This year the 50th Anniversary Bouchercon is being held Virtually, October 16 - 17, 2020 from Sacramento California. So I'm breaking my once-monthly blog rule to share my first time with you... The fall of 2012, I attended my first Bouchercon (famed world mystery convention.) I was ecstatic it was being held in my hometown … Continue reading Everyone remembers their first time! Mine–October 2012.
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!
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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“Are you an ‘Eastsider’ or ‘Westsider’?” I often heard that question growing up in Cleveland, Ohio. As a young boy living in the “southern burbs” I never gave it much thought. It wasn’t until much later I realized it meant do you hail from the east- or west-side of the Cuyahoga River. The river divides … Continue reading North, South, East, or West, summertime sleuthing can be best!
Get ready for some feet tappin' and finger snappin'! We're celebrating Charlie Chan creator Author Earl Derr Biggers’ 136th birthday this month (August 26, 1884) with some sweet sounds germane to one of America's first "icons" of mystery fiction. Most mystery buffs easily recognize the theme song for their favorite sleuth: Peter Gunn, Mike Hammer, … Continue reading Celebrate! A “musical montage” for Charlie Chan creator Earl Derr Biggers’ 136th Birthday, August 26th.
Buried deep within the annals of mystery fiction, it is written Detective Charlie Chan was once as recognized a fictional character as Superman, Tarzan, or Mickey Mouse. Within literature he emerged as one of America's first, new breed of detectives--on par with S. S. Van Dine's Detective Philo Vance, Dashiell Hammett's The Continental Op, Sam … Continue reading Charlie Chan's trip to China – March 22, 1936!
Having grown up in the Midwest (Ohio) I vividly recall the harsh winters of my youth, standing outside in the ice and snow shivering as I waited for the school bus to arrive. Following that, 19 more years of snow, boots, jackets and gloves in Upstate New York and Central Germany. So it was exhilarating … Continue reading PUNAHAO, home to the night-blooming Cereus Flower!
Like most of us Detective Charlie Chan, Mrs. Chan and their 11 children have sheltered-in-place, weathering the pandemic at thier home on Punchbowl Hill. However, he did manage to send this message via wireless telegraph: World situation worsens [STOP] Humbly suggest you offer faithful followers alternative to only six detective novels of self [STOP] Deepest … Continue reading No, Chien this time…not Chan!
Chang Apana's grave site at the Manoa Chinese Cemetary What's that you ask, "a REAL Detective Chan?" Yes, there was actually a living, breathing person, who inspired Author Earl Derr Biggers and served as the "spark" for his fictional Detective Charlie Chan. Now I realize "most of you" reading this already knew that! However, take … Continue reading Will the REAL Charlie Chan please step forward.
"Being from different eras and cultures, any 'rivalry' between the two detectives would probably be something akin to soccer (football) and baseball...both are popular across the globe, but are unique in their following!" -- Rush Glick, Webmaster The Charlie Chan Family Home The above statement by Mr. Glick is a good analogy and so true. … Continue reading Chan & Holmes, two sides of a coin – a comparison and contrast!
With February the month for flowers, candy, and valentines, it's appropriate we take a look at author Juanita Sheridan’s fictional sleuth Ms. Lily Wu, and her cohort, novelist Janice Cameron. World famous mystery-fiction critic, editor, and author Anthony Boucher (eponym for the world's leading mystery convention, Bouchercon) adored Sheridan’s fictional Lily Wu; dubbing her The … Continue reading Meet Lily Wu…Who? The female Charlie Chan.