Beachcomber: traveler, wander, loafer, hobo, vagabond, tramp, homeless person. If you've read the fourth Charlie Chan novel, The Black Camel (1929), then you are familiar with "Smith, the beachcomber." Mr. Archie Smith a hopeful artist returning from the South Seas painting the scenery, got off a passing vessel intending to leave Hawaii. However, he got … Continue reading Lucky you live Hawaii! That is unless you are like Mr. Smith, the beachcomber.
Category: Deep Thoughts
Gol Darn it! That black camel was “unbid,” not “unbidden.”
OK, I admit it, goldarn is actually one word. But I already typed it (and I like it better separated) so we'll leave that alone. However, what REALLY irks me is a famous misquote I hear--and see--over and over again! Here is the quote from the 1929 novel, The Black Camel. Charlie Chan has just … Continue reading Gol Darn it! That black camel was “unbid,” not “unbidden.”
Birds of a feather: Tony the Parrot & Cookie the Cockatoo.
History doth repeat itself! Once upon a time Author Earl Derr Biggers wrote a novel, The Chinese Parrot (1926). This second in the Detective Charlie Chan series featured an Australian Gray Parrot named "Tony," who spoke--you guessed it--Chinese. And in more recent times Biggers' biographer, Author Barbara Gregorich, wrote about another bird: the sensation of … Continue reading Birds of a feather: Tony the Parrot & Cookie the Cockatoo.
The Chinese Cat (1944): a nod to The Maltese Falcon (1941)?
Cats are famous (or infamous depending on your point of view) for chasing birds. With stealth-like prowess the cat remains still as a statue until the unsuspecting bird, detecting no movement, feels safe. Then...they pounce! So is the case we have here with the Charlie Chan film The Chinese Cat (1944), Monogram Pictures Corporation. Here … Continue reading The Chinese Cat (1944): a nod to The Maltese Falcon (1941)?
“Calling all cars. Calling all cars!” Be on the lookout for book titled: Romantic Moon.
World Book Night is April 23, 2022 (Yes, that was no slip of the pen...Book Night!) We are on a mission and YOU may be our last hope! Members of the Charlie Chan Family Home have been searching for either the book or an explanation of the book jacket titled, Romantic Moon. It can be … Continue reading “Calling all cars. Calling all cars!” Be on the lookout for book titled: Romantic Moon.
Who’s your pick to next portray Charlie Chan at the box office?
Impossible? Or perhaps inevitable we will see the return of Charlie Chan on film? If you think no one’s thought about it here are two attempts (though they never came about) to feature Russell Wong (1997) and Lucy Liu (2006) as additions to the Chan Family. But I'll be candid! I’m not speaking of the … Continue reading Who’s your pick to next portray Charlie Chan at the box office?
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!
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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North, South, East, or West, summertime sleuthing can be best!
“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!
No, Chien this time…not Chan!
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!
Chan & Holmes, two sides of a coin – a comparison and contrast!
"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!