Read If Death Ever Slept by Rex Stout Michael Prichard Online


Millionaire Otis Jarrell can't even trust his family, it seems. He hires a reluctant Nero Wolfe to find out if his daughter-in-law is double-crossing him. Wolfe and Archie encounter a rogue's gallery of Jarrells and associates and discover one, then two, men killed by the old man's gun. But even Wolfe's distaste for everyone involved doesn't prevent him from assembling theMillionaire Otis Jarrell can't even trust his family, it seems. He hires a reluctant Nero Wolfe to find out if his daughter-in-law is double-crossing him. Wolfe and Archie encounter a rogue's gallery of Jarrells and associates and discover one, then two, men killed by the old man's gun. But even Wolfe's distaste for everyone involved doesn't prevent him from assembling the guests and masterfully declaring � to everyone's surprise � "whodunit."...

Title : If Death Ever Slept
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781572705319
Format Type : Audio CD
Number of Pages : 6 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

If Death Ever Slept Reviews

  • Evgeny
    2019-02-23 20:43

    A millionaire came to Nero Wolfe asking him to get a proof his daughter-in-law is - to use his own expression - a snake. He suspects her of selling his business secrets to outsiders, among other things. Usually even Archie Goodwin who is always eager to get a client does not touch such cases with a ten foot pole, but this time he just had fallout with Nero Wolfe and they were not on speaking terms. So Nero Wolfe knowing Archie would have to impersonate the millionaire's secretary agrees hoping Archie would reject, but the latter agrees hoping the former would do so as Wolfe has to suffer some discomfort when his sidekick is not around to do countless minor chores. The net result of this? Archie moves in to the millionaire mansion undercover. He soon learns not only he is way over his head, but the developments might be too much even for Wolfe's genius. Dead bodies will make appearances. Let me start my own musings by stating that I really do believe people who disclose the identity of the villain in their review of a mystery books without at least hiding it in spoiler tags bring huge amount of bad karma on themselves. It would take rescuing a truckload of kittens to just begin bringing some good karma for counterbalance:I would also de-friend such people without a second thought. Really if you do this you suck, plain and simple. There, I said it. As usual the interactions between two main characters, and between them and the police represented by head of Homicide in Manhattan Inspector Cramer and Sergeant Purley Stebbins are great and amusing. The mystery element was good enough to keep me glued to the book until the end.

  • BillKerwin
    2019-02-28 04:55

    Wheeler-dealer millionaire Otis Jarrell thinks his daughter-in-law Susan is a "snake." Not only is she unfaithful to his son, Otis believes, but she is also leaking valuable evidence to his business competitors. Archie Goodwin poses as Jarrell's private secretary says he may observe the family dynamics first hand and to amass all available evidence. Soon a gun goes missing, somebody ends up dead, and the fun begins in earnest.This adventure is definitely more Goodwin than Wolfe, and Wolfe has little opportunity to demonstrate his genius. Still, this is an enjoyable entry in the series.

  • Mary Holm
    2019-03-11 23:53

    OK, when I was younger, I used to like to read the same books over and over, but these days I try not to do that. There are too many wonderful books waiting for me, taunting me, in my "to be read" pile. However, when it comes to Rex Stout, I make an exception. Visiting with Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin is such a pleasure, I can't help going back to them again and again. I have already read every one of the 33 Nero Wolfe books and 39 short stories at least once. Except for the last one. It sits on my shelf but I can't bring myself to read it, because if I do, there will be no more wonderful new Nero Wolfe books left for me to read.

