Book review by Author Barbara Gregorich: Charlie Chan Carries On (1930)

Last month I suggested four summertime reads, but ended on this note, “should a reader prefer all his or her murders served-up on one delicious plate, just read the fifth Charlie Chan novel, Charlie Chan Carries On (1930.)”

Here is a wonderful review by someone who has read that novel at least four times, and hails from the same hometown as Chan creator Earl Derr Biggers: Author Barbara Gregorich. Barbara is an author, lecturer, mystery fiction and writing instructor, and not only has she written numerous children’s books, poetry, baseball history, mysteries and more; after extensive research she released Biggers’ biography, Earl Derr Biggers: Charlie Chan’s Poppa (2018).

Like Barbara, I too must say this is probably my favorite story in the Chan series. Wait! Or was it the sixth novel Keeper of the Keys (1932), where Charlie experiences snow for the first time? Some decisions are just too tough to make!

Barbara Gregorich

When I was sixteen years old and first read Earl Derr Biggers’ six Charlie Chan novels, I loved each and every one, but my favorite was the fifth book, Charlie Chan Carries On. However, I couldn’t really say why.

What was it about this book that made it my favorite? Was it the fact that the story took place on an around-the-world cruise, and that this setting appealed to me? Or perhaps I loved the novelty of having one detective be the protagonist for the first half of the book, and another detective take over for the second half of the story.

Back in the 1990s, after I had already read each book twice, and was about to embark on reading each a third time, I did a lot of research on Earl Derr Biggers. This included reading all the correspondence between Biggers and his editor, David Laurance Chambers of…

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