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El Criado chino

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Charlie Chan es chino, detective, pertenece a la policía de Honolulú y es uno de los personajes más inteligentes y divertidos de la literatura policíaca de nuestra época. Con paciencia oriental es capaz de resolver los casos más intrincados y arrojar luz sobre los misterios más sombríos. Esta vez, la muerta es una señora muy hermosa, y los sospechosos son cuatro, pues la b Charlie Chan es chino, detective, pertenece a la policía de Honolulú y es uno de los personajes más inteligentes y divertidos de la literatura policíaca de nuestra época. Con paciencia oriental es capaz de resolver los casos más intrincados y arrojar luz sobre los misterios más sombríos. Esta vez, la muerta es una señora muy hermosa, y los sospechosos son cuatro, pues la bella asesinada se había casado cuatro veces. Y ninguno de sus maridos o ex maridos tiene una coartada muy sólida... Origen de Charlie Chan: En 1925 el periódico estadounidense The Saturday Evening Post iniciaba la publicación de un nuevo serial, The house without a key, con el que ganar lectores a la competencia. El relato era obra del escritor Earl Derr Biggers (1884-1933), quien había encontrado su inspiración en la prensa. Según contó más tarde el propio novelista, había leído en 1919 un diario de Honolulú (Hawai, Estados Unidos), donde se explicaban las hazañas de un célebre detective local, Chang Apana (1871-1933). La vida de este investigador cautivó inmediatamente la imaginación de Biggers, pues Apana había sido vaquero antes de entrar al servicio de la policía hawaiana, luchando valerosamente contra las mafias locales


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Charlie Chan es chino, detective, pertenece a la policía de Honolulú y es uno de los personajes más inteligentes y divertidos de la literatura policíaca de nuestra época. Con paciencia oriental es capaz de resolver los casos más intrincados y arrojar luz sobre los misterios más sombríos. Esta vez, la muerta es una señora muy hermosa, y los sospechosos son cuatro, pues la b Charlie Chan es chino, detective, pertenece a la policía de Honolulú y es uno de los personajes más inteligentes y divertidos de la literatura policíaca de nuestra época. Con paciencia oriental es capaz de resolver los casos más intrincados y arrojar luz sobre los misterios más sombríos. Esta vez, la muerta es una señora muy hermosa, y los sospechosos son cuatro, pues la bella asesinada se había casado cuatro veces. Y ninguno de sus maridos o ex maridos tiene una coartada muy sólida... Origen de Charlie Chan: En 1925 el periódico estadounidense The Saturday Evening Post iniciaba la publicación de un nuevo serial, The house without a key, con el que ganar lectores a la competencia. El relato era obra del escritor Earl Derr Biggers (1884-1933), quien había encontrado su inspiración en la prensa. Según contó más tarde el propio novelista, había leído en 1919 un diario de Honolulú (Hawai, Estados Unidos), donde se explicaban las hazañas de un célebre detective local, Chang Apana (1871-1933). La vida de este investigador cautivó inmediatamente la imaginación de Biggers, pues Apana había sido vaquero antes de entrar al servicio de la policía hawaiana, luchando valerosamente contra las mafias locales

30 review for El Criado chino

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bobby Underwood

    "Man who buries treasure in the snow, forgets that summer is coming." -- Charle Chan Hawaii's Charlie Chan gets his first look at snow in Keeper of the Keys. In another first for the Chinese detective from Honolulu, this mystery will move Chan to facilitate the flight of someone involved deeply in a murder and its aftermath. Not a first by any means in this old-fashioned series, Chan will also facilitate a budding romance. As Charlie travels by train through the snow-clad mountains all the pieces "Man who buries treasure in the snow, forgets that summer is coming." -- Charle Chan Hawaii's Charlie Chan gets his first look at snow in Keeper of the Keys. In another first for the Chinese detective from Honolulu, this mystery will move Chan to facilitate the flight of someone involved deeply in a murder and its aftermath. Not a first by any means in this old-fashioned series, Chan will also facilitate a budding romance. As Charlie travels by train through the snow-clad mountains all the pieces for mystery and murder are put in place because the passenger list includes the ex-husbands of singer Ellen Landini. Ellen joins them at Dudley Ward's estate overlooking the blue lake and pine trees, bringing with her young Hugh Beaton, her latest conquest. Charlie's attempt to discover if rumors of a man's offspring are true quickly take a dark turn, and he is soon helping investigate a murder. As Charlie assists Sheriff Holt in his investigation, it is not lost on Charlie that the young man has a blind spot where the lovely Leslie Beaton is concerned. As Charlie reminds the young sheriff to remained focused, Charlie has trouble doing so himself. When evidence begins to mount against one of his own race, the suspect makes it clear to Charlie that he no longer considers Chan a true Chinese, because of his American ways, which pains Charlie greatly. An unsigned will points to one person, blackmail to another, and a seemingly "essential" clue only serves to muddy the waters further. When a second murder occurs the case takes on great urgency. Everywhere Charlie turns points toward China, which will lead our favorite Hawaiian detective to do the unthinkable. Reporter Bill Rankin from an earlier entry, Behind that Curtain, makes a welcome appearance in Keeper of the Keys. For Chan, however, Bill's arrival is not nearly so welcome when he spills the beans on some of Charlie's activities! It ain't over till it's over in this one, with Biggers wrapping up both the mystery and the romance quite nicely. This one is quite fun for Charlie Chan fans, and a must if you've missed this entry in the Charlie Chan series.

