Fer De Lance by Rex Stout

Mystery Book Club

Fer De Lance Discussion Questions

  1. What do you think of the 1st person narration?
  2. If your book has an introduction by Loren D. Estleman, does it add to the book?
  3. Estleman states that in 46 books, Archie and Nero don’t change, for those of you who have read more than this book, do you agree?
  4. Is the 1st person narrator, Archie Goodwin the hero or is Nero Wolfe?
  5. In the case of the missing Carlo Maffei, Wolfe doesn’t seem interested until his sister Maria offers to pay, how does this shape your perceptions of Wolfe?
  6. This book was first published in 1934, does it feel like a product of its time?
  7. Wolfe questions Anna who overheard a telephone call for five hours, does that seem excessive?
  8. What do you think of O’Grady when he meets Nero Wolfe?
  9. Why do you think Nero Wolfe tried a ten thousand dollar bet about how Peter Barstow was killed?
  10. Wolfe refuses to see Anderson to illustrate his own eccentricity, what do you think?
  11. What do you think of Miss Barstow showing up at Wolfe’s to ask him to ignore her mother’s $50,000 reward offer?
  12. Wolfe offers to give the information to Miss Sarah Barstow if the killer is who she fears, is this ethical?
  13. Is poison on a dart embedded in a golf club a good murder weapon?
  14. Do you like Nero Wolfe?
  15. Were you surprised that Peter Barstow was an accidental murder victim?
  16. What do you think of Kimball as a man that was murdered but still living?
  17. Kimball describes how he killed his wife and her lover but nothing happened to him, what do you think?
  18. What do you think of his description of Manuel, his possible son?
  19. Did you expect the snake to be in the drawer?
  20. What do you think of the coincidences that led to Carlo Maffei’s death?
  21. Should Wolfe have forced Anderson to pay him?
  22. Why do you think Wolfe set up E.D. Kimball?
  23. Did you like the book?
  24. Would you read more in the series?

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