I had so much fun reading Mary Roberts Rinehart. The Bat takes place in a huge home called Cedarcrest. Miss Cornelia, a sixty something spinster is the head of the home. She is also the major sleuth among them. After all, she reads mysteries and other crime books all the time.
"I have read a great deal on the detection of crime," she said hotly,"and--"
She has two servants. The man is named Billy. Billy is Japanese and takes his service as a butler seriously. There is also Lizzie, another servant, who seems more like a very close friend or an old aunt in the family. Lizzie brings part of the wacky fun to the novel because she is easily frightened. I hate to say it. She reminds me of myself a little. One dark shadow and I freak out. A bat in my hair? Oh my goodness, I would die immediately.
"A ghost!" persisted Lizzie, still hopping around on one leg. "It came right through that door and ran up the stairs--oh--"and she seemed prepared to scream again as Dale, white-faced, came in from the hall, followed by Billy and Brooks, the latter holding still another candle."
. I think she was my favorite character. In this one big house is where all the action takes place. It all begins with the reporting of crimes done by The Bat. Of course, every person is on the alert especially the characters at Miss Neily's home and the police department. There is only one investigator in the house, Mr. Anderson. There is one lawyer. For some reason I felt there should have been at least two detectives on the premises. It also bothered me a little that no one really strayed far beyond the French doors to the outside. The novella seemed like a play. Each person waiting in the wings to make their star appearance. There is Doctor Wells. There is a bank cashier pretending to be a gardener named Jack Bailey. There is Miss Corneila's niece, Dale, and a few other characters like Mr. Fleming and his relative, Mr. Courtleigh Fleming who owned the bank. The point of the novel is to find The Bat because all are sure he is inside Cedarcrest with a revolver and has nothing on his mind accept murder and mayhem and greed.
I am anxious to read all of Mary Roberts Rinehart's novellas or novels. She made my five senses feel excited: roaring thunder, bloody hands, bats riding the air, the dead falling down the stairs, hidden rooms, etc. I think it is ingenious to think of hiding a blueprint in a breakfast roll. Loved it! Golly, gee, yes, I've had the time of my life with The Bat. In my book there are three stories in one: The Bat, The Yellow Room and The Haunted Lady. By the way, there is also a hidden room in this story. I love rooms behind fireplaces and bookcases.Really, this classic author leaves nothing out. I would love to read her biography. mary-roberts-rinehart