Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe mysteries available as e-books

neroI always get excited when I see that entire series of backlist books have been released as e-books.  As a lover of mystery novels, I was delighted to discover that all 47 of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe Mysteries are now available in versions for the Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iPad.

The corpulent Nero Wolfe is a perennial favorite among lovers of armchair detective mysteries.  The series of Books is comprised of 33 novels and 39 short stories and novellas which have been adapted into radio,  film and television versions..  The series begins with the 1934 Fer-de-Lance, and concludes with the posthumously published volume of three stories,  Death Times Three. You can read more about the series on its Wikipedia page.

So. The good news is that the books are now available in e-versions. The bad news is, the pricing for the books is all over the map. Thirty of the books in the series are priced at $7.99, which is the exact same price as the paperback versions. Fifteen of the books are priced as high as $11.99. The prices on the other two varied from $2.99 to $7.99, depending on the retailer. The order of the books doesn’t seem to be a factor. Book 1, Fer-de-Lance, is $7.99.  Book 2, The League of Frightened Men, is $11.99.  The covers are also inconsistent. Some of the books have new covers; others do not.

Needless to say, the pricing was a deal-breaker for me. Like most mystery lovers, I am a serial reader and I would have bought the whole series if they had been priced along the lines of how Amazon priced the Ed McBain 87th Precinct mysteries ($1.99 to $4.99) or the Gladys Mitchell Mrs. Bradley mysteries ($1.99 to $3.99). I don’t know if this is protectionist pricing for the new Nero Wolfe novels by Robert Goldsborough’s Nero wolfe mysteries, but the prices are just too high, especially if you want them all. 😦 I think Random House’s agency pricing is showing.

Since these are now available as e-books, I am hoping that soon we also might see The Nero Wolfe Cookbook finally come out as an e-book. The cookbook features  excerpts from the books alongside recipes for dishes served in the Nero Wolfe mysteries. The hardcover is great for the kitchen, but the book is as much a joy to read as it is to cook from….

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