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Trivia / Nero Wolfe

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  • Creator Breakdown: Inverted. Rex Stout had a lengthy and varied publishing career behind him even before he wrote his first Wolfe novel, of which few works are remembered or loved as much; however, from the late 1940s on he pretty much devoted himself solely to writing stories about Wolfe and Archie in large part because he enjoyed writing them so much. Some of the novels address his political issues, however:
    • The Doorbell Rang takes a pretty dim view of the FBI. In addition to his outrage over the general disclosure of the Bureau's widespread corruption and unethical practices, Rex Stout had himself come under suspicion and been harassed for suppose pro-communist sympathies.
    • A Family Affair is Stout's response to the Watergate scandal and Nixon's resignation. Let us simply say Stout was not happy with Nixon.note 
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  • Creator's Favorite Episode: Stout named Some Buried Caesar as his favorite.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • The covers of the volumes published in the 70's and 80's were horribly inaccurate to the stories inside them; the cover blurbs were worse. It's claimed that the marketing department thought it best to make Stout reprints look like thrillers instead of mysteries, since the traditional mystery had gained a reputation among the general public of being only fit for "pathetic spinsters" who found thrillers and suspense novels too "scary".
    • In Over My Dead Body, Wolfe says that he was born in the US. In every other story that makes mention of his place of birth, he says it was Montenegro. Word of God, in the form of a letter from Rex Stout to his authorized biographer, John McAleer says:
      "In the original draft of Over My Dead Body Nero was a Montenegrin by birth, and it all fitted previous hints as to his background; but violent protests from The American Magazine, supported by [publishers] Farrar & Rinehart, caused his cradle to be transported five thousand miles."
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  • Outlived Its Creator: Following Stout's death in 1975, his estate gave Robert Goldsborough authorization to continue the series. Between 1986 and 1994 he wrote seven more Nero Wolfe novels (with the last one being an apparent send-off to the series), and then he came back to write six more from 2012 to 2018 (including a prequel, Archie Meets Nero Wolfe) with no end in sight. Reception has been mixed at best.
  • Technology Marches On: In The Mother Hunt (1963), Wolfe conducts an elaborate investigation to confirm whether a foundling is the son of the deceased Richard Valdon. Just two decades later, DNA testing could have done the job.


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