Friday, June 8, 2012

The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart

When Rachel Innes, along with her niece and nephew, take a country home for the summer, little did they know what they were getting involved in.  Almost from the start, the house throws up strange noises and sights that nobody can explain.  When the son of the home's owner is found dead inside the house, what started off as simply strange, becomes deadly.  What follows will take Rachel and her companion, Liddy, on a whirlwind ride that will leave dead bodies, missing money, and danger in it's wake.

This is the book that started me on my Mary Roberts Rinehart journey, even if I didn't read the book until recently.  The wonderful Yvette of in so many words..., reviewed this book last year (here is her review of it) and I was intrigued by the familiarity of it.  So I had to do some digging and realized one of my favorite movies, The Bat starring Agnes Moorehead and Vincent Price, was based of the novelization of the play version of this book.  I know it sounds complicated but it's really not.  But after reading her review of it, I knew I was missing out on something extraordinary  So I made up my mind to read this book, of course I read 15 of her books before it, but here I am.

I'm going to be honest about something right off the bat, no matter how much I enjoyed this book, I think I still prefer The Bat.  Though I think in order to proclaim that, I have to split some fine hairs.  They are both wonderful and it's obvious to see where The Bat is really just an adaptation of an adaptation of The Circular Staircase.  I think my preference can really be blamed on the fact that I love the movie version so much, and have seen it so many times, that I'm more comfortable with Cornelia Van Gorder than Rachel Innes.  They are both such strong female characters that deal with their situations in such bold and amazing ways.  I wouldn't want to face either one of them if I was up to no good.  But if I had to pick between them I would have to go with Miss Cornelia.  And even then I'm going to blame Agnes Moorehead, who I adore, who played her in the movie.

So there you go, my non review of a book that I enjoyed about as much as I do any Rinehart book.  And the book that inspired the play that inspired the book that inspired the movie I love so much, will always be worth a reread.

Challenges: VM (Occupational Hazards)


Marie Cloutier said...

sounds really intriguing. i'nve ever heard of this before but i like the sound of it!

Yvette said...

I LOVED The Circular Staircase. I'd choose TCS if I HAD to make a choice between it and The Bat. Luckily I can enjoy them both.

Thanks to your enthusiasm for the movie, Ryan,I have it lined up on my queue.

Julie said...

I LOVE this review! Definitely one to put on my to-read list! :)

Jill Buck said...

The description reminds me of a Barbar Michaels book, not a particular one, just the house, the noises and the strange happenings. I don't think I;ve read any of Reinherts books before, but I think I have a few in my collection.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

That cover is too cool. Sounds like it's worth reading as well. Have a great week Ryan.