Seven Keys to Baldpate

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Published: 1913
Language: English
Wordcount: 73,678 / 213 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 87.5
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 2,992
Added to site: 2010.01.04 26179

Baldpate Inn has SEVEN keys. The novelist has one. The other six fall into the hands of six apparent lunatics--(1) a hermit who flees from barbers and women has a key, (2) a peroxide blonde who "just loves" men has a key, (3) a college professor who has been laughed out of his job has a key, (4) a political "boss" who eats cigars alive and he has a key, (5) a Belle of High Societee has a key, (6) a bold, bad clubman who has a key and--The Girl. She (bless her) hasn't a key, you notice, but she provides one--to the mystery that Baldpate Inn immediately becomes soaked in.

Show Excerpt

could get no further.

"Yes," said Mr. Magee brightly, slipping into a rocking-chair. "Yes, I'm going to spend the next few months at Baldpate Inn."

Mrs. Quimby, who seemed to have settled into a stout little mound of a woman through standing too long in the warm presence of her stove, came forward and inspected Mr. Magee.

"Of all things," she murmured.

"It's closed," expostulated Mr. Quimby; "the inn is closed, young fellow."

"I know it's closed," smiled Magee. "That's the very reason I'm going to honor it with my presence. I'm sorry to take you out on a night like this, but I'll have to ask you to lead me up to Baldpate. I believe those were Hal Bentley's instructions--in the letter."

Mr. Quimby towered above Mr. Magee, a shirt-sleeved statue of honest American manhood. He scowled.

"Excuse a plain question, young man," he said, "but what are you hiding from?"

Mrs. Quimby, in the neighborhood of the stove, paused to hear the reply. Billy Magee laughed.<


Average Rating of 4 from 6 reviews: ****
Dai Alanye

From the title I expected a Gothic mystery with mystic overtones. Nothing could be further from the truth, as this is typical wise-cracking 1920s and 30s humor with hardly a smidgen of real suspense.

Biggers is a good writer but it takes more than a decent command of language to create a memorable story. An amusing if slow read, the title is the best thing about it.


The Seven keys to baldpate -Being the First novel from Earl Derr Biggers.This is one is good in terms of characters and location with lots of action and romance.

A good mystery from biggers. He is one of my fav author.


PS :- Dont judge biggers by this novel, read the other creations from him and you will love it :)


I agree with the reviewer who wrote that the book starts off well but then lags in the middle. Even though there is action in the middle, it still seems dull. I skipped to the end. This was made into a movie with the same title.

His other books, so far, have been fun.

Leah A. Zeldes

Novelist William Magee comes to spend a winter at an isolated summer resort in order to write his opus in solitude. Instead, he finds the supposedly deserted hostelry peopled with a colorful cast of characters, all intent on a mysterious McGuffin locked in the hotel safe. A beautiful and elusive woman draws him into the chase.

The novel starts off well, wittily told and intriguing, but bogs down at the end. The mystery's ultimate solution seems prosaic and its long, narrative explanation dull.


A hotel closed for the winter, a snowy night, our hero and a key begin this delightful mystery. As we soon learn, our hero looking only for solitude, isn't the only one with a key. Other colorful characters arrive one by one and Biggers' descriptions and snappy writing style promises a wonderful read. I just learned that Earl Derr Biggers wrote the Charlie Chan series. No wonder "Seven Keys to Baldpate'' is so good!

Linda Otto

Oh, yes, you have to read this! What fun. Who are these people? Is anybody who he/she says he is? Why are they converging on this "closed" inn? In a way, it reminded me of the movie "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World." I enjoyed it thoroughly, as I did Biggers other work on Manybooks, "The Agony Column," which is not to be missed. Enjoy.

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