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!

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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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!

Meet Lily Wu…Who? The female Charlie Chan.

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.

The true, sad events surrounding actor Otto Yamaoka; “Kashimo” from Chan film, The Black Camel.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 9066: The President Authorizes Japanese Relocation, (February 19, 1942) Otto Yamaoka & Spencer Tracy Actor Otto Yamaoka was an American citizen, born 1904 in Seattle, WA. Until the 1940s he had a successful career in film, staring in no less than 31 films. He would act in some film classics: The letter (1940), … Continue reading The true, sad events surrounding actor Otto Yamaoka; “Kashimo” from Chan film, The Black Camel.

KILLER COVERS: a blog by J. Kingston Pierce – Under the Covers with Charlie Chan

You can't always judge a book by it's cover. Well, maybe not; however, those "KILLER COVERS" can certainly help sell books! And that is the very name of a super-cool blog I recently discovered by J. Kingston Pierce! Titled KILLER COVERS it is a companion to another blog edited by Mr. Pierce, The Rap Sheet. (one of the … Continue reading KILLER COVERS: a blog by J. Kingston Pierce – Under the Covers with Charlie Chan

Two World-Class Sleuths: One Small Burg – Warren, Ohio

     “Mr. Chan, allow me introduce Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, who also holds title as 8th Earle of Asherton. Lord Lynley, meet our guest Inspector Charlie Chan of the Honolulu police.”      “Hello Inspector Chan,” said Lynley. “Your reputation precedes you. I’ve heard many accounts of your accolades from our mutual friend, Inspector … Continue reading Two World-Class Sleuths: One Small Burg – Warren, Ohio

The Chinese Parrot…Well, perhaps not!

Author and playwright Earl Derr Biggers was an exceptional “Reconteur” (from Old French meaning to tell). And like any good storyteller he drew from his own experiences and quite often from real life. Here are some real-life associations, comparisons, and even an anagram, which the author may have borrowed from or used in writing his … Continue reading The Chinese Parrot…Well, perhaps not!