Read The Father Hunt by Rex Stout Donald E. Westlake Online


Hired to locate Amy Denovo's long-lost father, Nero Wolfe and his assistant, Archie Goodwin, discover that the missing man has a deadly and dangerous secret to hide....

Title : The Father Hunt
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780553762976
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 208 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Father Hunt Reviews

  • Evgeny
    2019-03-25 03:34

    I want to make it clear from the beginning that the word hunt in the title is not used in the most common sense, so do not think this: One of the recurring characters of the series is Archie Goodwin's girlfriend Lily Rowan. She hired a secretary Amy Denovo for a temporary position who asked Archie to help her find her father one day. Amy grew up with her mother who never told her daughter about her father before she was killed in hit-and-run accident. Amy did not want to involve Nero Wolfe because she thought Archie working by himself would be cheaper and she could not afford Wolfe's rates anyway. Archie almost never works for himself, so he refused. The very next day Amy showed up in Wolfe's house with big chunk of money in cash to pay Wolfe's retainer. Asked where she got it she said this was money from her father about whose identity she had no clue. I already mentioned it elsewhere that Rex Stout used more social commentaries in the later books of the series. This time the more the detectives learn the background story the more it becomes a sad tale of a power the rich have over little people. This time a millionaire practically destroyed a woman's life who really could not catch any breaks afterwards. This is probably the first time ever when Wolfe delivered (as if there were any doubts about it), but his client left completely unsatisfied with final results. I just want to make one more remark. I saw people give lower rating to this novel for the reason it aged. Their argument: in modern time we can simply use a DNA test to avoid all of the problems that the detectives faced, so the book aged, so it deserves a lower rating. I can only say to this, "WTF?" Sure they had not developed DNA test at the time of writing, but does it mean it is hopelessly outdated? In this case why not criticize any book featuring sword battles for not using automatic rifles, or Jane Eyre writing letters to Mr. Rochester instead of just sending him text messages? Does this look ridiculous? So does the original criticism. Rant mode off.

  • BillKerwin
    2019-03-03 06:50

    Amy DeNovo, Lily Rowan's young assistant, wants Archie to help her find out who her father is. The problem is an interesting one--and even more interesting in that it may very well be connected with her mother's hit-and-run death some months before. This is one of the best of Wolfe's adventures, with many twists and turns, at least three vivid minor characters, and a satisfying denouement.

  • Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
    2019-03-03 03:53

    Two and a half stars. The businessmen were almost interchangeable, the plot and dialogue lacklustre. Usually there are contemporary references that place each book firmly within its time period, but as other reviewers have said, this one feels much more early 50s than late 60s. In spite of Kramer barging into the house (albeit with tacit permission), Fritz hardly gets a look-in, being "out" most of the time. Archie himself skims over interesting events with statements like "I could tell you this in detail but I don't need to" and "you've probably figured this out so we won't go into it." Well, if he could skim, so could I. And I did, even listening. I tried to read this in print some time ago and couldn't engage with it. The audiobook was bearable but hardly exciting. I didn't actively dislike it, but it was just...just okay. Just okay, bordering on meh.

  • Carol
    2019-03-15 02:41

    The interplay between Archie and Nero was great as usual (which is why I love this book series as much as I do) but this particular mystery was not my favorite. The ending was a bit meh! (two stars) Archie and Nero (four stars) - so I averaged it out.

  • Alger
    2019-02-25 23:43

    Meh, meh meh, meh meh meh meh meh. Meh.I don't pick up a Rex Stout novel for the mystery, which are generally non-mysteries even in the best of his books. Neither do I expect flashy deduction or carefully constructed logic that brings the reader to a satisfying dénouement. I read them because they are simple pulpy fun, and the characterizations and dialogue are interesting and witty. The Father Hunt is a late and tired episode that opens with a weak attempt to not build the story around a murder, then falls back on a murder anyway. In tone and pacing the entire book feels slightly off kilter, as if it is not taking place in the location and time that we keep being reassured that it is. In many ways society and New York City have stood unchanged for Archie and Nero since the 1940s, the social scene and trappings of the 1930s remain pristine in their brownstone, and the only concession to this book being written in 1967 rather than 1947 is that the young women dress in miniskirts. Weirdly, we are given more detail about events that occurred during the Second World War than the events that took place only three months before. And the dialogue is stiff and tired as well. This volume spends far too much time revisiting the petty and constant bickering between Archie and the stock company of police and detectives, and too little time developing anyone outside of that circle. Their client is so absent from this story that her place could have been taken by a postman delivering an anonymous letter and a pile of cash. Furthermore, Stout clearly didn't bother firming up the resolution; this is a book that sputters to a halt, then backfires a one paragraph chapter to sum up the case. In short, this was not fun.

