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The Bat (Dodo Press)
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The Bat (Dodo Press)

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  349 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876-1958) was a prolific author often called the American Agatha Christie. "Dorothy B. Hughes, crime critic and novelist, says she 'has been and continues to be' the most important American woman mystery writer. " She was born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, which has been a part of the city of Pittsburgh since 1907. She attended public schools and ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 30th 2007 by Dodo Press (first published 1920)
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Ryan G
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 ignore other well known authors and even moved onto Fantasy for a while. Now as an adult I'm having a great time discovery authors that have made names for themselves in the mystery genre. One author th ...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 this book was less developed than the one in The Circular Staircase. This felt more like you were reading a play made into a book, which is in fact what it is. The plot was compressed and the characters ...more
Ann Sloan
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 – that is what passed as YA literature back then. I read a couple of her books in the past few years and enjoyed them for what they are – old-fashioned, demure, cozy mysteries with a likeable heroine narrati ...more
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 is a comparison with which I would argue. She is also the author most identified with the phrase "the butler did it" (although she never said that phrase)and the "Had I But Known" school of mysteries. Th ...more
Bev Hankins
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 local bank manager, died. She's bemoaning her quiet, unadventurous existence when suddenly the countryside becomes the center for some very mysterious activity.

Cornelia begins receiving anonymous notes mea
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 traits to this character simply because he is Japanese. Also, you might create characters so stereotypical that most of the time you would use labels to refer to them: "the doctor," "the detective," and ...more
Mar 12, 2014 Bernadette rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Agatha Christie fans
I was completely unfamiliar with the author when I found this audiobook from my library. What really captivated me was hearing in the introduction that M.R. Rinehart used "The Bat" as inspiration for her most famous work, "The Circular Staircase." So I listened to that audiobook next for a comparison. While it is clear to see the shared inspiration in the plots of both books, the main portion of "The Bat" takes place over several days and in some ways is more complicated than Staircase, which ta ...more
Matt Kelland
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 inspiration for Gotham's famous Caped Crusader.
Chris Howard
Enjoyed it even though the writing is old style and there are lots of adverbs. I liked Rinehart when I was young and can still enjoy her.
Mary Roberts Rhinehart, the American Agatha Christie (or you can consider Agatha Christie to be the English Mary Roberts Rhinehart, however you prefer) writes similarly to her English counterpart, by means of cozy mysteries and minimal actual violence and gore.
The Bat is about a robber villain who strikes terror in the heart of a country village and Miss Cornelia van Gorner, a shrewd older woman, isn't having any of it. The book takes place in her house, along with several friends (and enemies),
Susan Jo Grassi
Loved this book. They made a movie out of it with Agnes Moorhead and Vincent Price. It was good but a different timeline.
What can you say about a mystery that introduced the idea of a bat signal? Mary Roberts Rinehart clearly deserves to be better known than she is. This novel apparently started out as a play and I definitely felt that dramatic quality coming through. People would disappear "offstage" for a while (while I wondered what they were doing) and it was clear that the maid, Lizzie, was meant to be comic relief (not all that comic, really). But I loved the twist at the end of this story, which I only part ...more
I thought this was an original story, but the first chapter made me think of the author's first novel, The Circular Staircase (1908), and I found from looking at reviews that The Bat is the same story, updated and adapted as a stage play for the 1920 season, and then rewritten as a novel that was published about 1925.

Its differences from the original are improvements in my opinion, and I liked this treatment a lot better. The plot is full of twists and turns; the heroine is 25 years older in thi
Jenn Ravey
*I received this galley from the publisher Open Road Media* through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Master criminals. Dead bats as calling cards. A young couple in distress. The Bat by Mary Roberts Rinehart has it all and then some.

Courtleigh Fleming has recently passed away, shortly before his bank closes its doors after money and a cashier go missing. Mr. Fleming's nephew rents out his uncle's country house to Cornelia Van Gorder. But The Bat, a master criminal who continually defie
THE BAT. (1926). Mary Roberts Rinehart. **.
This was Rinehart’s second most popular book, and was adapted for the stage and twice for films. It was also, according to Wikipedia, the inspiration for Bob Kane’s “Batman” series – although there is no resemblence between his character and the character in the book. If you are like me, I usually turn a novel into a movie in my head while I am reading it. This novel became a cross between a Marx Brothers film and a Three Stoges farce. It had no relati
After reading Rinehart's The Amazing Interlude, which I thought was excellent, this was a come-down. She trotted out every cliche in the book (see? It's even affecting my writing about the book), both of style and of character. There's an inscrutable Japanese butler who knows jiu-jitsu, a "comically" superstitious Irish maid, etc.; and if somebody stalks out of a room, you can bet that they do it "in high dudgeon."

At the same time, it's a lively story; it's the novelization of a play that appar
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
A classic melodrama; I was so surprised to read that this was originally published in the 1920’s, to me it reads like a deliberately written piece of historical crime fiction – with all the mores, stereotypes, language and manners relevant to the time (but of course this is how it reads as it was actually written back in the 1920’s!) I loved its grace; the manners and the formal language and style of this book. Ms Rinehart creates a wonderful setting of time and place mixed with humour, a little ...more
"Miss Van Gorder, I confess-I'm very anxious for you," he continued. "This letter is-ominous. Have you any enemies?"
"Don't insult me! Of course I have. Enemies are an indication of character."