  2. 5 out of 5

    B.R. Stateham

    Do you know who Charlie Chan is? Or his creator, Earl Derr Biggers? Over the years the Charlie Chan character has not held up in terms of being a positive image. I won't go into some deep discussion as to why---but let me just say it's all wrong. The REAL Charlie Chan character is a Chinese/Hawaiian police detective who is just pretty damn smart. He's an astute observer of the human condition, a humane and compassionate soul, and (in my opinion) can rival a Sherlock Holmes in solving a complex ho Do you know who Charlie Chan is? Or his creator, Earl Derr Biggers? Over the years the Charlie Chan character has not held up in terms of being a positive image. I won't go into some deep discussion as to why---but let me just say it's all wrong. The REAL Charlie Chan character is a Chinese/Hawaiian police detective who is just pretty damn smart. He's an astute observer of the human condition, a humane and compassionate soul, and (in my opinion) can rival a Sherlock Holmes in solving a complex homicide or two. I think you should read the book. Read it, and remember to keep it in context in that it was written long before you were born; in an American society who had yet to wake up and become more inclusive when it relates to racial stereotyping. With that in mind, I think you'll discover Charlie Chan and Earl Derr Biggers were pioneers in the field of racial equality long before the concept became popular. And oh, by the way . . . the book itself is a nice little mystery filled with interesting characters. You'll like it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    I've completed my highly enjoyable journey with Inspector Charlie Chan, and I will miss this wise and witty detective. In this offering, Chan is invited to Lake Tahoe to help find the missing possible son of his client. "Possible" because his client doesn't even know if his son exists at all. His ex-wife, a world renown singer, seems to have kept his birth secret from her husband for almost 20 years. Now he wants the truth, and thinks he will get it with Charlie by his side (not to mention the w I've completed my highly enjoyable journey with Inspector Charlie Chan, and I will miss this wise and witty detective. In this offering, Chan is invited to Lake Tahoe to help find the missing possible son of his client. "Possible" because his client doesn't even know if his son exists at all. His ex-wife, a world renown singer, seems to have kept his birth secret from her husband for almost 20 years. Now he wants the truth, and thinks he will get it with Charlie by his side (not to mention the woman's 3 other ex-husbands, her old lover, her new lover, and a contingent of servants, law enforcement officers and sundry other characters). But Death makes a surprise visit to the lake house, and Charlie must use all his powerful skills to ferret out the truth and expose the murderer. Are the Charlie Chan mysteries formulaic? Yes, but in no way boring or unchallenging. You know upon opening a Charlie Chan mystery that you will get a relatively gore-free murder, a cast of intriguing characters both good and bad, red herrings galore, a spunky female (and a lovelorn male longing to woo her), and a slew of wise and funny sayings from the Buddha-like Chan. It is a real loss to detective fiction that writer Earl Derr Biggers died just one year following the pulication of this novel in 1932. Had he lived, I can only imagine what other crimes Charlie would have engaged his mighty intellect toward solving. I will most definitely miss reading this series.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Alas! I have come to the end of the Charlie Chan mystery novels. Charlie has come to feel like a good friend. He is bright, modest, quick, clever, and very human. This book is every bit as good as its predecessors. Plenty of potential suspects. Lots of hints and allusions. A final twist at the end. I wish Charlie good fortune in his home on Punchbowl Hill.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Kucharski

    The last in the series (a short series) of the famous Charlie Chan mysteries. An interesting mystery that has the extra element of a Chinese servant in an American household butting heads with Chan. The mystery is great, but the element of watching two individuals with Chinese backgrounds coming to the US and deciding how to embrace (or not embrace) American culture. Well worth the read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Wyntrnoire

