Tag Archives: Open Road Media

Review: The Bat by Mary Roberts Rinehart

1st October 2013

bat*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 defies the best detectives, is said to be in the area. After Miss Van Gorder receives several threatening, anonymous notes, she is sure the Bat is closing in. But Cornelia Van Gorder isn’t one to back down, and with her maid Lizzie, her niece Dale, the Japanese butler Billy and the various other guests in the house, she is determined to uncover the Bat’s true identity and the connection to the Fleming estate.

A novel based on a play (The Bat) based on a novel (The Circular Staircase), The Bat is a perfectly fun romp. As Ryan says in his great review over at Wordsmithsonia, there is definitely a bit of Noises Off or Arsenic and Old Lace hilarity in this mystery, as mysteriously locked and unlocked doors as well as inconvenient power outages assist the constant confusion among characters. Though I did figure out the villain prior to the last pages, I thought the denouement ingeniously done and thoroughly enjoyed this period novel – complete with gems from Cornelia Van Gorder:

“Sally doesn’t remember when she was a younger generation herself…But I do – and if we didn’t have automobiles, we had buggies – and youth doesn’t change its ways just because it has cut its hair.”

********

“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.”

Add this to your Goodreads shelf.

P.S. They’re not paying me to say this, but Open Road consistently puts out some of the best covers for reprints I’ve seen. I want every one of the Mary Roberts Rinehart collection and would love if they would posterfy (I know it’s not a word) their cover art.

Out of Print Love

16th November 2011

I am not particularly interested in bookish news as, no doubt, you’ve noticed around these parts. However, The Millions often has some great articles and snippets, such as this little jewel.  Apparently Norton has a redesign of the Jeeves’ books, and they’re really delightful.

Very Good, Jeeves!

 Designer: Lilli Carre

The Inimitable Jeeves

 Designer: Jonathan Bartlett

Just Enough Jeeves
Designer: John Hendrix
The first two are my favorites, but the last is fun as well. Then, of course, there are also the beautiful covers on the Patricia Wentworth books, produced digitally by Open Road Media, proving ebook covers can certainly be lovely:

Though I am not normally a fan of covers with only partial body parts of women, I am also not a fan of full photos of people on the covers. I find it takes away from my own depiction of the characters. [Cue the “picky” jokes.] These, though, are well designed, and I love the image of London behind the title.

So. Have you come across any fantastic redesigns or out-of-print books being reprinted? I’d love to see them.

Obsession…You’re My Obsession

10th October 2011

First, a little 80s fun for your Monday morning. Because side ponies, elves, and gladiators are so hot.

But my obsession? I blogged about it last week. Patricia Wentworth. Ever since I read Grey Mask, that is literally all I want to read. More Miss Silver! I’ve been holding off buying any more because I have so much other – really great – stuff to read. But I just can’t. I want to read them now.

As I’m writing this, it’s Sunday evening and raining, so I think I’ll indulge. Then maybe I can move on to something else.

Have you ever been that sucked in by a new series? Or am I as crazy as the people in that music video?

Grey Mask by Patricia Wentworth

1st October 2011

*I received an e-galley of this book from Open Road Media through NetGalley. Buy the ebook from Barnes and Noble.

Dear Open Road Media:

As a reader I know I cannot possibly discover and read all the fantastic books out there. If I allowed that thought to bog me down, I would be one depressed lady. That said, you have introduced me to my newest obsession – Miss Silver – and I cannot believe I have lived 30 years without her.

What do I love about Miss Silver? First, she’s a quiet character. Grey Mask doesn’t revolve around her but the other characters in the story.  She appears, almost inconspicuously, at the proper times to give aid. She is insightful and intelligent, humble but confident.

Wentworth’s storytelling is fun and intriguing, and for the first time in a long while, I was really sad to near the end of a book. When I discovered there were more Miss Silver books, I was thrilled.

I love mysteries. I love a good series. To discover a fresh series, particularly a vintage one, with over 30 books… well, it’s a singular pleasure. Thanks for making such great content available.

Sincerely,

The Picky Girl

So…what’s all the fuss about? I requested Grey Mask from NetGalley and fell hopelessly in love. Grey Mask is the start of this series, written by Wentworth in 1928. Charles Moray leaves home after being jilted by Margaret Langton on the eve of their wedding and returns four years later to find his home open and a strange meeting taking place. Watching through a childhood hideout, he sees a man in a grey mask talking to several different people – calling each by a number. When Charles hears them discussing “removing” a girl if a “certificate” is found, he is shocked. He is even more shocked when he recognizes one of the agents – his former fiancee.

When he reads about Margot Standing, whose millionaire father dies leaving her inheritance in the balance because of a missing marriage certificate, he puts two and two together and approaches Miss Silver, a private investigator with a high success rate in missing jewelry. He is skeptical until Miss Silver astutely guesses he will not go to the police because of his former love.

This book is so fantastic, and I really urge you to pick it up for your e-reader, or see if your library has a copy. You will not be disappointed.