Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Not Quite Dead Enough, by Rex Stout, also contains the story "Booby Trap

I had listened to this book before, years ago when I first discovered both these downloadable audio books from the library, as well as the Nero Wolfe series.  My  memory is terrible, so I didn't remember the mystery and knew it would be no trouble to listen to this one again.
I enjoyed both stories (both short).  I have read that many people dislike the first (Not Quite Dead Enough) and I can understand that, it is a little rough around the edges.  In particular the narrator, Archie Goodwin, usually so entertaining, is a bit too smug and mysoginistic.  But the mystery is one of the best, it has a great twist at the end which I recount here not to spoil the book for anyone (don't read further if you don't want it spoiled), but so I can remember it later:  the twist is that the initial reports of a murder were false, but the (would-be) murdered overheard that the murder had been committted, and how, and then rush to committ the murder in that fashion.  I'm butchering the twiste here so maybe it wouldn't spoit it for anyone anyhow, but it is enough to jog my memory.
The second story, Booby Trap, is much smoother although the mystery is somewhat ridiculous.  Still it it too has a very surprising ending, with Nero Wolfe allowing (commanding?) the murder to commit suicide by hand grenade (I'm not making that up). 

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