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The Silent Speaker (1946)

de Rex Stout

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Sèrie: Nero Wolfe (11)

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8601418,601 (4)45
When a powerful government official, scheduled to speak to a group of millionaires, turns up dead, it is an event worthy of the notice of the great Nero Wolfe. Balancing on the edge of financial ruin, the orchid-loving detective grudgingly accepts the case. Soon a second victim is found bludgeoned to death, a missing stenographer's tape causes an uproar, and the dead man speaks, after a fashion. While the buisness world clamors for a solution, Nero Wolfe patiently lays a trap that will net him a killer worth his weight in gold.   Introduction by Walter Mosley   "It is always a treat to read a Nero Wolfe mystery. The man has entered our folklore."--The New York Times Book Review   A grand master of the form, Rex Stout is one of America's greatest mystery writers, and his literary creation Nero Wolfe is one of the greatest fictional detectives of all time. Together, Stout and Wolfe have entertained--and puzzled--millions of mystery fans around the world. Now, with his perambulatory man-about-town, Archie Goodwin, the arrogant, gourmandizing, sedentary sleuth is back in the original seventy-three cases of crime and detection written by the inimitable master himself, Rex Stout.… (més)
Afegit fa poc perbiblioteca privada, rodney_mcfadyen, Dragonfly, bratell, jviscosi, Menagerie2020, Javman83, jackanaples

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This was a bit different from the usual, to me. With a large number of characters and a larger number of suspects, there seemed to be quite a bit more to keep track of.

Cheney Boone, the guest speaker at a high end banquet is murdered in a room just off the stage and just before he is to go on. Who and why is hard to figure out. What this does do is bring out the tension between two rival organizations: National Industrial Association (NIA) and Bureau of Price Regulation (BPR). Both are high powered groups with high powered men. This is not going to be a slam-dunk case, but one that needs finesse in dealing with these men.

The bank balance is on the low side, so Wolfe sends Archey out to dig for info on the case. Archey gets some and also gets the NIA to hire Wolfe to solve the murder. Wolfe is the best and only the best will do for these men.

The key to solving this is finding the missing recording cylinder that Boone earlier the day of his death. It was given to his personal secretary and the contents are not to be shared with anyone. She claims to have lost it and the satchel that contained it. When the satchel is found with only 9 of the cylinders and the secretary is murdered in front of Wolfe's front step things get critical.

I still enjoy Archey and his wisecracking and prodding of Wolfe. This time out Wolfe seems a bit off his game. Or is he? Over all it was still a good read. ( )
  ChazziFrazz | Apr 11, 2019 |
A New-Deal type government official is murdered just before addressing the National Industrial Association (fictional version of te National Association of Manufacturers) --Wolfe gets himself hired to solve the murder while protecting the reputation of the NIA, but then stops working for them because he has discovered 1) that the NIA is not involved in the murder but 2) the speaker's aide has been murdered while she was deliberately keeping the suspicion on the NIA for political reasons, and since she got herself killed doing it, he felt obliged to do the same. Personally, I regard this as unethical .It essentially assumes that a group like the NIA is so evil that it deserves to suffer undeserved suspicion of homicide, which I regard as unfair. ( )
  antiquary | Jul 2, 2016 |
Yes, this is the Archie I know and love! He's on top form in this instalment, which could be subtitled 'The one where Wolfe pretends he's having a nervous breakdown'. The mystery itself is a weird stand-off between two organisations made up of initials, but I never waste too much time trying to figure out whodunit (especially not second time around!) The fun is in the characters, and even one of the witnesses is on top form here - Phoebe Gunther, who makes Archie trip over his tongue (I still like to use her phrase, 'Oh, for the Lord's sake!' when appropriate!)

Anyway, Archie is hilarious, whether flirting with the prettier visitors to Wolfe's office or goading his boss.'This side is for the Capulets. Would you mind sitting where I put you?' he tells a member of one of the warring factions who has strayed into his chair. And, 'To give you an idea how tricky I am, some people look under the bed at night, but I look in the bed, to make sure I'm not already there laying for me' to a woman he's trying to charm into opening up. When he's on form, Archie is a absolute gem. Love him. ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Apr 8, 2016 |
Good one. Unusual. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
Classic Rex Stout. The dialogue is scintillating and in this one Archie may have met his female match. Part of its charm today is the anachronistic flavor with 3-cent stamps, dime phone calls from real phone booths and the battle between wartime price regulators and industry shills. Some of the dialogue is LOL funny. If you haven’t read any Nero Wolfe I urge you to do so. For audiobook fans, my favorite reader is Michael Pritchard who perfectly captures Archie’s sardonic wit. ( )
1 vota ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Rex Stoutautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Ahmavaara, EeroTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Askeland, ElsaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Borthen, LeifTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Mosley, WalterIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Omboni, IdaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Prichard, MichaelNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Seated in his giant's chair behind his desk in his office, leaning back with his eyes half closed, Nero Wolfe muttered at me:

“It is an interesting fact that the members of the National Industrial Association who were at that dinner last evening represent, in the aggregate, assets of something like thirty billion dollars.”
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(Disclaimer) The characters in this book are imaginary, and resemblances to them, if any, borne by actual persons or corpses are accidental and in some cases deplorable.
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When a powerful government official, scheduled to speak to a group of millionaires, turns up dead, it is an event worthy of the notice of the great Nero Wolfe. Balancing on the edge of financial ruin, the orchid-loving detective grudgingly accepts the case. Soon a second victim is found bludgeoned to death, a missing stenographer's tape causes an uproar, and the dead man speaks, after a fashion. While the buisness world clamors for a solution, Nero Wolfe patiently lays a trap that will net him a killer worth his weight in gold.   Introduction by Walter Mosley   "It is always a treat to read a Nero Wolfe mystery. The man has entered our folklore."--The New York Times Book Review   A grand master of the form, Rex Stout is one of America's greatest mystery writers, and his literary creation Nero Wolfe is one of the greatest fictional detectives of all time. Together, Stout and Wolfe have entertained--and puzzled--millions of mystery fans around the world. Now, with his perambulatory man-about-town, Archie Goodwin, the arrogant, gourmandizing, sedentary sleuth is back in the original seventy-three cases of crime and detection written by the inimitable master himself, Rex Stout.

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