If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


Here are the upcoming WWK interviews for the month of June!

June 6 Maggie Toussaint, Confound It

June 13 Nicole J. Burton, Swimming Up the Sun

June 20 Julie Mulhern, Shadow Dancing

June 27 Abby L. Vandiver, Debut author, Secrets, Lies, & Crawfish Pies


Our June Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 6/2--Joanne Guidoccio, 6/9 Julie Mulhern, 6/16--Margaret S. Hamilton, 6/23--Kait Carson, and 6/30--Edith Maxwell.


Please welcome two new members to WWK--Annette Dashofy, who will blog on alternative Sundays with Jim Jackson, and Nancy Eady, who will blog on every fourth Monday. Thanks for blogging with us Annette and Nancy!


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Annette Dashofy's Uneasy Prey was released in March. It is the sixth Zoe Chambers Mystery. The seventh, Cry Wolf, will be released on September 18th. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Annette on September 19th.

Carla Damron's quirky short story, "Subplot", was published in the Spring edition of The Offbeat Literary Journal. You can find it here: http://offbeat.msu.edu/volume-18-spring-2018/


Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), was published on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here. He's working on Seamus McCree #6 (False Bottom)


Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:


Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.


Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in July 31, 2018.

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Champagne For One by Rex Stout: A Review by Warren Bull





Champagne For One by Rex Stout: A Review by Warren Bull

Champagne For One was published in 1958. It is one of thirty three novels Rex Stout wrote featuring his detective, Nero Wolf and his assistant, Archie Goodwin. Wolf was a stay-at-home detective, rarely venturing away from his New York brownstone home. Wolfe’s daily schedule was set up to include four hours each day with his orchids, gourmet meals, and as little physical activity as he can manage. It is not surprising that he weighed 1/7th of a ton. His luxurious home is also arranged to fit his interests and occupation with private space for him and built-in ways to listen to and watch visitors.

Champagne For One is an example of his detective style. He sends Archie out with the men he regularly uses as backup. Suspects come to his home for questioning and to plead their cases. The police cooperative reluctantly and with loud complaints, but they go along with the crime-solver. 
In this novel, as in many others, Wolfe solves an “impossible” crime by using Archie and others to do the legwork, by observation and by the use of his massive intelligence.  In the novel Archie is asked by an acquaintance to attend a formal dinner the mansion of a grand dame of society. Guests include six single men and six unmarried women who are in a charitable facility that helps unmarried women. At the dinner he discovers that one of the women has cyanide capsules in her purse. She has said that someday she may kill herself using the poison. Archie keeps his eye on the woman and on her purse. Nevertheless she dies in front of the group. Tests confirm she was poisoned.  Nearly everyone except Archie believes she committed suicide. Archie is convinced she was murdered. 

Was she murdered? If so how?  Archie watched her and her purse. Even if it was death by suicide, how did she get the poison? The questions are fair. Not having Wolfe’s brainpower, I did not guess the solution correctly.

 This is a series in which the characters do not grow or change. For example, Wolfe is the same age in every novel. However, I enjoyed visiting familiar characters in a setting I knew well. Nero Wolfe is one of the classic fictional detectives. This novel is well worth reading.

While working on this blog I learned about Rex Stout. The author was raised as a Quaker and had a strong sense of right and wrong. He supported civil rights and authors’ rights. Stout was on the original board of the American Civil Liberties Union. During the height of the McCarthy era he ignored a subpoena from the House Un-American Activities Committee. Although Stout was a staunch anti-Communist, Herbert Hoover included Stout on his personal enemies list. Many writers were on his list. Stout included social commentary in his mysteries.


8 comments:

Jim Jackson said...

Rex Stout was one of the first "adult" mystery authors I grew up reading because my father was a huge fan and we had collection of the Nero Wolfe novels up at the family camp in Ontario.

You never know what can happen when you leave a kid in a room full of books!

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

Although it sounds as if I would have admired Stout, I can't say that I'd like his work. Nero sounds like someone I wouldn't like--and liking a main character is essential. His sidekick Archie might be someone I could champion.

Margaret Turkevich said...

It's all about the orchids and gourmet food, so I've been fond of Nero and Archie since I discovered the books in my grandparents' summer cottage.

Grace Topping said...

I've read a number of Rex Stout's books and enjoyed them immensely. By today's standards, Nero would be viewed critically, but in the books, he is entertaining--if a bit annoying.

Gloria Alden said...

I haven't read any of his books, but now I'm tempted to read at least some of them.

KM Rockwood said...

I love Rex Stout's detective stories! I knew he had a number of them, but 33 is more than I think I've read. I will have to do some research on them.

E.B., I don't like Nero at all, but it's a somewhat rare case of liking the novels even when I didn't like the protagonist.

Shari Randall said...

Interesting comments about liking a character. Stout gave us Archie who is likeable, just like Conan Doyle gave us Watson along with Holmes. (I don't like Holmes, but he's fascinating.) I've only read one or two of the Stout stories and I have to say I don't think I'd warm up to Nero, but I would like to be invited to his gourmet dinners.

KB Inglee said...

My mother introduced me to Res Stout after I met Sir Arthur and Agatha. She thought he would be more to my taste. She was right. I gobbled up all his books, and was madly in love with Archie. My favorite was The Doorbell Rings.