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Publisher's Summary

Bruce Attleton dazzled London’s literary scene with his first two novels, but his early promise did not bear fruit. His wife, Sybilla, is a glittering actress, unforgiving of Bruce’s failure, and the couple lead separate lives in their house at Regent’s Park. 

When Bruce is called away on a sudden trip to Paris, he vanishes completely until his suitcase and passport are found in a sinister artist’s studio, the Belfry, in a crumbling house in Notting Hill, and Inspector Macdonald must uncover Bruce’s secrets. 

This intricate mystery from a classic writer is set in a superbly evoked London of the 1930s.

©2018 Estate of E.C.R. Lorac (P)2018 Isis Publishing Ltd

What listeners say about Bats in the Belfry

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Detective Story

This is an outstanding murder mystery with any number of twists and turns. A real winner that you don't want to miss.

12 people found this helpful

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Glad I Didn’t Judge Lorac by That One Short Story

The second edition of “Bodies from the Library” includes “Chance is a Great Thing”, to my mind one of the several disappointments of that collection. It must have been written on one of Lorac's bad days, because here we have an absolute classic of the genre: a chilling mystery with a cast of plausible suspects, a variety of motives, and a generous dollop of sardonic humor. The standard features, you might say, of any self-respecting Golden Age mystery. But wait, there’s more: Helpful signposts.

Most chapters end with a character pondering the events and revelations in that chapter—and possible interpretations of those events and revelations. These prove invaluable when, after an 8- to 10- hour day of remote office work, one pours a drink and puts in the earbuds, eager to pick up the trail again; a mere few minutes of rewinding puts you au courant.

David Thorpe turns in his usual masterful performance.

6 people found this helpful

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Deftly woven, Perfectly narrated

ECR Lorac has written a mystery as intricately twisted around itself as any I have ever read. All the clues are in the hands of the reader but they are obscured by a blizzard of other possibilities. I was deeply invested, throughout, in trying to avoid the many logical yet false trails presented. Lorac kept me guessing and I prize that in a mystery writer.

David Thorpe’s narration was appropriate throughout. He was subtle and prioritized first rate storytelling over an unnecessarily dramatic reading. His choice was perfect for this book.

4 people found this helpful

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Plot twist. Of course.

Well written and engrossing - until the end when you throw the book at the wall. Author cobbles up convoluted, 'hidden motive' resolution simply to play gotcha.

Could have been excellent study of disfunctional mind in the syle of Columbo - all clues pointed that way. But instead reader is supposed to believe way too many machinations when simple murder would do.

Conclusion: read for the fun of it. Plot moves along swiftly, with minimum of 'who was where when'. Just don't expect a satisfying ending.

3 people found this helpful

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Great golden age mystery

I enjoy any book narrated by David Thorpe. He does a wonderful job and I love how he makes each character come alive. The story was also great and the twists Kept one second guessing up until the very end. I recently found E C R Lorac’s books about 3 weeks ago and have read all that are available on audible. Great golden age mysteries.

2 people found this helpful

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Wild Ride

A Tantalizing tale with many twists and turns. You know the obvious criminal is probably not the real culprit but it is hard to see how your own suspect could be guilty. Terrific performance by David Thorpe.

2 people found this helpful

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Pretty good story, almost good narrator

E.C.R. Lorac's books are a recent and delightful discovery. This story is layered enough, pretty well crafted. A few of the characters are one-dimensional, but a few are interesting and almost believable. Chief Inspector MacDonald is a joy, and I appreciate his even temper, empathy, and that we don't ever find out many personal details about him. I know there is a lot of love for stories where the detective is battling their own demons while hunting down society's, but I really do enjoy the process of careful thinking and unraveling crimes without additional angst.

David Thorpe is always a bit unpredictable as a narrator, and I've heard at least 20 books by him. I love most of his different voices, even though some are exaggerated. I do find that after a deep voice, the next one is always a bit high and screechy. He also pauses for too long after sentences, even during a dialogue. Sometimes I'll check my Audible app to see if it's stopped itself. Overall, I'll listen to all the E.C.R. Lorac books I can find.

1 person found this helpful

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David Thorpe makes it!

This book is silly and contrived, but thanks to wonderful narration it was good listening anyway!

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  • Ian1956
  • 08-17-18

Old fashioned whodunnit

If you like your murder mysteries in the Agatha Christie mould, then this is for you. No particular depth to the characters, who seem two-dimensional stereotypes, but there are enough twists to keep your attention. A few non-PC turns of phrase, but that was the style of the day. I thought I'd guessed the ending from quite a way back, but I was mistaken. So, well done E C R Lorac.

5 people found this helpful

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  • M A HYDE
  • 02-18-19

old fashioned

A quaint style of writing but the good story and supurb narration make it really enjoyable. I recommend this to detective fiction fans.

1 person found this helpful

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  • twigs way
  • 08-18-18

unbelievable story, inappropriate narration

Although many 'classic' detective novels are to a degree unbeleivable, this was ridiculously so. The plot far too convoluted, the characters simply pastiches, and the solution totally ludicrous. I like David Thopre as a narrator usually but here he sounded far far too cheerful and 'chirpy' when describing deaths and mutilations. I listened to the whole thing but only because I had a long drive and nothing else to listen to. Even then I almost just turned it off!! It came on the heels of listening to Edmund Crispin - and the contrast between this silliness and Crispin's well-written and witty Gervase Fenn could not have been greater!!!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Lizzie
  • 09-28-20

Excellent story

This story kept me guessing 'til the end. Very entertaining and well performed by the reader.

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  • Janey May
  • 10-07-19

A Good Read

A thoroughly enjoyable murder mystery with some comedic moments. The narrator's voice characterisations were marvellous. One to be enjoyed by the fire on these dark evenings.