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














August Interview Schedule
8/7 Rhys Bowen Love and Death Among the Cheetahs
8/14 Heather Gilbert Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass
8/21 Lynn Chandler Willis Tell Me No Secrets
8/28 Cynthia Kuhn The Subject of Malice
8/31 Bernard Schaffer An Unsettled Grave

Saturday Guest Bloggers: 8/3 M. S. Spencer, 8/10 Zaida Alfaro

WWK Satuday Bloggers: 8/24 Kait Carson

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Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:


Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.


KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology will be released on June 18th.

Congratulations to Margaret S. Hamilton for being a finalist in the Daphne Du Maurier contest. Margaret competes in the Unpublished/Mainstream mystery/suspense category.

Congratulations to Shari Randall for WINNING the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Her book, Curses, Boiled Again was published by St. Martin's last year. Read the interview about the book here. Yay, Shari!

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.

James M. Jackson extends the Seamus McCree series with the May 25th publication of #6, False Bottom.

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Friday, September 8, 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.

Rex Stout was one of those writers whose life was as interesting as his characters. What other writer fits that description?

3 comments:

Jim Jackson said...

Who knew Herbert Hoover had an enemies list? The Nero Wolfe mysteries were favorites of my fathers, and so I read a half-dozen at our summer cabin in the Cottage District of Ontario.

~ Jim

KM Rockwood said...

Another fun review of one of the classics! I remember reading this years ago.

Margaret Turkevich said...

Dashiell Hammett. Love them both.