  • Kitty Jay
    2019-03-05 01:35

    This Nero Wolfe mystery begins with Lily Rowan's assistant, Amy Denovo, asking for Archie's help in finding her father. Her mother has passed away from a hit-and-run incident without ever breathing a hint to Amy of her real father, so, with money collected from checks supposedly sent by the father, Amy hires Wolfe - only the case is complicated when it looks like the hit-and-run might have been more sinister.Although enjoyable, there are some minor quibbles with the plot in this one (it feels as if the motive for the hit-and-run was not sufficiently explored), but Wolfe novels, I maintain, are to be read for the characters, not the mysteries.That said, I am frustrated with the Rex Stout Library edition, which offers brief pages toward the end with extra things (advertisements for Nero Wolfe movies, comic strips, letters from Stout's editors). In this case, the afterword promises a letter from Stout's editor and "the master's reply"... except there is no reply. Simply the original letter from the editor to Stout (wherein he asks the same questions I had about the plot). It would be annoying enough, except something similar happened in a previous one I read.All in all, though, another great Wolfe book!

  • Marlowe
    2019-03-16 02:29

    Amy Denovo’s mother chose her last name because it means “of new,” representing the clean break she made away from Amy’s father. She never spoke of her past to Amy and, though questioned, refused to divulge her father’s identity. That is, until the day she was killed in a hit-and-run incident. Soon after, Amy finds a box filled with money and a note explaining that the money is from her mysterious father. She uses this money to hire Nero Wolfe to dig into her mother’s past and find her father.Another excellent addition to the Nero Wolfe library. Disappointingly for a mystery novel, many crucial details are withheld until the very end preventing any accurate guess as to the answers. Despite this, however, the story is an enjoyable read. Wolfe’s eccentricities and Archie’s weight jokes are enough to make just about any plot worthwhile (at least for the limited number of Wolfe books I’ve read).

  • thefourthvine
    2019-03-20 03:37

    Is this the greatest Nero Wolfe novel? No. But it is in my top ten of Wolfe novels sorted by reread frequency. I admit that partly that's because I enjoy reading this through my alternate universe queer lens (look, Lily Rowan always has attractive young women at her apartment, I AM JUST SAYING), but I also think this book is solid on the Wolfe formula. All the gears are perfectly oiled. The whole machine runs smoothly. And it's a delight to watch that happen, and to read about the way these famliar characters do their familiar thing. I just really ENJOY Wolfe novels, is the thing. And this is very much a Wolfe novel -- no departures, no missteps. So I really enjoy this.

  • Dave
    2019-03-09 02:58

    By the time this came out, the Wolfe pattern was so well-established that it's almost flawless. In this one, Archie makes a bunch of (admitted) mistakes, Wolfe sends orchids to an admirably forthright witness, and Stebbins ransacks Archie's desk. Dialogue:Archie: "If the payments had nothing to do with Amy, why did Elinor keep it, every century of it, for her?Wolfe: "Women are random clusters of vagaries."Archie: "Who said that?"Wolfe: "I did."(BTW, at least four women in the book are much more than random clusters of vagaries, including the client, her mother, Lily Rowan, and the above witness.)

  • Tony
    2019-03-22 03:49

    Stout, Rex. THE FATHER HUNT. (1968). ***. Amy Denovo approached Archie Goodwin with a job. Her mother had just been killed by a hit-and-run driver and Amy inherited nearly a quarter of a million dollars. It seems that her father – whom Amy never knew – sent her mother $1,000 per month for many years. Mom never touched any of it. Amy’s assignment to Archie and Nero Wolfe: find my mother’s killer and find my father. This was a good case for our famous duo.

  • Susan
    2019-03-25 06:57

    Attractive young Amy Denovo has never known her father. She can't ask her mother about him, because her mother is dead. But she can use the money that was sent to her mother each month to hire Nero Wolfe to investigate. Amy's mother was secretive in her life, and left few clues in her death. Then Wolfe starts wondering if her death was really as accidental as it looks.

  • Lisa Kucharski
    2019-02-22 05:46

    A difficult mystery for Wolfe and Archie but after great effort that find the "father." Though in the end, the client may have been happier to have never known. Again strong characters, and in this story, some really nasty ones.

  • JoãoJorge
    2019-03-02 01:32

    This was your basic Nero Wolfe tale. Its not one of the best but its still a fun romp with all the usual elements. What bothered me the most was how the “who-dun-it” was basically absent as the “culprit” was not in the book until the last few pages. The plot Is also a bit too simplistic and the investigation goes nowhere until the end. The way Wolfe cracks the case is also not very enjoyable. He basically interrogates a character for hours in the desperate hope than in mundane facts of the days prior to the murder there is some clue. Not very worthy of the world's greatest detective. Of course this is still an easy, entertaining read but it lacks some enthusiasm and feels too “safe”. But as always even Stout's average is better than most.

