16 AUGUST 1957, Page 23

Might as Well be Dead. By Rex Stout. (Collins, 10s.

6d.) Rather too laboriously contrived a tale, about rather too many murders, to be on the top of Mr. Stout's big basket of books, but lazy, gormandising Nero Wolfe and the impression- able Archie Goodwin are characters in their own right, and the dry, urbane manner is, as the dress shops say, stylishly Stout.