Three for the Chair

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Three for the Chair
Stout-TFTC-1.jpg
Author Rex Stout
Cover artist Bill English
Country United states
Language English
Series Nero Wolfe
Genre Detective fiction
Publisher Viking Press
Publication date
May 3, 1957
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 183 pp. (first edition)
ISBN NA
Preceded by Might as Well Be Dead
Followed by If Death Ever Slept

Three for the Chair is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1957, and by Bantam Books in various paperback printings beginning in 1958. The book contains three stories:

Reviews and commentary[edit]

Stout's work sometimes occasioned conflicting viewpoints among the critics. Three for the Chair drew praise from Anthony Boucher in The New York Times and dispraise from Julian Symons in The Sunday Times (London).[1]

Publication history[edit]

In his limited-edition pamphlet, Collecting Mystery Fiction #10, Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe Part II, Otto Penzler describes the first edition of Three for the Chair: "Yellow cloth, front cover printed with black and blue lettering and design; spine printed with black lettering; rear cover blank. Issued in a mainly light orange dust wrapper."[3]
In April 2006, Firsts: The Book Collector's Magazine estimated that the first edition of Three for the Chair had a value of between $200 and $350. The estimate is for a copy in very good to fine condition in a like dustjacket.[4]
The far less valuable Viking book club edition may be distinguished from the first edition in three ways:
  • The dust jacket has "Book Club Edition" printed on the inside front flap, and the price is absent (first editions may be price clipped if they were given as gifts).
  • Book club editions are sometimes thinner and always taller (usually a quarter of an inch) than first editions.
  • Book club editions are bound in cardboard, and first editions are bound in cloth (or have at least a cloth spine).[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Three for the Chair, back matter, Bantam Crimeline edition, 1994
  2. ^ Townsend, Guy M., Rex Stout: An Annotated Primary and Secondary Bibliography (1980, New York: Garland Publishing; ISBN 0-8240-9479-4), p. 84. John McAleer, Judson Sapp and Arriean Schemer are associate editors of this definitive publication history.
  3. ^ Penzler, Otto, Collecting Mystery Fiction #10, Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe Part II (2001, New York: The Mysterious Bookshop, limited edition of 250 copies), p. 5
  4. ^ Smiley, Robin H., "Rex Stout: A Checklist of Primary First Editions." Firsts: The Book Collector's Magazine (Volume 16, Number 4), April 2006, p. 34
  5. ^ Penzler, Otto, Collecting Mystery Fiction #9, Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe Part I, pp. 19–20