  • Jdetrick
    2019-03-25 07:39

    Where the early books always ended with the traditional setting in Wolfe's office, with all the suspects gathered, and the startling exposure of the murderer, one of the things I like about these later books is that they don't do that. Often the murderer is known long before the end of the book, and its other questions that keep the reader guessing.

  • Usfromdk
    2019-03-24 03:46

    Stout's later novels are much better than e.g. Christie's later works, and I would caution people against missing out on his later works simply on account of the fact that he kept writing pretty much to the end. Stout was more than 80 years old when this novel was published, but it's a very decent story, well written.

  • Robert Henry
    2019-03-05 23:55

    I do enjoy these books. Great characters.

  • Jason
    2019-03-13 05:44

    A perfect companion to Stout's The Mother Hunt!

  • Brian
    2019-02-24 03:48

    Casual non-murder, mostly. Different pace.

  • Terri
    2019-03-22 02:51

    Nero and Archie are at it again. This time the are searching for the long lost father of a lovely young woman . What seems to be a simple case winds up being complicated and murderous!

  • Gary
    2019-03-04 06:56

    I don't want it to end. I think Stout's plots are getting clearer and the human interest greater as he ages, now at 78.

  • Alexis Neal
    2019-02-22 06:37

    Amy Denovo wants to find her father. The trouble is, she doesn't know who he is, what he does, or where he lives. All she knows is that her mother received checks for $1000 every month from Amy's birth until her mother's death in a hit and run accident a few months back. But was it really an accident? Wolfe and Archie chase lead after lead in an attempt to track down the long-lost father, determined to find an answer. Whether Amy likes the answer she gets ... well, that remains to be seen.The story itself is nothing terribly remarkable, for all the false starts and dead ends the detectives encounter. At first, it seems that finding the father will be as easy as tracking the source of the checks. When that fizzles out, they try to figure out Amy's mother's real name, but even that leads nowhere. The investigation is finally jump-started when Wolfe decides, rather arbitrarily, that Amy's father murdered her mother. His reasoning? A murderer is easier to find than a father, especially since any fathering took place more than 20 years ago, whereas the death of Amy's mother was much more recent. Obviously.Amy Denovo is a rather lackluster individual--nothing near as interesting as Lucy Valdon in the superior The Mother Hunt. The other characters, with the exception of the amusing Eugene Jarrett and the clever Dorothy Sebor, are likewise uninspiring. Fortunately, we get some face time with the lovely and capricious Lily Rowan, who has hired Miss Denovo to help her assemble information for a book about her father (Miss Rowan's father, not Miss Denovo's), thereby putting her in Archie's path and opening the door for Miss Denovo to hire our favorite fatty to track down her father. Saul Panzer, Fred Durkin, and Orrie Cather all make appearances, as does Avery Ballou, whom Wolfe extricated from a nasty mess in Death of a Doxy.All in all, it's a decentish book, if not Stout's best work, and Prichard's narration is nobbut middlin'.

  • robyn
    2019-03-04 06:56

    One of my favorite Stouts; Wolfe and Goodwin are both in good form, and Wolfe doesn't solve the mystery through a restaging of the event or an outright deception, which always seems a bit of a cheat to me. Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series is one of my favorites anywhere, anytime. As a teenager, I obsessively enjoyed Glen Cook's Garrett Files books. It wasn't til I came across Nero Wolfe that I realized how much Cook had outright lifted from these stories - the plots were unveiled recastings of Chandler's books, but the characters were straight out of Nero Wolfe; the completely male household made up of the taciturn, genius, misogynistic Dead Man, the jaded but noble Garrett, our humble PI, and their cook/housekeeper, Dean; the free-lancing second string made up of the strong and loyal, but dim, Saucerhead Tharpe, and the deadliest half-elf and best friend around, Morley Dotes. And a revolving door of attractive women, falling into Garrett's blunt but manly hands.Cook's series is a lot of fun and well worth reading, but when I met the originals (Wolfe, Fritz, Goodwin, Fred, Saul (who's combined with Orrie to produce Morley Dotes) - I recognized them immediately as the original and superior versions,and I approved. If you're going to steal, steal from the best!

  • Rebecca
    2019-03-21 07:51

    22 year old Amy DiNovo's (not sure about the spelling) mother has been killed by a car, and Amy approaches Nero Wolfe through his assistant Archie Goodwin to find out who her father is--and maybe if her mother was murdered. She offers thousands of dollars in cash, which she discovered in her mother's locker at work, along with a note that said the money came from Amy's father; $1000 a month since she was born, but her mother never touched it. Amy knows nothing of her mother's life before her own birth. Archie and Nero investigate.I had never read a Rex Stout before, but tried it given the limited number of audiobooks available at my local branch library. It didn't do much for me. There was almost no action, no surprises at the end, no peril, etc. Normally I like no peril, but if you're not going to have a twist at the end, then you need something else to make the story interesting and unpredictable. I also didn't care for Archie's almost comically stereotyped hard-boiled detective-speak; I couldn't tell if he was being ironic or serious, since this is an older book and it might be typical of the genre. The fault may also lie with the narrator, who made Archie sound like a B-movie stereotyped detective. Anyway, I probably won't pursue this author's work further.

