There are two kinds of statistics: the kind you look up and the kind you make up
Frankly, I wish I could make my heart quit doing an extra thump when Wolfe says satisfactory, Archie. It's childish.
.. If he had married Mrs. Albert Grantham for her money I freely admit that no man marries without a reason and with her it would have been next to impossible to think up another one..
If your ego is in good shape you will pretend you're surprised if a National Chairman calls you to tell you his party wants to nominate you for President of the United States, but you're not really surprised.
Yeah. I'm the fly in the soup. I don't like it any better than you do. Flies don't like being swamped in soup, especially when it's hot.
You can't dance cheerfully. Dancing is too important. It can be wild or solemn or gay or lewd or art for art's sake, but it can't be cheerful.
The only difference between me and most people is that I'm perfectly aware that all my important decisions are made for me by my subconscious. My frontal lobes are just kidding themselves that they decide anything at all. All they do is think up reasons for the decisions that are already made.
A person who does not read cannot think. He may have good mental processes, but he has nothing to think about. You can feel for people or natural phenomena and react to them, but they are not ideas. You cannot think about them.
The only thing I want is something I can't have; and that is to know if, 100 years from now, people will still buy my books.
There are damn few great writers and I'm not one of them. While I could afford to I played with words. When I could no longer afford that I wrote for money.
The incredible thing happens at the beginning of the story always, you notice, not the end. A Sherlock Holmes story is never a trick story.
His narrative and dialogue could not be improved, and he passes the supreme test of being rereadable. I don't know how many times I have reread the Wolfe stories, but plenty. I know exactly what is coming and how it is all going to end, but it doesn't matter. That's writing.
When Stout is on top of his game, which is most of the time, his diabolically clever plotting and his storytelling ability exceed that of any other mystery writer you can name, including Agatha Christie, who invented her own eccentric genius detective, Hercule Poirot.
If I'm home with no chore at hand, and a package of books has come, the television set and the chess board and the unanswered mail will have to manage without me if one of the books is a detective story.
A character who is thought-out is not born, he or she is contrived. A born character is round, a thought-out character is flat.