The Theater: Old Play in Manhattan, Feb. 2, 1953

The Bat (by Mary Roberts Rinehart & Avery Hopwood) is 33 years old—a bearded oldster among thrillers. But though it does its hissing through false teeth and glares from a glass eye, it is still strangely animate—a good deal of a mess, but only now & then a bore.

In the era of The Bat, whodunits got elaborate trousseaux, so as to set up house-haunting in style: winding staircases, sliding panels, well-trained lightning and thunder, gashed faces, bloody hands, Japanese servants, hidden blueprints, missing banknotes; it was kill and conk, conk and kill. George Moore once snorted that in War...

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