  • Alexis Neal
    2019-03-17 03:46

    A clash of wills between Wolfe and Archie (compounded by mutual fits of stubbornness) results in Archie masquerading as a secretary in the home of millionaire Otis Jarrell-- a situation that neither Wolfe nor Archie relishes overmuch. Officially, Jarrell hired them to prove that his daughter-in-law stole (and sold) business secrets. But when Jarrell's gun turns up missing and his previous secretary winds up with a hole in the back of his head, the case rapidly escalates into a full-fledged murder investigation. But who done it? And with a house full of suspects with ample motive, means, and opportunity, how will Wolfe ever find the culprit?This entertaining entry in the Nero Wolfe series boasts several strong and/or complex female characters. First, there's Trella Jarrell, second wife to client Otis Jarrell, who likes men to spend money on her and who has a habit of saying things she doesn't mean, but who also provides Archie with several noteworthy bits of information. Then there's Lois, Jarrell's unmarried daughter, who looks great in a tennis dress and dances like a dream, even if she did once write a poem about a squirrel (from which poem the title of this book was taken). Nora Kent, Jarrell's secretary, is cool and competent and definitely knows more than she lets on. And Susan Jarrell, the aforementioned daughter-in-law, seems to be fairly run-of-the-mill, but somehow possesses the ability to attract men like moths to flame. And fan favorite Lily Rowan even makes an appearance of sorts, as her antics are the source of Archie and Wolfe's initial quarrel.Not that it's all women. Jarrell himself figures prominently in the story, as do his son, Wyman, and brother-in-law, Roger--to say nothing of ex-secretary Jim Eber and business competitor Cory Brigham. But, with the exception of the horse-mad racing junkie Roger, the women are far more interesting.The mystery itself is nothing spectacular, but Archie gets to demonstrate his wit, charm, and humor, which makes the story worth reading. Probably not the best book to start with, but if you're already a fan, then you should definitely add this one to your list.A note on the audiobook edition: I think I'm starting to warm to Michael Prichard's narration. It's still not spectacular, by any means, but I'm not actively distracted by it. His Wolfe is better than his Archie, but then Archie is always the toughest character to portray well.

  • Beth
    2019-03-10 02:54

    Meh. I am done. Weirdly, if it ever succeeds as a miniseries I'd watch it but I find the writing dull. Apparently I am NOT a mystery novel girl. I'll be returning the other 2 books unread.

  • Susan
    2019-03-21 00:05

    Neither Archie nor Wolfe much care for the boorish millionaire who hires Wolfe to find a leak in his office. In fact, only his irritation at Archie causes Wolfe to take the case, which requires Archie to act as the millionaire's new secretary. Unfortunately, there's a murder that seems to point right back to the posh penthouse apartment. Wolfe knows he must give the police some of the information he's gathered, but he really doesn't want to. When he does, he's out a client (and a retainer), but he's also angry enough to want to solve the case even if it doesn't pay.

  • Carol
    2019-03-17 01:41

    The mystery in this one is just so-so, but Archie was a star and kept me totally entertained. I think I am in love with Archie! And, I definitely want him to take me dancing.Fritz's menus were a bit on the wild side in this one - avacado whipped with sugar and lime juice and green chartreuse (whatever that is), shad roe with creaole' sauce, fresh strawberry omelet, hedgehog omelets (I hope that is just a nickname for something else), bread fried in anchovy butter. He is certainly original, as always.

  • astaliegurec
    2019-03-01 00:44

    Rex Stout's 1957 novel "If Death Ever Slept (A Nero Wolfe Mystery Book 29)" involves a case that Nero Wolfe would normally never take. The only reason he does is a contagion of stubbornness at the old brownstone. The writing, as almost always, is excellent, the characterizations great, and the story line interesting. It really has only one slight shortcoming: the discovery and revelation of the villain is a bit abrupt and anti-climatic. Still, I'm very happy with the book and am rating it at a Very Good 4 stars out of 5.

  • Tony
    2019-03-10 21:46

    My Grade = 90% - A-So, according to the listing at the top, this is obviously the 29th Nero Wolfe story. It takes place in May, and at the end is an accounting of all the main suspects' activities for a certain week, and it is dated May 29, 1957.This is actually a story I read almost a week ago, and I read three other Rex Stout novellas since then and it is a little rough to differentiate among them all.This begins with a client arriving at Nero Wolfe's door with a grievance against his daughter-in-law, and this client (Otis Jarrell) wants evidence found against her. Archie Goodwin, under the assumed name Alan Green, moves in with the Jarrells under the ruse of being a new secretary.Jarrell's gun is stolen. A person with a close connection is found shot to death. Not long after, another is.With several meetings involving the whole family, the guilty person is accused and taken into custody.One difficulty about these books is that Nero Wolfe rarely leaves his house, so much of the investigation must take place in his office.This was a very good book/story, but I very much dislike how the reader is subjected to the brilliance of the detective in the last two pages without any other clues or indications or foreshadowing that he can use to form his own opinions. Instead, Bang! The detective comes up with the definitive answer/solution like a shot in the dark.....Even so, it was a good read.

  • Susan
    2019-03-16 20:42

    An excellent Nero Wolfe mystery. I love to read the Nero Wolfe mysteries. I love the characters, especially Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin and all the others in the household, associated detectives, and Inspector Cramer. Then the characters that are specific to this particular story - very interesting and lively. A good story, and a satisfying ending.

