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Where There's a Will

af Rex Stout

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Serier: Nero Wolfe (8)

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6461426,653 (3.84)43
Investigating the bizarre will of late multimillionaire Noel Hawthorne - who left the bulk of his estate to his mistress and nearly nothing to his three sisters - astute sleuth Nero Wolfe stumbles upon a legacy of murder.

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Times are hard and even Nero Wolfe has to compromise. No more fance cases, this time it is a contested will. Wolfe does not like to fight over dead people's money, but he does need money for himself and his staff so off he goes. Or well, Archie Goodwin goes.

I like this book because while the character gallery was a bit too large, it was limited and allowed for many different theories of what has happened. Personally I went with a theory based on the experience Sayers, Stout and Christie have given me and that wasn't too bad. Though there were red herrings too.


( )
  bratell | Dec 25, 2020 |
Nero Wolfe takes on a type of case he normally wouldn't. A family matter about a will leaving the family fortune to a woman who wasn't his wife. Noel Hawthorne, multi-millionaire, has left his sister April, May and June, a peach, a pear and an apple. To his wife and a few others, some smaller bequests. The lady who gets the bulk is no relation. Why?

This high profile, conservative family want Wolfe's help in keeping any sort of scandal being attached to the family and to find out who killed Noel and why the will was written in favour of this other woman. The sisters fear that their brother's widow, Daisy, will cause a scene and embarrass the family.

The characters are varied, the strangest being the widow. She constantly wears a veil due to an accident that has scarred her face. She has also turned against the Hawthorne family since learning of the terms of the will.

Wolfe takes on the case due to the low balance in his bank account. It takes money to support his life style and his orchids. With little to no knocks on the door asking for help, this was as good as it was.

This tale has Wolfe leaving his home and taking up space in the house where the murder occurred - something Wolfe NEVER does! It is the only way he is able to access the suspects and get the information he needs. When another murder happens, Wolfe quickly makes a beeline to his home. Needless to say, when Inspector Cramer comes knocking with a warrant for Wolfe's arrest Wolfe has already solved the mystery. ( )
  ChazziFrazz | Mar 26, 2019 |
The three Hawthorne sisters — April, May, and June in reverse age order — are disconcerted when their millionaire brother, Noel, dies and bequeaths to a peach, a pear, and an apple to each of them, respectively. The bulk of his estate goes not to his wife but his mistress. The sisters say they don't mind being cut out but are alarmed that sister-in-law Daisy intends to fight the will in court, thereby bringing them the short of publicity they can do without. They want Nero Wolfe to convince the mistress to give the widow half the money to prevent the lawsuit, but they soon have even bigger problems when Noel's apparently accidental death is found to be murder.

Set in 1939, this ninth series entry has possibly the most eclectic set of guest characters ever to grace Wolfe's office. The Hawthorne sisters seem to be intended as a sort of low-key colonies version of the Mitford sisters: The oldest is married to the U.S. Secretary of State; the middle sister is a brilliant scientist and college president; and the youngest is taking the Broadway stage by storm. Toss in a widow who wears a veil after a devastating archery accident left her permanently disfigured and a next-generation young female whose own mother calls her "a professional fiend," and you've got a bunch of women custom-made for getting on Wolfe's nerves.

Adding insult to injury is the distasteful aspect of a family fight about money; Wolfe has previously proclaimed that he would never take such a case since it would inevitably become "a game of tug-of-war using a dead man's guts for a rope." But it's the Depression and those orchids won't breed themselves. Thankfully, a good juicy murder soon pops up to make the whole puzzle more palatable for our finicky friend. Wolfe's discomfort also provides leg man Archie Goodwin plenty of opportunity for quips and scoldings, handed out as needed to all and sundry, but especially the boss. I enjoy this one more now than when I first read it, as my appreciation for Stout's masterful command of dialogue and repartee has increased over the years. ( )
4 stem rosalita | May 6, 2018 |
pasado de moda, no es muy bueno, tal vez la traducción no ayuda ( )
  gneoflavio | Feb 18, 2018 |
This 8th book in the Nero Wolfe series was pretty typical. Although I hadn't read this one before, Wolfe and Archie behaved in the manner that I associate with them in my memory, though there was a little less talk about their meals than usual. Wolfe does briefly leave his brownstone to visit the client's home (a fact which surprised me no less than it did Archie & Fred!). A quick and enjoyable read. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jan 27, 2018 |
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Rex Stoutprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
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Investigating the bizarre will of late multimillionaire Noel Hawthorne - who left the bulk of his estate to his mistress and nearly nothing to his three sisters - astute sleuth Nero Wolfe stumbles upon a legacy of murder.

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