Monday, August 16, 2010

Robert Parker on Nero Wolfe: IF DEATH EVER SLEPT

If Death Ever SleptIn the '90s, the Nero Wolfe mysteries were reprinted with brand-new introductions. These were written by many of the top names in mystery, detective, suspense, and thriller fiction -- ranging from Dean Koontz, Walter Mosley and Lawrence Block to Diane Mott Davidson, Jonathan Kellerman and Sharyn McCrumb.

Robert B. Parker handled the honors for the Nero Wolfe mystery If Death Ever Slept (originally published 1957, reissued 1992):
"It is now commonplace to point out that Rex Stout fused the two great streams of English language detective fiction," Parker wrote in 1991. "In Nero wolfe he creates a Holmesian genius, European born, who solves crimes through the application of superior intellect, in the ratiocination tradition. In Archie Goodwin we have an American wisacre who solves, or helps Wolfe solve, crimes through the application of superior toughness, in the hard-boiled tradition ...

"This would have been a clever contrivance in any case, but it would have been only that if Stout were not a splendid writer. He wrote short and he wrote often, which tended to obscure the fact that he wrote well ... "
Read the whole essay in the 1992 Rex Stout Library edition of If Death Ever Slept. The edition also includes a reprint of an article Stout wrote in 1963 for Life magazine, "Why Nero Wolfe Likes Orchids."

Related links:
Detectives: NERO WOLFE and ARCHIE GOODWIN by Rex Stout
2009 Nero Award and Black Orchid Novella Award
Murder on the Menu: 13 Food Mysteries
Christmas Can Be Murder: 10 Seasonal Mystery Titles
Crime Fiction Alphabet: H is for Homicide Trinity
100 Mystery Series: 1887-2010
Detectives: SPENSER by Robert Parker
Detectives: JESSE STONE by Robert Parker
Detectives: SUNNY RANDALL by Robert Parker
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Die Laughing: Funny Crime and Mystery Fiction


A woman with a complicated past returns home to become the small town's new sheriff. Best Mann For The Job is by the writer/artist team of Chris and Erica Well. Read it from the beginning at Watch the trailer on YouTube.