Seven Keys to Baldpate by Earl D. Biggers
Hoping for peace and quiet, a novelist checks in to a secluded hotel and becomes part of a noisy conspiracy in this classic mystery from the creator of Charlie Chan
After years of churning out potboilers, novelist Billy Magee decides that he needs just two months of solitude to produce a work of true literary merit. New York is too crowded with distractions, so he embarks on a journey to the loneliest place he knows: a rambling summer resort that has been closed for the winter. He plans to live by candlelight and firewood for the next eight weeks, with nothing to do but write.
On his very first night at Baldpate Inn, however, Magee receives an unwelcome visitor. For some reason, the man is very nervous. Could it have something to do with the revolver clutched in his hand?
Magee was promised the only key to the hotel, but five more peculiar interlopers arrive, each with a key. It is clear that the author is caught up in a strange and baffling plot. The question is, who’s pulling the strings? Magee hopes to find out soon, lest he turn up dead before he can start his book.
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Seven Keys to Baldpate was enormously popular when published in 1913, and spurred a hit Broadway adaptation, which in turn inspired seven films. The most famous of these is the 1917 George M Cohan-produced picture starring Cohan as Magee. This version is available for viewing at the Internet Archive. Another notable adaptation is the 1935 RKO talkie starring Gene Raymond.
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