The League of Frightened Men Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The League of Frightened Men

Nero Wolfe, a genius private investigator, is approached by a group of men (The League of Atonement) who complain of being persecuted by the writer Paul Chapin. During a hazing incident at Harvard years ago, Chapin was crippled, and the group has been supporting him financially ever since and putting up with his scorn and contempt. But a couple of members of the group have died mysteriously, and Chapin seems to be sending anonymous notes taking responsibility for the murders. Since Wolfe never leaves his home, his right-hand man, the snappy Archie Goodwin, is the first-person narrator and does all the interaction with suspects and sources of information outside Wolfe's office. There is another murder that seems to be connected with one of the League having married a woman with whom Chapin was in love; Chapin weirdly marries her ugly maid so as to be closer to her. The woman's husband is killed and Chapin is the prime suspect. Wolfe, with Archie's legwork, works out what really happened, and assigns all the blame for all the deaths to where it belongs.
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The review of this Book prepared by Noah Stewart

Murder mystery.
The review of this Book prepared by Pam Welsh

Chapter Analysis of The League of Frightened Men

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 60%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 15%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   Dry-cynical    -   very upbeat How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1930's-1950's What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   80% Special suspect?    -   chronically deranged person Kind of investigator    -   hard boiled/private eye Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student    -   private investigator Age:    -   20's-30's    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American Unusual characteristics:    -   Super genius    -   Cynical or arrogant


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Rex Stout Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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