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THE CHARLIE CHAN BOOKS
 
by Earl Derr Biggers
 
     These are the books that Earl Derr Biggers started writing in 1925.  Most were serialized in The Saturday Evening Post Magazine and all but Keeper of the Keyes (1932) were turned into Hollywood movies.
 
      You can still find them via used books stores and on-line vendors that sell out-of-print books like www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com.
 
      Good reading!

THE HOUSE WITOUT A KEY
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by Earl Derr Biggers

THE HOUSE WITHOUT A KEY (1932):
      The House without a Key - a 1925 serial with George Kuwa as Charlie Chan.
      Charlie Chan's Greatest Case - a 1933 movie with Warner Oland as Chan.
* * *
     This is Charlie's first case but we don't meet him until later in the book after Earl Derr Biggers sets up the Winterslip Family . . . a connvivial family with passionate feelings about life . . . with a small case of murder thrown in.
 
* * *

THE CHINESE PARROT
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by Earl Derr Biggers

THE CHINESE PARROT (1926):
      The Chinese Parrot - a 1927 serial with Kamiyama Sojin as Chan.
      Charlie Chan's Courage - a 1932 movie with Warner Oland as Chan.
* * *
      Charlie Chan goes undercover as Chinese servant to keep track of priceless pearls.
      It's a good thing this story wasn't written today because it couldn't pass the polictical correctness of the most vocal portion of the Asian-American group.
      Maven is glad that the P.C. crowd wasn't around to influence the likes of William Shakespeare, Dashiell Hammett or Dr. Seuss!

BEHIND THAT CURTAIN
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by Earl Derr Biggers

BEHIND THAT CURTAIN (1928):
     Behind That Curtain - a 1929 movie with Warner Baxter starring as Colonel Beetham and E.L. Parks as Chan.
     Charlie Chan's Chance - a 1932 movie with Warner Oland as Chan.
      Murder Over New York - a 1940 movie with Sidney Toler as Chan.
* * *
      This book is in a category by itself in all the Chan books.
      It was first made into a vehicle for Warner Baxter with Chan having only a few minutes screen time. 
      It's taken from the book's location in San Francisco to India and into Iran and only gets to San Francisco very late in the movie.
      Plus E.L. Parks, who's performance is so wooden that his big scene of getting the bad guy is OFF screen.
      No wonder this was his only movie.
      Then it became Charlie Chan's Chan with Warner Oland.  Unfortunately, this is one of the "Lost Chan Movies" instead of Parks' version.
      (Think the sounds of a thousand whoopie cushions here!)
      Then we come to Sidney Toler's version in Murder Over New York in 1940. 
       Surprise! Surprise!  Yes, they have moved it to New York but included spys and plane developments and . . . .
       This is an excellent version but Maven still wants to see Oland in Charlie Chan's Chance!

THE BLACK CAMEL
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by Earl Derr Biggers

THE BLACK CAMEL (1931):
      The Black Camel  - a 1931 movie with Warner Oland as Chan, Bela Lugosi as Tarnevarro, and Dwight Frye as the butler, Jessop.
* * *
      This is another Chan story that is unique:  The movie has plot holes in it that you could have built the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in.
      Is it a bad story?
      Heck, no!
      Wouldn't you want a psychic who looks like a ringer for Count Dracula who tries to help Charlie solve the case?!
      Maven would be asking if he gives room service . . . She means room readings . . . Oh, never mind!
      The story revolves around a movie crew that lights on Honolulu and its star who promptly manages to get killed with a house full of suspects, including Bela Lugosi as the psychic. . . . 
      This is also the only Chan story to be filmed in Honolulu and at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

CHARLIE CHAN CARRIES ON
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by Earl Derr Biggers

CHARLIE CHAN CARRIES ON (1930):
      Charlie Chan Carries On - a 1931 movie with Warner Oland as Chan.
      Eran Trace - the Spanish language version with Manuel Arbo as Chan that was filmed concurrently with Oland's version on the same sets.
      Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise - the 1940 version with Sidney Toler as Chan.
* * *
      This is also a "lost Chan" but  . . . it's only partially lost!
      The Spanish-language verion is now available and luckily
subtitled for those who need a little help.
      The story is somebody is trying to knock off all the passengers on the boat.
      But can Charlie solve the cast before the murderer strikes again.   SO stay right there for the next installmennt of "All My Childre .  .  . oops wrong linked

THE KEEPER OF THE KEYS
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by Earl Derr Biggers

Keeper of the Keys (1932):
     This Chan story was the only one that wasn't turned into a movie.
     It was turned into a Broadway play:
Setting:  Hunting Lodge of Dudley Ward
Pineview, Lake Taho, Nevada
[Play] Written by Valentine Davies
Opened October 18, 1933
Fulton Theatre, New York
Closing Date Undknow
[From Internet Broadway Database.com]

THE KEEPER OF THE KEYS MAP
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by Earll Derr Biggers

  

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