Thursday, November 10, 2011

Author Picks - Nero Wolfe by Rex Stout

Mystery novelist Anthony Hyde was recently in town. Part of the reason he was in town was to support the ABC Life Literacy Canada Good Reads literacy initiative. As a result, he and fellow novelist Joy Fielding did a mini-tour of several local libraries. It was great entertainment for all involved.

As part of the Q&A sessions, I asked Anthony what he liked to read for pleasure. He was quick to mention his fondness for the Nero Wolf mystery series (M) by Rex Stout. He told of how he loves to re-read them and how they always absorb him as a reader.

This series features a compelling and quirky lead character in Nero Wolfe, who is described by Novelist as " that brilliant but agoraphobic, corpulent and slothful Montenegrin". He must be a charismatic character, as there has been an active Nero Wolfe fan group, The Wolfe Pack, since 1978. Checkout their website. Wolfe epitomizes the term "armchair detective", as he solves the mysteries remotely from the comfort of his luxurious brownstone home.

Novelist goes on to describe the writing style as descriptive, richly detailed and witty. The pacing is relaxed and the storyline is intricately plotted and character driven. The New York setting is also a key element.

Fans of Nero Wolfe should also consider reading Monica Quill's (aka Ralph McInerny) Sister Mary Teresa series (M). Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series (M) would also be a good choice.

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