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Wolfe, Nero. Nero Wolfe was created by Rex Stout (Dol Bonner, Tecumseh Fox) and appeared in forty-nine novels and short story collections and a number of radio shows from 1934 to 1975, beginning with Fer-de-Lance.

Nero Wolfe is an Armchair Detective Great Detective. Wolfe is a brilliant, obese consulting detective who lives in a nicely-appointed brownstone on West 35th St. in Manhattan which he refuses to leave, only doing so in the most extreme circumstances. His clients come to him, and with the help of his Watson and legman, the wry Archie Goodwin, Wolfe solves the case from the comfort of his apartment. Wolfe is far more interested in food and his prize orchids than he is in solving mysteries, but when he needs money for food or beer he will take on clients. Wolfe’s grasp of logic, knowledge of the law, and general acerbity rival that of Sherlock Holmes, who is supposed by some to be Wolfe’s true father.

* I'm including the Nero Wolfe stories in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because the novels are fun to read and because they are historically important. Historically, the Nero Wolfe novels and stories are important because they are viewed as being among the top three detective series of the 20th century by critics, with Rex Stout at one time being seriously considered as one of the top five detective and mystery writers of all time. The Nero Wolfe stories and novels were very (very) popular for over forty years, and Stout was influential on a large number of other authors. In terms of fun, well, the series is well-written, the mysteries are well-plotted, the dialogue has some life to it, Wolfe is wonderfully brought to life and Archie Goodwin only a little less so. Highly recommended. 

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