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Seven Keys to Baldpate Paperback – January 18, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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
The story shows its age, but is not bad if you can get past some old-fashioned prose and outdated ideas (there are, for example, a lot of jokes about the ridiculous idea of allowing women to vote). A semi-humorous mystery, the story is about an author of popular mystery novels who seeks seclusion in a summer resort hotel which is shut up for the winter, so he can have the privacy to write a "serious" novel. But all sorts of people start showing up at the supposed-to-be-empty hotel, all telling improbable stories of how and why they got there, and the author finds himself in the middle of a plot resembling one of his own novels. I wouldn't call this a classic, but I didn't drop it halfway through either; it's a pleasant enough read if you have a taste for early 20th century fiction.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Seven keys and eight players on the stage, bumping into and off of each other. Interesting character interactions and a lot of fun putting everyone in their proper place.Published 23 days ago by Jana Boardman
Great mystery! I have since learned it was made into a movie more than once. I would love to see them and compare. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Pat Smith
Actually, I had just finished two other Earl der Biggers novels when my doctor who is a reader, too, recommended this one to me. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Waynette Riggs
The writing is a little quirky and I was turned off by it in the beginning but as I went on, I became very interested in the story. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Nancy G P
I've read all the Charlie Chan books and I loved the series so I'm reading all the other stories written by Earl Derr Biggers. This one is interesting.Published 3 months ago by sbzesq
This is an old fashion who done it mystery with lots of twists and turns. A fun read. There is also a movie by the same title.Published 11 months ago by mucha mio
I enjoy mystery novels from early twentieth century, and even 19th century, authors. This one, like meany, has the feel of an old black and white movie. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Richard V. Collins
Rare find.Saw the movie with Desi Arnaz,Jr,so had to read the book.Published 13 months ago by Ellen