The Bat

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Samuel French, Inc., 1959 - Drama - 140 pages
1 Review
Mystery Comedy / Characters: 7 male, 3 female

Scenery: 2 Interiors

In this popular American mystery play, incident is piled on incident with skill and plausibility, and it is impossible to know who the real criminal is until the final curtain. This thriller revolves around Cornelia Van Gorder, a maiden lady of sixty, who rents the summer home of a banker reported killed in Colorado. She is warned that mysterious things are happening but she refuses to move. Then it is discovered that a large sum is missing from the dead man's bank and it is suspected that, far from being dead, he stole the money, hid it in a secret chamber in his house and is only waiting for a chance to sneak back to get it. Four others are after the money: the bank cashier who is wrongfully accused of taking it, a detective engaged by Miss Van Gorder to clear up the mystery, a doctor friend and supposed confederate of the missing banker and The Bat, a notorious thief who has long eluded the police. This genuine thriller is guaranteed to divert any audience.


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The story was fast paced and interesting. Cornelia Van Gorder was a hoot! Loved her confidence. And she knits! Dale Ogden was a disappointing female character. No brains, no strength. A bit dated but fun.

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Section 1
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Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8

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About the author (1959)

Mary Roberts Rinehart was born in the City of Allegheny, Pennsylvania on August 12, 1876. While attending Allegheny High School, she received $1 each for three short stories from a Pittsburgh newspaper. After receiving inspiration from a town doctor who happened to be a woman, she developed a curiosity for medicine. She went on to study nursing at the Pittsburgh Training School for Nurses at Homeopathic Hospital. After graduating in 1896, she began her writing career. The first of her many mystery stories, The Circular Staircase (1908), established her as a leading writer of the genre; Rinehart and Avery Hopwood successfully dramatized the novel as The Bat (1920). Her other mystery novels include The Man in Lower Ten (1909), The Case of Jennie Brice (1914), The Red Lamp (1925), The Door (1930), The Yellow Room (1945), and The Swimming Pool (1952). Stories about Tish, a self-reliant spinster, first appeared in the Saturday Evening Post and were collected into The Best of Tish (1955). She wrote more than 50 books, eight plays, hundreds of short stories, poems, travelogues and special articles. Three of her plays were running on Broadway at one time. During World War I, she was the first woman war correspondent at the Belgian front. She died September 22, 1958 at the age of 82.

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