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Topic: Mary Roberts Rinehart mysteries

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Kim (Mistry) -
Subject: Mary Roberts Rinehart mysteries
Date Posted: 7/26/2008 8:42 AM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 4,078
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  Has anyone read any of her books?  I found a 1954 hardback copy of Miss Pinkerton and it's really very good!  It's several stories about a private nurse who also works for the Police Dept. to help solve crimes.   It really blows my mind that this book was written in 1914!   Her writing style is actually very modern and it's not hard to get through the stories.   I love the way life is described back then, and how women were still prone to "get the vapors" and carried smelling salts around.  

         She  was very famous as the American Agatha Christie, and   Rinehart was actually the author who originally penned the phrase, " The butler did it."  !     I'm going to order "The Circular Staircase" once I've whittled down my TBR a bit.    But just wanted to know if anyone else had read any of her mysteries and if you liked them as well?



Last Edited on: 7/26/08 8:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/26/2008 6:01 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
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Last Edited on: 2/21/10 7:19 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/26/2008 11:27 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 663
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I've read a lot of her books and was initially surprised, too, at the age of them, because some covers of the paperback editions would lead you to expect something written more recently.

She's a writer you don't seem to hear much about now, but she was phenomenally successful in her time.

 

Ivy M. (Luvbug) - ,
Date Posted: 7/30/2008 11:16 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2005
Posts: 502
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I love her books...I originally read them as a teenager and now go back and re read them often...Her books led me to read alot of other authors like Victoria Holt and Wentworth.

 

 

Date Posted: 7/31/2008 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 3/29/2006
Posts: 174
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I just finished Window at the White Cat and really liked it.  I too was surprised that it was written so long ago.  The writting style sure didn't seem like it was from 1910!

Date Posted: 7/31/2008 10:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2006
Posts: 1,069
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I read several of her books years ago and enjoyed  them all. Some of them have been made into movies.

Kim (Mistry) -
Date Posted: 7/31/2008 10:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 4,078
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Have they? I didnt' know that, Diane!  Do you know which ones? I'd love to see if they were close to the books.

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2006
Posts: 1,069
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Kim, if you go to      imdb.com  (internet movie database) it has 46 movies for the theater and tv that were based on her books and short stories. Not all were mysteries but romances and comedies. They range from the silent era starting in 1914 until 1960 including a campy version of THE BAT with Vincent Price and Agnes Morehead. Some I have seen on Turner Classic Movies from time to time:

1935   ELINOR NORTON (with Claire Trevor and Gilbert Roland)

1932   MISS PINKERTON (with Joan Blondell and George Brent)

1931   I TAKE THIS WOMAN (with Gary Cooper and Carole Lombard)I

It 's been a long time since I read the books so I don't know how close the movies are to them. I want to  reread them once my TBR pile gets smaller.

 

Kim (Mistry) -
Date Posted: 8/2/2008 11:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 4,078
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 Thank you, Diane!  And I can so see Joan Blondell as Miss Pinkerton, too! I'm a big fan of the old black and white movies. I'm going to take a look see :)

Date Posted: 8/25/2008 11:17 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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Kim, I am a Rinehart fan as well.  She wrote some very good, atmospheric mystery short stories as well as the full-length novels.

ETA:  I can recommend Alibi for Isobel (short stories); The Yellow Room; and The Wall.  Also, The Bat is very good but I have heard that it is just a retread of The Circular Staircase.

ETA part two:  You may also enjoy books written by Christianna Brand.  She was a British writer from the 1940s.  I find that her novels evoke the same sort of suspenseful atmosphere as Rinehart.  Green for Danger is particularly good, and there was another I read recently that's escaping me.  Okay, found it -- Fog of Doubt.



Last Edited on: 8/25/08 11:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Kim (Mistry) -
Date Posted: 8/26/2008 3:16 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 4,078
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Thank you, Kristen! I found another Rhinehart mystery at a  book sale this weekend and I plan on checking that one out soon. I'll check out Brand as well. I'm thrilled to have found a new (to me) type of mystery to read!