Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Bats in the Belfry by E.C.R. Lorac #1937Club

🦇 I am familiar with English idiom of "bee in the bonnet", but "bats in the belfry" is a new one that I got to know only from this title by E.C.R. Lorac. It's the 12th book of Chief Inspector Robert Macdonald - a police figure of my favorite from Golden Age detectives.

🦇 Bruce Attleton, once a successful writer, but is now struggling, is missing from his house. Two of his guests at dinner party where he was last seen try to take the matter in their own hand. They suspect a man called Debrette who must be behind it, most probably a blackmailer.

🦇 Their investigation brought them to The Belfry - an old dilapidated building with a tower, where Debrette is said to stay. It's a spooky old house, but few days later Debrette, too, vanished. The amateur sleuths found Attleton's suitcase with his passport inside The Belfry. At that point, they involved the police, and... enter Robert Macdonald. The thorough searching resulted in the finding of a mutilated corpse inside the wall. Whose was it? Attleton? Debrette? Did the one murdered the other?

🦇 This is my third Lorac so far, and I think it's going to be my favorite. A spooky house, an over-zealous amateur sleuth in Robert Grenvile, a cute love story, identity confusion, and an intricate plot that leaves us guessing until near the end. Even MacDonald wasn't so sure of who commits the murder until the murderer was forced to make a desperate move.

🦇 All in all, this book possesses every aspect of a great and highly entertaining crime story. The presence of youngsters in the center of the mystery: Robert Grenvile (who wants to marry Attleton's ward), Elizabeth Leigh (the ward), and Neil Rockingham added a refreshing charm that melted even Robert MacDonald's usual formal manner, that he becomes more charming and less serious in this story.


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hosted by Simon @ Stuck in a Book & Karen @ Kaggsy's Bookish Ramblings


  1. Excellent! I've not read this one yet, and I do love Lorac!!

  2. So interesting that the two people who reviewed Bats in the Belfry this week had such incredibly different reactions to it!

    1. Really? And I thought Bats in the Belfry is the one that people usually like....


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