Bitter End (novella)

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"Bitter End"
Illustrated by Carl Mueller
Author Rex Stout
Country United States
Language English
Series Nero Wolfe
Genre(s) Detective fiction
Published in The American Magazine
Publication type Periodical
Publication date November 1940

"Bitter End" is the first Nero Wolfe mystery novella by Rex Stout, originally published in the November 1940 issue of The American Magazine. The story is a re-working of Stout's Tecumseh Fox story Bad for Business, published later that year.

"Bitter End" first appeared in book form in the posthumous limited-edition collection Corsage: A Bouquet of Rex Stout and Nero Wolfe edited by Michael Bourne, published in 1977 by James A. Rock & Co., Publishers. It subsequently appeared in Death Times Three, published by Bantam Books in 1985.

Plot summary[edit]


Rex Stout's publisher Farrar & Rinehart scheduled the Tecumseh Fox novel Bad for Business for November 1940 release. Like many of Stout's stories, the book was offered to The American Magazine for advance publication in abridged form.

"To Stout's surprise," wrote biographer John McAleer, "Sumner Blossom, publisher of The American Magazine, refused to pursue the Fox piece but offered Stout double payment if he would convert the story into a Wolfe novella. To Blossom's surprise, and maybe his own, Rex effected the transformation in eleven days. As he explained to me later, by then he had already become deeply committed to the war against Hitler and needed the money."[1]

Publication history[edit]

"Bitter End"[edit]

Edited by Michael Bourne, Corsage: A Bouquet of Rex Stout and Nero Wolfe (1977) contained the first book publication of "Bitter End"
  • 1940, The American Magazine, November 1940[2]:55–56
  • 1977, Corsage: A Bouquet of Rex Stout and Nero Wolfe, edited by Michael Bourne, Bloomington, Indiana: James A. Rock, 1977[2]:87

Death Times Three[edit]


  1. ^ McAleer, John, ed., introduction to Death Times Three (The Rex Stout Library). New York: Bantam Books, December 1985, reissue edition January 1995, ISBN 0-553-76305-9
  2. ^ a b Townsend, Guy M.; McAleer, John J.; Sapp, Judson C.; Schemer, Arriean, eds. (1980). Rex Stout: An Annotated Primary and Secondary Bibliography. New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc. ISBN 0-8240-9479-4. 

External links[edit]

Quotations related to Bitter End at Wikiquote