Rex Stout (Rex Todhunter Stout) Biography
(1886–1975), (Rex Todhunter Stout), Ferde-Lance, Some Buried Caesar, The Red Bull, Too Many Cooks
American crime writer, born in Noblesville, Indiana, educated at the University of Kansas. After working as a book-keeper and hotel manager, Stout became a full-time writer in 1927. He produced several orthodox novels before turning to detective fiction and publishing Ferde-Lance (1934), the first of a long series of novels and short stories in the majority of which the central figure is the private detective Nero Wolfe, Montenegrin by birth, a gourmet who weighs a seventh of a ton, and rarely leaves his house on West 35th Street in New York. The stories are narrated by Wolfe's assistant, Archie Goodwin. The best of the novels is possibly Some Buried Caesar (1938; alternative US title The Red Bull), but Too Many Cooks (1938), The Silent Speaker (1946), And Be a Villain (1948; UK title More Deaths than One), The Second Confession (1949), and Gambit (1962) are also excellent.