A Prize for Princes (Paperback)
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|Aline Solini--a beautiful Russian adventuress who has abandoned her Russian husband and is now in search of greater conquests in Europe--arrives in Marisi, in the decadent days on the eve of World War I. She has been rescued by Richard Stetton, the wealthy playboy son of an American millionaire, who is on a trip to Europe to discover himself. Instead, the somewhat dim-witted Stetton falls into Aline's clutches, and she uses him and his money to win her way into fashionable society. Once she is accepted by the elite, her schemes move her closer and closer to the throne. "A Prize for Princes" is a charming period piece, with a languid evocation of a long-lost Europe that will captivate fans of Stout's later works, as well as readers of historical novels.|
Rex Stout was born in Noblesville, Indiana but moved shorty afterwards with his Quaker parents to Topeka, Kansas. The state spelling champion at the age of 13, Stout went to high school and college in Kansas but abandoned his studies at the University of Kansas to join the U. S. Navy, serving from 1906 to 1908 on President Theodore Roosevelt's yacht. Having worked a variety of odd jobs after leaving the Navy--including bookkeeper, sales clerk, hotel manager, and store clerk--Stout began churning out short stories for pulp magazines. He dabbled in romance, science fiction, adventure, and mystery until finally devoting his energies exclusively towards the latter in 1938. His famed detective, Nero Wolfe, first appeared in 1934 in "Fer-de-Lance", and soon became a staple figure in Stout's fiction. A rotund and eccentric man, Wolfe has been featured in two radio series, numerous feature films, and a television series that began in 1981 starring William Conrad. While continuing to write Wolfe novels, Stout became politically active in his later years, championing liberal and patriotic causes during World War II and afterwards.