stout's formula is perfection. Well, this one is really unique among the Wolfe canon. Wolfe and Archie travel to Italy and Montenegro, and the bulk of the novel is more akin to a spy novel than the typical Nero Wolfe story. In fact, I was reminded of the first Mrs. Pollifax book because a lot of it takes place in Albania, a neighbor of Montenegro.

This was a real treat to get to know more of the man himself in his birth land. Also, picturing one ton Wolfe trekking over a mountain with a knife strapped to his leg was well worth it! Though this story was darker than some of the mysteries, it was enjoyable to listen to it. May 18, Addison Braendel rated it liked it. This gets four stars against all other mysteries, but only three in the Rex Stout pantheon.

Nero just isn't as delightful out of doors, which is almost all of this book. Still a fun read, though, and Archie is at his best. Oct 26, C. Kudos to Rex Stout for grappling with the Poirot Problem: What do you do when your series detective, to whom you whimsically gave an exotic foreign background, becomes so popular that fans demand to know about his past?

Agatha Christie created Ariadne Oliver to vent. Stout tops her by killing off Nero Wolfe's oldest friend, forcing the sedentary sleuth not just out of his house but onto a plane to Montenegro.

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Nero Wolfe, the legendary co Kudos to Rex Stout for grappling with the Poirot Problem: What do you do when your series detective, to whom you whimsically gave an exotic foreign background, becomes so popular that fans demand to know about his past? Nero Wolfe, the legendary couch potato, transformed to a mountain goat? Archie -- posing as his son -- carries the luggage along with the narrative, which he's reconstructed after the fact from Wolfe's translations. I learned more than I could absorb about the geography and politics of that volatile region, which would soon explode into larger wars than the one our sleuths must navigate.

The story is action-packed, full of disguises, deceptions, betrayals, and violence, suspenseful all the way back to New York. So, more of a thriller than a Golden Age mystery. No women, except for the occasional glimpsed-from-afar wife or daughter. Aug 24, David Monroe rated it really liked it. The mystery is secondary. Archie is secondary. In this adventure, Nero Wolfe is moved literally to action by the deaths of his childhood friend most recently the owner of the only restaurant Wolfe left his brownstone for and his estranged adopted daughter.

This is not an overly emotional Wolfe. He doesn't rage. He doesn't cry. Stout knew his character well. Just throwing some lines in showing Wolfe spending 18 hours at One Police Plaza going over notes and research, moves the secondary chara The mystery is secondary. Just throwing some lines in showing Wolfe spending 18 hours at One Police Plaza going over notes and research, moves the secondary characters and the knowing reader much more than any tear could.

If that wasn't enough, Wolfe who almost never leaves his home -- quickly makes Archie arrange car, plane and ship travel to take them to where Wolfe grew up - Montenegro. Stout does a good job describing then current political factions fighting for control of it. While it doesn't work well as a mystery; It does, however work quite well as a fish out of water journey and character study.

Jan 02, Eric rated it really liked it. The least typical book in the entire 40something-year Nero Wolfe series. Wolfe's oldest friend, who is also a covert money man for a Montenegro independence group in Tito-era Yugoslavia, is murdered, which compels Wolfe to not only leave the office, but covertly head back to his native soil to bring the murderer to the States for justice. It's a good read with nice character interplay, but definitely shouldn't be the first Wolfe book you read. A one-off change-of-pace story only works the way it The least typical book in the entire 40something-year Nero Wolfe series.

A one-off change-of-pace story only works the way it should if a reader is already familiar with the series dynamic. Dec 19, Brenda Clough rated it really liked it. This is a fun Nero Wolfe book, not your standard New York sleuthfest. I most adore the Wolfe books where they get into personal stuff, and here we are!

Back in Wolfe's native country, in what we must now call the former Yugoslavia. This book was written before much political reshuffling, of course. And there is a crime to solve, naturally.


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But the idea of Archie posing as Wolfe's son is endlessly fun and has generated vast theorizing in the fan community. Rex Stout is possibly the best mystery writer ever, and again, the mysteries themselves are barely passable. But the characters of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin are fantastic. They are the best tune out for the weekend books I have ever had my hands on. And I have tuned out for many weekends. Read at least three. If you don't want to go on from there, well fine, be that way.

The Black Mountain (Nero Wolfe, #24) by Rex Stout

View 1 comment. Jun 10, Monica Willyard Moen rated it really liked it Shelves: bookshare , mysteries , nls. An entry in this long running series with a very different flavor. Nothing could induce this detective to leave home except the death of his oldest and dearest friend.

I suspect the author had a great deal of fun writing this particular book. I particularly enjoyed the word play in the role reversals, though I think this is something only a long time series reader would notice. Nov 13, Moses Operandi rated it really liked it. I love a good Nero Wolfe mystery, and this certainly fits the bill. This is a tight little book and out of the ordinary for a Nero Wolfe mystery.

Just like Sherlock Holmes did a couple of times under Conan Doyle, we have a spy thriller going on. Who killed them and why? He spends forever trying to chase down This is a tight little book and out of the ordinary for a Nero Wolfe mystery. He spends forever trying to chase down leads in NYC where the murder occurred and finds out thru Carla, that the murder s are from the Balkans and that both Marco and Carla were involved with a freedom movement for Montenegro from Tito and the rest of the Serb-Croats and the Communists.

As I said the book is pretty tight and the exposition on where Wolfe was a child, the people we meet and the fact that we see him in one of the very few times actually out of the brownstone in NYC, let alone walking over goat trails, makes this book that much more fun. I would say as well the intrigue between the secret police of Tito, the Montenegrin characters that are meet, and finally the true big bad view spoiler [the Soviet secret police or maybe even the Albanians; Rex Stout never really elaborates on who they actually are or worked for just they have live in an old Roman Fort from the days of Alexander the Great hide spoiler ] who gave the mistaken order to kill Marko when all the true killers needed to do was observe and figure out the intentions of the movement.

