Friday, January 15, 2016

The Nero Wolfe Files

Marvin Kaye (ed.), The Nero Wolfe Files
Wildside Press. 2005

I was pleased to discover recently that The Nero Wolfe Files was available in a print edition.  As I am the biggest (physically, if in no other way) Nero Wolfe addict around, I bought it instantly (and the sequel, The Archie Goodwin Files, on which I shall report once I have read it).  As Mr. Wolfe would say, this is satisfactory.  But not, I am somewhat sorry to say, very satisfactory.

It's a compilation of pieces (essays, transcriptions of speeches. and ephemera) related to the founding of the Wolfe Pack (, a society devoted to the works of Rex Stout and the memory of Nero Wolfe.  The Pack publishes a quarterly (or so) newsletter and host events in NYC and elsewhere.  The historical pieces in The Nero Wolfe Files do a nice job of tracing the organization of the Pack, and provides some useful  insight into Rex Stout as a human being.  For that--roughly 80% of the book--it's worth the price.  The ephemera (reproductions of dinner menus, limericks, and song lyrics composed at the Pack's annual dinners) are occasionally amusing, but mostly forgettable.

I would judge that this book will be of interest mostly to truly serious fans of Stout and Wolfe, and of lesser interest to the rest of t he mystery community.

1 comment:

  1. There was a time when I'd have snapped this right up. That time has passed, however.