Saturday, July 9, 2011

Lobster, Bar Harbor and Mary Roberts Rinehart

Monday is my birthday and to celebrate, we'll have dinner in the Trustees Dining Room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the summer, all members of the museum may reserve a table on Saturdays and Sundays and my husband and I will go today because the dining room is featuring a Maine Lobster Bake.

I'm reminded of a marvelous dinner during a short vacation in Maine, where we ate at the Looking Glass Restaurant on property that once belonged to the mystery writer, Mary Roberts Rinehart.

Rinehart had her first three stories published when she was fifteen--she received one dollar for each--and the adult writer went on to pen plays--several became hits. During World War I, she became a war correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post. Hollywood paid $15,000 for one of her books, a romance titled Lost Ecstasy, then changed the title to I Take This Woman. The film starred Gary Cooper and Carole Lombard. A cast any writer would give their eye teeth for.

She came to Bar Harbor in 1935 and the magnificent panorama--sea and mountains--led to a book written in 1945 called The Yellow Room.

In 1947, Rinehart hired a butler in addition to her long-time cook. The cook who resented the newcomer quit but his wife, one of Rinehart's maids, refused to leave with him. Rinehart was reading when the cook entered, words exchanged and a gun fired at her face. Luckily the gun misfired. She ran and the cook was stopped by the chauffeur, and the gun thrown over a wall. As Rinehart phoned the police, the cook came after her with knives--she was again rescued by the chauffeur and the gardener.

Rinehart went on to write additional books before she died of a heart attack in 1958. An interesting and productive life.

I checked the library today, hoping to find her books. Nothing. I will next check Barnes and Noble and Amazon.



My cozy mystery, Scene Stealer, is available at BarnesandNoble, Amazon, Carina Press and wherever eBooks are sold. An audio version has been produced by

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