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Seven Keys to Baldpate (Wildside Mystery Classics) Paperback – January 18, 2005


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Seven Keys to Baldpate (Wildside Mystery Classics) + The Agony Column + Fifty Candles (Wildside Mystery Classics)
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Product Details

  • Series: Wildside Mystery Classics
  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Wildside Press; 2nd edition (January 18, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159224078X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592240784
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,290,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Be sure to read the book to the last sentence.
bernie
This book draws you into the story by taking a lot of twists and turns.
Jill Mahal
It has good drama and has interesting character development.
Linhi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gary Coffrin on May 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
Published in 1913, Earl Derr Biggers' novel is a fun and rapid-paced read for fans of classic mystery fiction. The protagonist is a popular writer of the day who comes to a vacant mountain resort ('Baldpate') in winter, seeking solitude for writing a serious novel. Soon six more visitors arrive, not revealing their true identity or explaining why they have come. The tale becomes a mystery of who has the hidden package, what are people's motivations, and what will the outcome be of the protagonist's love for a beautiful mystery woman.

If you believe quality detective fiction emerged in 1980, avoid this volume. You should note that this book was written seven years before passage of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote, and stereotypical notions of how women should 'surrender' to men are present. Still, the book has elements not unlike those of Agatha Christie's writing...or perhaps Christie on testosterone: an isolated environment, interesting plot twists, plenty of action, and the guy and gal happily uniting in the end. The dialog and action are more light-hearted than hard-boiled.

The energy, good-cheer, and rapid-pacing of the story will captivate most readers. This is a fun return to the days of yesteryear.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A light weight writer, Mr. McGee, besides that it is time for him to write a classic novel; in an effort to write this novel he needed to find a place for perfect solitude. That place turns out to be an inn that was closed for the winter high up on Baldpate Mountain. Little did he know that there were seven Keys to Baldpate Inn. With each key can a person or persons with unique characteristics and a good reason for being there. If you can believe who they are and their reasons. Mr. McGee suspects them all of being some part of a convoluted plot which nobody will let him in on.

We go along for the ride. There is no use speculating. And Mr. McKee's chivalry may be his undoing. Be sure to read the book to the last sentence.

I came to this book after watching the 1935 version of Seven Keys to Baldpate with Walter Brennan as the station master. I have still to see the play however the movie was more based on the play than the book. Some of the statements were directly out of the book but many others had that Cohan feel.

Meantime the book stands alone as a great example of a 1913 Earl Derr Biggers mischief and mystery.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By JAK on January 14, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Biggers is always an enjoyable read. See the other reviews as they will tell the story. I am here only to tell you not to hold Biggers accountable for all the typos! If you can find this story printed by anyone other than Wildside Press, please do so. The typos are so numerous that I doubt Wildside Press had anyone proof read before printing. Be forewarned, but do add this story to your collection or just read it for the delightful, light story that it is.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE concerns a novelist, Billy Magee, who seeks isolation to begin his next work and hopes to find it at Baldpate Inn, a mountainside resort now closed for the winter. When he takes up residence, however, he is startled to find his isolation repeatedly broken by a host of unexpected visitors, all of whom seem to be lying about their backgrounds and their reasons for arrival.

Originally published in 1913, BALDPATE was among the most popular novels of its day--and its mixture of mystery and comic banter proved equally popular on both stage and screen. The basic premise would also prove very influential over the years. Still, and in spite of the deft touch with which Biggers handles the material, today the novel reads as highly artificial in both tone and construction. Fans of period pop fiction will likely enjoy it, but the book is unlikely to hold many charms for other readers.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By EastTNAmazonAddict on February 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. A mystery with fast talking characters and suspense all the way up to the end. Well worth the read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Houlton on March 15, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have wanted to read this book ever since I saw the movie, "House of the Long Shadows" (which is based on the book). Surprisingly the book is nothing like the movie (or should that be the other way 'round?) It is a charming tale that keeps you guessing, and is an intriguing, historical look at how people spoke and acted in the early 1900s.

If you haven't seen the movie, it is worth a look. It stars four actors from the early horror genre: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Vincent Price, and John Carradine. It also stars Desi Arnaz, Jr. It's a funny, creepy-old-house movie with some knuckle-biting scenes. It is set in Wales, so the name of the manor house is changed from "Baldpate" to "Bllyddrpaetwr" or some such spelling!

I really enjoyed reading this book - just be prepared to overlook all the typos.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By George T. Blake on September 1, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you like mystery, love stories that take place around the turn of the century, and are a bit corny, then this book will be a good easy read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James Dainis on October 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A writer seeking solitude in a closed inn finds more and more people intruding upon that solitude. The mystery in this book is, who are all these people and why are they here? When all is revealed, the plot line wouldn't hold up by today's standards. The "secret" (it seems that everybody knew about it) deal that was carried out could just as easily have been done in any office and with a lot less logistical planning. But then, we wouldn't have a mystery novel.

The book does keep the reader's interest as the mystery seems to get more and more involved. One has to get used to the old style of writing. At the time that the book was written, it seems that people would believe that a man could meet a girl with golden curls and blue eyes, instantly fall in love and propose marriage the next day. Or perhaps they liked to think that things could happen that way.
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