Miss Van Gorder's smile was obdurate. "I have a great deal of mind," she said. "It takes a long time to change it."

I just found out today by talking to a patron at work (yes, totally weird he brought this book up the day I finished it, I know) Rinehart pioneered
ARC for review.

"Two old women, a young girl, and a Japanese butler to face the most dangerous criminal in America" (359).

Although I had heard of Mary Roberts Rinehart, I believe this is the first book by her I've read - very Agatha Christie-esque. Cornelia Van Gorder is a spunky, elderly, wealthy spinster (though maybe not as elderly nowadays as she would have been when the book was originally published) and she gets some great lines, In response to the question, "Have you any enemies?" she res
Rinehart's The Bat was a pick for my mystery book club. It is the first book that I have read by Rinehart, and I must say that I did enjoy it. Rinehart delivered a fun mystery with some colorful characters, many twists and turns, and a fun, fast paced read. The book begins with dire warnings of a elusive criminal dubbed "The Bat" that keeps eluding not just the authorities but the criminal element as well. The book's lead character, Cornelia, decides to move her household to the country for the ...more
Ellen Dark
The Bat, by Mary Roberts Rinehart was originally written as a play, but was later lengthened into a novel. The Bat is a master criminal, even the criminals are in awe of him. No one can capture him and no one knows who he is. Miss Cornelia Van Gorder is a sixty-five year old spinster who longs for adventure, and has rented the home of the recently deceased Courtleigh Fleming for the summer. She's read about the Bat, and knows that he is in the neighbourhood, but she refuses to go back to the saf ...more
Not my cup of tea. The writing is old fashioned, the characters & plot too obvious. In defense, however, although racial & ethnic slurs offend me, I tried to keep in mind the times - the 1920's.
This book is put out there like this author comparable to Agatha Christie and contemporary with her. The heroine of the story was said to be akin and being about like Miss Marple. Not at all. she was not really even in the forefront of the story. She really gathered no clues, seemed weak, really did nothing as far as action and seemed to have little personality. The story was not as witty as Miss Marple's sleuthing and sweetness. The only claim to fame this woman had was a deed at the end which ...more
One of my favorite mysteries of all time was the Yellow Room by Mary Roberts Rihenart and I have yet to read another book by her that is as good.

I was reading it with my husband on a nook. He liked it and we both wondered whether the "Bat" was the inspiration for Batman.

I think the book the Bat was originally a stage play and it reads like one. It is a fun but politically incorrect book(sterotypical Irish maid and Japanese butler) which may have been a result of the times.

However, I was disapp
B. Lorie leonard-mendoza
Equal to an Agatha Christie mystery

This book is a very old book which my dad had over 40 years ago and it still doesn't excellent Mstery to read and actually there are plays that are made from this. An excellent read for those that like a good mystery.

I had forgotten that I had read this along with several other books by Ms. Roberts Rinehart. Of all the books this was my least favorite, although well written, I was not into the characters as much, and the story line just did not grab my attention. Many of the author's other novels are so quickly called to mind, and after i looked at that I checked out my bookcase...yes, there it is...different cover, but there is the book.
Marty Crosson
Meh... If you've seen the silent movie version from the 1920's, it's a pretty faithful rendition of the book. The book itself reads like a silent movie scenario: an improbable master villian (in a black mask and cape!), a hidden room, the dead man who isn't quite as dead as he should be, an amnesia victim, a doughty old lady, etc. Maybe these things weren't quite so cliched when the book was written.
Jenn Estepp
This is pretty similar to Rinehart's "The Circular Staircase" in many, many ways. Still enjoyable, but not exactly a thrill. More interesting did I find the book from a sociological/cultural standpoint, since it was the basis for a lot of old performance and purportedly one of Bob Kane's inspirations in creating the character of Batman. And, in the initial descriptions of The Bat, you can totally see it.
Lisa Kucharski
A mystery with a touch of melodrama to boot. Ms. Van Gorden, even though in her sixties, thwarts the master criminal The Bat.

Feels like I'm reading a hollywood film from the 30/40's. Fun to read, though at times the characters are so typical The hysterical housekeeper, the mysterious Chinese Butler, The Love Struck lovebirds, etc..

Quite fun overall to read.
Old-fashioned, yes. Cliche, yes. Politically-incorrect, oh yes. Fun, you bet. Although, this did feel very similar to Rinehart's Circular Staircase. Loved the feisty main character, Miss Cornelia. This reads very like a play, since most of the action takes place in just two rooms. Go ahead and enjoy.
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Mary Roberts Rinehart (August 12, 1876-September 22, 1958) was a prolific author often called the American Agatha Christie. She is considered the source of the phrase "The butler did it", although she did not actually use the phrase herself, and also considered to have invented the "Had-I-But-Known" school of mystery writing.

Rinehart wrote hundreds of short stories, poems, travelogues and special
More about Mary Roberts Rinehart...
The Circular Staircase The Man in Lower Ten The Yellow Room The Case of Jennie Brice The Window At The White Cat

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