  • P.L. Hayes
    2019-03-10 20:49

    Another fun Nero Wolfe book. The pacing was good, and the characters, as usual were well drawn. The plot was fairly simple, but the determination of the villain was mired in a bit of minutiae. A portion of the book was eaten by a timeline description, and unless you want to solve the mystery yourself, you could probably give that a skip.

  • Marie
    2019-03-09 00:48

    Interesting story. It all comes back to the relationships: Nero Wolfe, Archie Goodwin, Inspector Cramer, Sergeant Stebbins, Fritz Brenner & the rest of the regulars. They are what make all the stories work.

  • Sheryn
    2019-03-08 21:59

    Love Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin! A quick fun read!!!!!

  • Gary
    2019-03-17 05:00

    A funny one, in several places Archie seems a little off, but it's good.

  • Scilla
    2019-02-18 20:58

    Otis Jarrell wants Wolfe to find out his son's wife is a snake. He offers a lot of money if Archie the son is divorced and his wife leaves their home. Archie is to act as Jarrell's secretary and hopefully find her dishonesty. Shortly after Archie arrives, Otis' gun (1 38mm) is stolen from his desk. Then the former secretary is shot with a 38. Then, a friend of the family is also shot with the same gun. Wolf and Archie resign from the case, but they hire more help to search for the gun based on the schedules of the family members in the days between the two shootings. At the end is a dramatic meeting of all interested parties in Wolfe's office where all is revealed.

  • Chloe
    2019-03-19 23:02

    I really liked this one the first time around for the part where Archie is pretending to be Andrew so Orrie has to pretend to be Archie, but upon rereading I found that the plot was really weak and it dragged. It took my an entire week of bus commutes to get through the last 10 pages.

  • Jacqueline O.
    2019-02-17 23:58

    I read all, or almost all the Nero Wolfe mysteries when I was in junior high, having finished reading Nancy Drew. I found this title in a box of old paperbacks, and decided to re-visit the old brownstone on West 35th Street. Somehow, the edition I happen to have is a British printing - which was strange to read to say the least. In amongst all of Archie's slang some of the terms had British spelling. It was weird. But that's only for the edition I found, an American edition shouldn't have that problem.The Nero Wolfe books are all told in first person from Archie Goodwin's point of view. Archie is Wolfe's "legman", secretary, and as he'd say - "chief needler". And what Archie needles Wolfe about is money, chiefly the need to make some by taking cases. This novel, however, starts a bit differently. Archie comes home late from a date, and not with his main squeeze Lily Rowan. Wolfe is annoyed because Lily had called several times looking for Archie - and Wolfe didn't know where he was since Archie didn't tell him his plans. Archie, in turn, is understandably annoyed at Wolfe's over-controlling nature. But then - it is Archie's pov.The next morning, a man shows up at the brownstone, wanting to hire Wolfe and Archie to prove that his daughter-in-law is "a snake". Wolfe patiently explains he doesn't take divorce cases. Said client, Otis Jarrell, continues to push and drops a $10,000 cash retainer on Wolfe's desk. The result of the wrangling is that Archie ends-up going to Jarrell's home/office under an assumed name as Jarrell's new secretary.Archie arrives, meets all the players, and starts to investigate. Jarrell has also suffered some business losses - but he blames them all on his daughter-in-law. This accusation has no basis in fact, and before long, Archie sees his and Wolfe's client is a bit much.Just as Archie is getting started on his investigations, something happens - a gun is stolen from Jarrell's desk. This proves to be more important than it at first seems.The rest of the book is very typical in structure and content to a Nero Wolfe story, including Wolfe and Archie finding ways to corral all the suspects at Wolfe's office in his brownstone so Wolfe can interview them. Wolfe's set of errands, and final confrontation/solving of the mystery (which includes two murders by the end) works, but I felt it was predictable.Overall, I thought If Death Ever Slept fell a bit flat. I figured out exactly what Wolfe was doing at the end of the book, which isn't typical of what I remember of reading these books. I liked that the story was mostly dialogue, it made for a fast read, but the story needed a bit more depth and a red herring or two -- something to make it work. None of the "guest" characters were all that interesting, several of them were annoying, and I even found a flaw or two in the final "let's reveal the murderer" scene. Rex Stout has written much better.Overall, though I'd recommend the Nero Wolfe series to anyone who likes a good mystery (especially one in the Agatha Christie/Sherlock Holmes vein but American), don't start with this particular story. I think Rex Stout's novels from the 1930s were his best, though one has to make allowances for social change.

  • Travis
    2019-03-05 23:49

    Bit of a jumble, with a pretty unlikable cast, but the mystery is interesting and the payoff was clever and surprising.

