Monday, 13 August 2012
Lowry refers to the stage version of the Mary Roberts Rinehart, Avery Hopwood's The Bat in a letter dated June 1926 to Carol Brown, his teenage friend in Caldy (Collected Letters Vol 1 Pg. 52).
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. Amazon
Read NY Times Review August 24th 1920
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