Copyright 1952 By Rex Stout
The Viking Press
Jacket Design By Bill English
Rear Cover Intro:
When Nero Wolfe turned down the easiest ten-thousand-dollar fee ever offered him, he didn’t expect to get involved in a deadly game – a game that reminded Archie of a grim version of prisoner’s base.
Nor did Archie imagine that he would ever be working so closely with the New York Police.
Inside Front Cover:
A Nero Wolfe Novel
By Rex Stout
Readers who have long followed the adventures of Nero Wolfe will surely agree not only that this is one of the neatest murder puzzles ever set down by Rex Stout, but also that it is the most exciting, adventure-filled, and breathless story he ever told.
Nero Wolfe has represented some pretty unusual clients in his time, but in this one, his client – believe it or not – is the fast-talking, hard-hitting, skirt-chasing assistant and companion to Nero, Archie Goodwin himself.
We’ll make three bets with you abut Prisoner’s Base: First – you won’t solve it. Second – you’ll agree that no author ever played more fair with his readers. Third – when you finish it, you will feel as if you have been on a forty-eight-hour, breath-taking, danger-filled chase up and down the avenues of New York, into some of Manhattan’s darkest and more terror-filled alleys.
Inside Back Cover:
From The New Yorker
Profile of Rex Stout:
“Nero Wolfe, the fat detective of Rex Stout’s novels, towers over his rivals in one respect: he is a superman who talks like a superman. It is a very tough literary trick to make a mastermind sound like a mastermind. Most of the storybook detectives are to much like the new ultra-scientific calculating machines, which have gorgeous electronic brains for solving problems but no particular talent for dialogue. Genius is the curse of the mystery story. It tends to destroy individuality and drag everybody down to the same level. It is harder to tell intellectual giants apart than Hollywood blonds. Nero, however, is an exceptional character creation – a genius who rises above mediocrity.”