  • Alger
    2019-03-10 04:04

    A typical Wolfe novel, meaning the events of the story just follow upon one another without much impact on the actions or demeanor of the characters. This one largely stands out because it gives Archie more of a star turn than usual, and even promises at the start of the case to grant him almost full autonomy in a case. The cranky investor seeking evidence that his daughter in law is "a snake" is filled out only enough to set the plot in motion. Then, once everything is rolling along in the wake of a murder investigation, he is as unchanged as Gibraltar, a character of one thought and cartoonish determination. Similar characterization issues affect all of the interactions, and this is one of the books where all of the women are shapely with oval faces and honey-colored hair. They are essentially interchangeable and irrelevant. Now from this novel starting point where Archie is acting largely alone and is living away from the Brownstone, and is acting as an investigator on his own initiative, the plot moves slowly through a few chapters before snapping back into a traditional Wolfe formula in the wake of the murder. On the upside this serves to move the book out of an increasingly boring situation in the client's household and into the typical high gear of a Nero Wolfe mystery. On the downside, this reveals the first section of the novel to be wasted paper. The resolution is silly, and pulled from thin air as is typical with a Wolfe novel, the one twist to the ending is (view spoiler)[that the person we are told committed the murder, committed the murder (hide spoiler)]. Neither the best of the Wolfe series, but not the worst by a long shot.

  • Alison C
    2019-03-02 23:52

    A 1957 entry in the long-running Nero Wolfe series, Rex Stout's If Death Ever Slept features more Archie Goodwin and less Nero Wolfe than usual. A wealthy businessman comes to Wolfe to ask him to find proof that his daughter-in-law is a "snake" who is giving bits of business information to his rivals, who then can take advantage of the information and undermine his business. Wolfe sends Archie to the wealthy man's home, a large apartment on two floors, where Archie poses as the man's new secretary in order to wend his way into the family's routine. When first the man's loaded gun goes missing and then Archie's predecessor in the job turns up dead, the man is convinced that it is his daughter-in-law's fault, but it is up to Archie and Wolfe to determine whether that is the case or not, all the while keeping Inspector Cramer in the dark about Archie's presence in the house.... One fun element of this series is watching the ways in which Wolfe does his best to avoid doing any actual work, and in this outing he spends considerable time being petulant and peevish, while Archie is left to his own devices until Wolfe finally decides to apply his genius to the case. I liked this story quite a lot, and very much enjoyed the surprise solution, which I certainly didn't expect. Recommended, as always!

  • Christopher Rush
    2019-02-23 01:44

    Another "Archie has to move to a client's home to do inside investigation story," this has a bit more to it than some of the others in that Wolfe sub-genre, though at times it does suffer from that sub-genre's middle-slowdown pacing. The "extra" this one has is mostly at the beginning, with the very humorous clash between Archie and Wolfe about Archie even taking the case or not, eventually leading into Wolfe getting dragged further and further into a case he never wanted in the first place. Another twist is the client is absolutely sure who the guilty party is and insists Archie finds the proof. Naturally, Archie is opposed to this sort of thing, and his personal quest becomes another strange layer of "proving the client wrong" - a client he, too, is not keen on but got mostly to get Wolfe's goat. Archie investigates the only likely group of suspects in the case, stumbling accidentally onto the title, a line of poetry written years ago by one of the suspects (a mostly unrelated expression at the time of its arrival, considering the crime Archie is investigating is insider trading having nothing to do with death). The case takes menacing and deadly turns, eventually, and Wolfe is dragged fully into it, leaving us guessing the identity of the guilty party (or parties?) more so than usual. Not too shabby, despite the slowdown in the middle.

  • John Mendez
    2019-03-06 02:40

    The Nero Wolfe books are a series of mystery books which blend the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ end of the genre with ‘The Maltise Falcon’ end of the genre. More, there are a lot of these books (namely 47 of them). This book is #29.By this point in the series the characters of Archie and Nero are very fleshed out. Nero is a morbidly obese, orchid loving gourmand who solves crimes to pay for his incredibly expensive lifestyle. Archie is a streetwise gumshoe who does Nero’s dirty work, and also plays the role of Nero’s conscience. Like many ultra-long series there is little to no character development in it’s books. Nero and Archie are established and unchanging.For the rest of my review, click here:

  • susan haris
    2019-02-25 04:57

    Droll as usual but with little insight into the evil mastermind. Especially since she has a tame name called Susan and is derided constantly as the 'snake' by a father in law who is alleged to have made passes at her. Close to dirty but not dirty enough.Struck by how murders make up the universe of Nero Wolfe and how they should be common to all the novels at least. Murder must be the essential element of theatricality for Stout as bungling involving women is for Wodehouse. What endless variations, despite repetitions that make the character. Other than Archie who we see tender parts of, everyone else is a bag of gestures and habits. I suppose I cannot be surprised that the predictability of habits of great detectives is comforting, as the solvability of crime fiction is itself the attraction and solace.