The ending is also atypical for a normal Wolfe book. I think the only thing that didn't get me was view spoiler [why at the embassy Wolfe wasn't meet by either an in house CIA agent or the in house FBI agent near the end. Yet, in reading about Stout and his life. It makes sense, he wasn't a big fan of the big government a vein thru out his books is Wolfe's disregard and distemper against the FBI and willing to coincide that even an organization like the NYPD and NYC DA's office were required for civilization. Still it would have been just one more additional surprise to have Wolfe meet with said agents as a wink from Stout.

Bushman as Nero and Elliot Lewis as Archie. The most intriguing casting, though, was the NBC version, with Sydney Greenstreet as the fat man. It may have bee intriguing casting, but our radio guru, Stewart Wright , confides that:. Dobkin played Wolfe, Bartell played Archie, and Ellis directed. The reason why there were so many Archies during the Greenstreet run is that the ratings for the series were never good and Greenstreet, as the star, could not believe that the poor ratings were his fault, so the fault must lie with the actor playing Archie.

Therefore, actor playing Archie was changed several times. Obviously, the changes didn't help. This movie was based on Stout's The Doorbell Rang and was an excellent adaptation. Leonard Maltin also gives it good marks in his annual movie guide. Alas, David's untimely death postponed the series for four years. By the time the series finally did arrive, though, it starred William Conrad best known as Cannon , he of the equally-discriminating palate as Wolfe and Lee Horsley future rich-guy P.

Matt Houston as Archie. Unfortunately, near-perfect casting and high production values didn't turn into any kind of ratings success, and the show, although fondly remembered by some, slipped away after only thirteen episodes. Most of the teleplays were loosely based -- at best -- on Stout's stories, usually sharing only titles with the original material.

Another problem, correspondent Mike Harris notes, is that "the short-lived series was placed in contemporary times rather than the original period of the books. Further, the series lacked the first-person narrative of Archie Goodwin, which greatly alters the "feel" of the stories. In , the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation tried their hand at bringing back old-time radio with 13 one-hour episodes of Nero Wolfe , all based on novellas or short stories written by Stout. By all accounts I've read, it was quite successful.

In , the first of seven new Wolfe novels by former journalist Robert Goldsborough with the consent of the Stout estate was released, and were successful enough that an eighteen year histus, the series was resumed in The show proved successful enough that a new series, based on the Stout novels, tmade its debut in The show turned out to be quite popular with fans, though it struggled in the ratings.

Part of the problem may have been the show's too-cute-by-half notion of a recurring troup of actors appearing in all episodes. It was hard to get your head around a killer one week being a suspect the next or possibly the victim. The plots, as they were, were intricate enough. Still, Chaykin was, as usual, impressively solid as Wolfe, and Hutton, as a flippant, wise-cracking Archie, was a relevation, all nervous energy and slick style.

But it's not just North American television that's come a-calling -- over the years there have been West German, Italian and most recently, even a Russian series featuring the portly detective and his wise-cracking legman. Wolfe's creator, Rex Stout, was an American mystery writer, businessman, and activist.


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  5. Born in Indiana in to Quaker parents, he was raised in Kansas and, by most accounts, was quite the precocious child, reading the Bible cover to cover twice! After a brief time at Kansas University, joined the navy, and served on President Roosevelt's yacht from to He worked as a bookkeeper, a salesman, hotel manager and store clerk, while trying to crack the pulps, cranking out tales of science fiction, romance and adventure. Ever practical, Stout teamed up with his brother, and established a business whose success would enabler him to continue with his writing.

    The first of forty-seven Nero Wolfe books, Fer-de-Lance was published in , to popular and critical acclaim, and by the start of World War II, Stout was a full-time writer. He was also a tireless promoter of the war effort, giving speeches, as hosting radio shows and chairing the Writers War Board. Stout also served several terms as an officer of the Authors' League of America and one term as president of the Mystery Writers of America. Three for the Chair , three stories Buy this book.

    A West German production. These supposedly aired on Italian TV in the late s and early 70s, and many fans feel actor Tino Buazzelli picture was the actor who most closely resembled the Wolfe of Stout's books and their imagination. The official site of the long-running since ! Nero Wolfe fan club. A real labour-of-love site, from web master Carol Novak. Tell her I said "Hi! A book-by-book account, complete with cover scans. I'm not sure how long this site will stay up, now that the show's been canned.

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    Interesting collection of quotes, articles, essays and linksfrom Alex in Bratislava, Slovakia. Respectfully submitted by Don B. Copyright , thrillingdetective. All rights reserved. It may have bee intriguing casting, but our radio guru, Stewart Wright , confides that: "The Sidney Greenstreet run of the radio series starring has never been one of my favorites; Greenstreet overacts in it quite terribly. He merely can't stand to have anyone keep up with him at any time on any track. In a way I even like you.

    In another way I could stand and watch your hide peeling off and not shed any tears. You have undoubtably got the goddamnedest nerve of anybody I know except Nero Wolfe. He gave us genius of at least two kinds, and a strong realist voice that was shot through with hope. Fer-de-Lance Buy this book The League of Frightened Men Buy this book The Rubber Band Buy this book The Red Box Buy this book Too Many Cooks Buy this book Some Buried Caesar Buy this book Over My Dead Body Buy this book Where There's a Will Buy this book The Silent Speaker Buy this book Too Many Women Buy this book And Be a Villian Buy this book The Second Confession Buy this book In the Best Families Buy this book Murder by the Book Buy this book Prisoner's Base Buy this book The Golden Spiders Buy this book The Black Mountain