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The Bat

Avery Hopwood and Mary Roberts Rinehart

Book Overview: 

The novelization of the play of the same name that had an initial run of 867 shows on Broadway and has been performed all over the world and been made into three movies over a span from 1926 to 1959. An intricate mystery, with a wide cast of characters.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Miss Cornelia seized the opportunity.

"You were born on a brick pavement," she said crushingly. "You get nervous out here at night whenever a cricket begins to sing—or scrape his legs—or whatever it is they do!"

Lizzie bowed before the blast of her mistress's scorn and began to move gingerly toward the alcove door. But obviously she was not entirely convinced.

"Oh, it's more than that, Miss Neily," she mumbled. "I—"

Miss Cornelia turned to her fiercely. If Lizzie was going to behave like this, they might as well have it out now between them—before Dale came home.

"What did you really see last night?" she said in a minatory voice.

The instant relief on Lizzie's face was ludicrous; she so obviously preferred discussing any subject at any length to braving the dangers of the other part of the house unaccompanied.

"I was standing right there at the top of th. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A friend who knows that I am interested in mysteries and in books published between the world wars, loaned me an anthology of three Mary Roberts Rinehart novels, so you will be seeing the other two in a week or two. Mary Roberts Rinehart has often been called the "American Agatha Christie". This...more

Read aloud at Forgotten Classics podcast.

After the last book, I did promise that I would cleanse my palate with something truly classic and well-written. Well, one out of two isn’t bad. When I saw a Mary Roberts Rinehart’s novel on Net Galley, I couldn’t believe my luck. My mother introduced me to her books back in my pre-teen days – th...more

In Mary Roberts Rinehart's The Bat, Cornelia Van Gorder, a spinster who has longed for adventure, takes herself, her Irish maid Lizzie, and her neice Dale off to the country to escape the city's summer heat. She rents a country home that has recently become available when Courtleigh Fleming, a lo...more

Somewhat disappointing. It was an interesting curio from the point of view of the origin of the Batman character, but not what I'd call a good read.

However, it was fun to encounter the bit where the villain shines a searchlight onto a house, with the silhouette of a bat on it. Definitely inspira...more

I read this book after reading Rinehart's earlier book The Circular Staircase. The Circular Staircase was made into a play that was then written back into novel form by Rinehart as this book. It is very much a product of its time in terms of racial stereotypes, views on gender, etc. The story in...more

Loved the writing style and the plot twists! If you're looking for a good, clean murder mystery, try this one!

Cleanliness: The words "d*mn" and "h*ll" are used a number of times throughout the book. There is a short scene with a ouija board at the beginning of the story.

**Like my reviews? I also...more

I really don't remember what my first mystery book was or even what age I was when I first opened one. More than likely it was a Nancy Drew or Encyclopedia Brown book. It wasn't until I read my first Agatha Christie book that I truly became a fan for life. I was such a fan of her that I tended to...more

Wow, mystery novels were different in 1920. For example, if you published a mystery novel then, and one of your characters was Japanese, you might mention that Japaneseness 50 or 60 times throughout the course of the book. You might also have the other characters impute certain moods or character...more

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