Might As Well Be Dead by Rex Stout

Rex Stout is the author of more than 70 novels, most famous of which feature his classic detective, Nero Wolfe.

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Might As Well Be Dead by Rex Stout


  • Paperback: 224 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.57 x 8.66 x 5.56
  • Publisher: Bantam ; (January 1995)
  • ISBN: 0553763032

    Reader Reviews
    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful: Search for a missing son turns into a murder case, March 24, 2002 Reviewer: M. L. Worley from Kingdom of the Mouse, United States James R. Herrold threw his son Paul out of the family business 11 years ago - unjustly, it turns out, and he now wishes to set the account straight. When Wolfe and Archie begin advertising for a P.H. who's now known to be innocent, though, it attracts Purley Stebbins, wanting to know why they're interested in Peter Hays, who's on trial for 1st degree murder. Archie opts to look at Hays, just on the chance - and seeing his face in defiance at the jury's guilty verdict, with life in it, sees the kid in Herrold's college photo. Albert Freyer, Hays' attorney, comes to Wolfe, who breaks his rule of discretion and makes common cause with him. Freyer's never seen Hays with any life in his face, and knew nothing of his past; when they first met, Hays had said he might as well be dead, being given over to despair. Archie, Wolfe, and Freyer believe he's innocent (partly because *somebody* followed Archie to court, and it sure wasn't Hays). Hays is supposed to have shot Michael Molloy, the husband of the woman he loved, but he's been standing mute. Mrs. Molloy couldn't divorce him (this was 1956) even though he was maltreating her. An anonymous man had called Hays up with a tale of Molloy starting to beat up Selma, and the cops were tipped off to the shooting by an anonymous caller. Hmm. Hays hasn't got enough of a personal life for the frameup to be personal, and Selma Malloy appears to have no outside interest (as well as an alibi). Archie, therefore, goes to work questioning her, partly because she used to be Molloy's secretary, and can give them a line on any interesting business dealings he may have had. (The current secretary is far less appealing to him.) The first scrap is a safe deposit box, location unknown, in the name of Richard Randall - if they can find it. The usual supporting players are deployed to the fullest: Saul, Fred, and Orrie (naturally), and even the more rare Johnny Keems. They have the joyous task of sorting through Molloy's associates and poking into holes, trying to stir something up without being bitten. --This text refers to the edition

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