  • Nan Silvernail
    2019-03-08 02:53

    A car swerves up onto the sidewalk and ends a mother's life. Her daughter then receives and opens a Pandora's Box of a case. 1/4 of a million dollars is in the box and a letter from her mother saying this money is from your father. Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin must find their way through a web of aliases and secrets going back generations.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~SPOILERS DRAWN ON A BANK CHECKCover Art - Nicely done, I think.If you missed it, when I called this a Pandora's Box of a case. I meant that. Literally.That should be enough for me to say, except that It's not totally disastrous. Just that you can clearly see at the end that the girl will wonder if she ever should have tried to find her father.I think that Wolfe and Goodwin jump to certain conclusions a bit too fast. Not completely in character for them, but the book has to have some twists and turns to be good and this does show that even they are but mortal.

  • Mike Jensen
    2019-03-05 00:33

    Odd combination of a private eye voice with a Sherlock Holmes type story. I do not care for it, but can understand why the series is popular. It probably helps to know the characters well, because the bits of petty one-upmanship between the protagonists is likely to enthrall those who read Stout for these moments. The same is true for the condescension to the incompetent and officious police. The story annoyed me because it could very nearly have skipped from the first chapter to the midway point if it included the sentence, “We pursued several leads that ultimately led nowhere,” but then some of the features that probably please fans would have been lost. I should think that fans regard this book as deserving more stars than I do. This represents the only time I have finished one of Stout’s books, though I have tried several. It was not unenjoyable, but that is faint praise.

  • Ed
    2019-02-28 02:50

    #43 in the Nero Wolfe series. This entry was published in 1968 and while the flavor of the series has been consistant throughout, except for prices, the writing is much more fluid and not as dated as the early entries (starting in 1934) or even when Archie was a Major in Army Intelligence in the wartime Not Quite Dead Enough (1944).Nero Wolfe series - Amy Denovo, a young woman assisting Lily Rowan, hires Nero Wolfe because she must find out who her father is, or was. After her mother was killed in a recent hit-and-run, Amy received a locked metal box containing more than a quarter of a million dollars in cash — and a letter from her mother that explained only that the money came from her father. The mystery of Amy's mother's identity rivals that of her father's.

  • Shireen
    2019-03-20 06:37

    It wasn't till I finished reading this good book that I realised the point of The Father Hunt is in the title: the hunt. Not the solution, this time. And in that it's a gem. But I will say that the holes at the end, or incomplete answers, left me feeling a bit cheated. That's why I gave it 3 instead of 4 stars. On the other hand, I can make up a story to fill in the big why, something I used to enjoy doing way back when I was a young reader. This edition is supposed to include letters from Rex Stout's archives, but there seems to be something missing, at least in the eBook version of this edition. The intro to the archive refers to the master's answer to a letter, but there is no answer, just the letter.

  • Carla
    2019-03-22 06:36

    Nero Wolfe is one of my favorite foodie detectives. Quite a niche, eh? In this caper he solves the involves a missing father. I hope I didn't ruin anything. The reading of this audio book was just ok. I don't think the actor chosen had quite the right voice to portray Archie Baldwin who narrates the entire story, but he did put a little effort into different voices for each of the characters. Much as I did when my father read me bedtime stories, I think different voices for each character is very important. This guy needs a little more practice.Book rating: 4 starsReading rating: 2 starsAverage rating: 3 stars

  • Shirley Worley
    2019-03-11 05:38

    Nero Wolfe, at Archie's urging, takes the case of a young woman who desires to find her father, a man she has never known. Her curiosity peaked after her mother died, victim of a hit-and-run, and left her with a letter and a suitcase full of money. The money had been received monthly over the years from a third party on behalf of her father. When Nero begins to investigate, he discovers that the mother's accident may have been murder and that the two cases overlap, much to Inspector Cramer's unhappiness. Quick read and an engaging plot, although I do think that the ending seemed a little lacking or abrupt.

  • Usman
    2019-03-09 04:47

    Then he switched from meat to words and said it was miscalled shish kebab. It should be seekh kebab. He spelled it. That was what it was called in India, where it originated. In Hindi or Urdu a seekh is a thin iron rod with a loop at one end and a point at the other, and a kebab is a meatball.I'm truly impressed by an American writer to have known this about food from some 13,000 miles away back in 1950-60s.