  • Jessi
    2019-02-24 02:59

    Nero Wolfe is approached with an interesting case. Otis Jarrell wants Archie to come to his house and prove that Otis' daughter-in-law is a snake, stealing information and giving it to his enemies. It's an unusual request but Archie and Nero agree to the case. So Archie goes to the house, posing as Otis' secretary, the former secretary having been fired after confidential information was leaked. He meets the man's wife, his daughter and son, the son's wife, and the other staff. He doesn't immediately agree that the woman is a snake but he can't deny that she seems to have some strange attraction over men. And then, a body turns up. It is the body of the previous secretary. Of course, this is the day after Otis' gun goes missing from his office. It will be up to Nero and Archie to figure out what is going on.

  • Jeff
    2019-03-07 04:02

    If Death Ever Slept (1957) This Rex Stout novel begins with a spat between Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. A rich man shows up and asks to hire Archie to move in as his secretary to help catch his daughter-in-law who is “a snake.” Nero considers the offer to piss off Archie and Archie takes the offer to piss off Nero. Archie does and soon is involved in two or three murders, I forget which. There is a ritual denouement scene in most of these novels where Detective Cramer (with his annoying sidekick Sergeant Purley Stebbins) indulges Nero by gathering all of the suspects at his office for the truth to be revealed. Cramer usually makes the same speech to the suspects, about how they don’t have to be there after he’s ordered the to do so.

  • Linda
    2019-03-03 23:37

    To celebrate the end of a long period of overtime at work, I decided my brain needed something entertaining. No politics, no serial killers, no world in peril. Nero Wolfe and Archie were perfect: solid mystery with plenty of wry humor. When I finished the book this morning, I was refreshed and sated as if I had just spent a pleasant evening dining with old friends. I read this book years ago but I didn't try to remember or try to divine the killer. I merely enjoyed the characters, the situations, and the final showdown in Wolfe's office. Perhaps, before I pick up one of the many books waiting for me, I'll have another dose of the folks on W 35th St as dessert.

  • Mark Harding
    2019-03-03 21:36

    Quite strange. The hero detective never leaves the house, for starters. But there’s something children’s novelish about the food, Daddy Nero’s routines, the same characters living in the big boarding school of Nero’s house. In the 50’s was it normal to have these extended families living together? (such as Jarell’s). Maybe it was.I have no idea why Susan wasn’t ‘a snake’ in the opinion of Nero and Archie. There must be some subtle terminology I’m missing.I read the book through quickly enough but it left no taste at all. The ‘wisecracks’ were very poor. Instantly forgettable. I’m not rushing out to get others.

  • Sarah
    2019-02-21 02:36

    I liked the idea of 1950s NYC's answer to Sherlock Holmes, but I didn't really like this novel. Maybe I picked the wrong one to start with. But I didn't care about the characters, and the mystery seemed pretty pointless and was solved in a boring, unconvincing way.However...check out some of the foods they ate during this book: - shad roe with créole sauce - bread triangles fried in anchovy butter- "hedgehog omelet"- avocado, whipped with sugar and lime juice and green chartreuse- fresh strawberry omeletIt's a crazy world out there.

  • Cindy
    2019-03-09 21:52

    Nero Wolfe's latest client is a big millionaire investor, what we'd call a venture capitalist today. He's convinced his daughter-in-law is stealing inside info and sharing it with his rivals. He calls her a snake, and he wants Wolfe and Archie Goodwin to get rid of her. Archie moves into the millionaire's penthouse disguised as the new secretary to get the dirt on her. But he hasn't turned up anything when the former secretary turns up murdered. Wolfe needs to find out what happened, and soon.This was not my favorite one in the series, but I liked it better than Too Many Women. 3.75 stars

  • Debbie
    2019-03-04 23:01

    "If Death Ever Slept" is a mystery set in 1957 in New York City. Archie Goodwin always has a humorous view of events which makes the mystery fun to read. This was a clue-based puzzle mystery. I guessed some aspects correctly, but whodunit did end up surprising me. Bad assumption on my part. There was no sex. There was a fair amount of bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this to fans of humorous historical mysteries.