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Bat Wing

Sax Rohmer

Book Overview: 

Private detective Paul Harley investigates a mysterious case involving voodoo, vampirism, and macabre murder in the heart of London. This is the first book in the Paul Harley series.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . placed a foam-capped mug upon the counter, her glance rested for a moment upon the only other occupant of the room, a man seated in an armchair immediately to the right of the door. A glass of whisky stood on the window ledge at his elbow, and that it was by no means the first which he had imbibed, his appearance seemed to indicate.

Having tasted the cool contents of my mug, I leaned back against the counter and looked at this person curiously.

He was apparently of about medium height, but of a somewhat fragile appearance. He was dressed like a country gentleman, and a stick and soft hat lay upon the ledge near his glass. But the thing about him which had immediately arrested my attention was his really extraordinary resemblance to Paul Harley's engraving of Edgar Allan Poe.

I wondered at first if Harley's frequent references to the eccentric American genius, to whom he accorded a sort of hero-worship, we. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A good Sax Rohmer yarn, voodoo in a small English village. However I prefer Rohmer more when the mystic elements in his books are real. Although the book is better written than many of his works it is a little slow, but with admittedly a great start and conclusion.

I have fondness for adventure and detective fiction from this era. I am more familiar with this author's Fu Manchu stories, but this tale was thoroughly enjoyable. It is also fun to go back and read just to get the feel for how the genre has changed.

I enjoyed Bat Wing for what it was: a pulp era mystery with overtones of voodoo, Sherlock Holmes, and Edgar Allan Poe. It's pretty slow reading, however. If you like pulp fiction, and especially if you like Sax Rohmer, then give Bat Wing a try. I'd read it again someday.

Dusty wing.

One of the author's lesser stories. Be warned it is seriously dated in its attitudes to other races and women. This was written in the era when to be white, English or American and male was considered to be a superior being. Acutely embarrassing for today's thinking but we cannot rewri...more

This started off slowly but turned into an interesting book. It ended up being a murder mystery along the lines of Sherlock Holmes. If you can get through the beginning, it will get better.

A 1920's detective story introducing Paul Harley as the premier private criminal investigator in London. A Colonel Menendez from Cuba hires Harley because he fears his life is in danger. This is partly due to the fact that he has been shot at several times and because a bat wing was nailed to his...more

What I was hoping for with this book was a breathless adventure like Rohmer's Fu Manchu novels, hopefully with less racism. What I got was a murder mystery where it takes half the book to get the murder done, a lot of discussion of voodoo, a crime with an obvious suspect where the detective is co...more

#94 - 2010

"OFTEN enough my memory has recaptured that moment in Paul Harley's office, when Harley, myself, and the tall Spaniard stood looking down at the bat wing lying upon the blotting pad."

Sax Rohmer, better known as the creator of Fu Manchu, has a cracking good yarn in this tale of the Ameri...more

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