    Reread.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Eden Thompson

    From my book blog www.JetBlackDragonfly.blogspot.com Keeper Of The Keys is the sixth Charlie Chan novel written by Earl Derr Biggers. I have the others but just picked this up one day and started reading. I own a beautiful old hardcover copy ~ It was written in 1932 and I have a Grosset & Dunlap edition. I don't mind knowing Grosset & Dunlap were a reprint firm, I just like it that I have a matching set of the series. It may be from my copy being about 60 years old, or sometimes they used cheaper From my book blog www.JetBlackDragonfly.blogspot.com Keeper Of The Keys is the sixth Charlie Chan novel written by Earl Derr Biggers. I have the others but just picked this up one day and started reading. I own a beautiful old hardcover copy ~ It was written in 1932 and I have a Grosset & Dunlap edition. I don't mind knowing Grosset & Dunlap were a reprint firm, I just like it that I have a matching set of the series. It may be from my copy being about 60 years old, or sometimes they used cheaper paper, but the pages are a golden honey colour, and they have an imprint from the typeset. All things I enjoy as I hold the hardcover in my hands and tuck into a good yarn. Charlie Chan has solved some interesting cases in America, and is heading east to snowy Lake Tahoe at the mysterious request of Mr. Dudley Ward. When he arrives, he finds that Mr. Ward's ex-wife (the flighty Ellen Landini) a famous singer, will be joining them. The other guests include her second husband, her third husband, and her soon-to-be fourth husband! Along with the household staff and Miss Landini's maid, it's a full house. As yet another guest arrives, dramatically landing by plane on the snowy property no less, Landini is shot in an upstairs study. Chan moves into action along with the local police to uncover the secrets and motives of the party. Everyone in the house is involved, with many having motive and some having (iron clad?) alibi's. They do manage to travel around, to nearby Reno, which is described as a wild west town - I can imagine it in the 1930's - and across the icy lake to a nearby lodge. It's an intricate plot, with a few more murders and attempts along the way, which didn't reveal the culprit to me until the very end. Highly entertaining, although, you have to take a grain of salt when reading a novel from that time period. Chan is most respected without question, however there are derogatory comments made by and about the other characters. Mr. Ward's longtime butler Ah Sing is Chinese from the old country, slightly resenting Chan's American ways. He has a thick accent in his pidgin English such as "P'liceman? Some say plitty wise man? Maybe?". "Maybe," agreed Charlie. But make no mistake, Biggers has created one of the long lasting, internationally known mystery detectives. While the language and conventions are a little dated in style, it's a pleasure to go back with Charlie to 1932. This was an intricately plotted case, with a diverse cast of characters and lots of clues to pick up. There are mysteries, thrills, daring escapes, and even romance. A highly entertaining read!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    The mystery—who killed the famous opera singer Ellen Landini while she visited the house of a former husband in Lake Tahoe was a good one. The racist portrayal, not of Charlie Chan, but of family retainer Ah Sing, really hurt my enjoyment of it. Landini’s first husband, Dudley Ward, has invited all of her past husbands to his house, as well as Chan, in order to figure out whether Ellen had a child by him, and if so, what has happened to him. Poor Ellen is killed very early in the novel, and all The mystery—who killed the famous opera singer Ellen Landini while she visited the house of a former husband in Lake Tahoe was a good one. The racist portrayal, not of Charlie Chan, but of family retainer Ah Sing, really hurt my enjoyment of it. Landini’s first husband, Dudley Ward, has invited all of her past husbands to his house, as well as Chan, in order to figure out whether Ellen had a child by him, and if so, what has happened to him. Poor Ellen is killed very early in the novel, and all of the husbands, plus several of Ward’s employees are suspects. The mystery and the atmosphere are well done, but Ah Sing (oh dear).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Book collector

    I love these books. Good stories with a great lead detective in chan. He plays up to the stereotypes to fool his suspects but is never shown to be anything but a brilliant detective. It's a favourite American detective series and they read well despite their age. Attitudes are of the time so be prepared for that. Highly recommended. This was the last chan book. A good story. I've recommended this series to others and everyone who has read them enjoyed them. I love these books. Good stories with a great lead detective in chan. He plays up to the stereotypes to fool his suspects but is never shown to be anything but a brilliant detective. It's a favourite American detective series and they read well despite their age. Attitudes are of the time so be prepared for that. Highly recommended. This was the last chan book. A good story. I've recommended this series to others and everyone who has read them enjoyed them.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    Wonderful mystery novel. I picked up the book at a used book store in San Fransisco and took home to Lake Tahoe. I was pleasantly surprised about all of the local details, but was even more surpized about the wonderful mystery crafted by the author. This may be the last Charlie Chan book, but it has encouraged me to read the others as well.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Paul Cornelius

    Unlike the film version of Charlie Chan, who traveled the world from Shanghai to Europe, the Charlie Chan of Earl Derr Biggers' novels only made it to Hawaii and California--with a ship ride in between the two. And the two settings in rural California turned out to be the least effective for his mysteries, especially this last novel set on Lake Tahoe. Charlie seems tired in this book. Maybe Biggers was getting tired of him. Hard to say. But this was just another workmanlike finish for Biggers. I Unlike the film version of Charlie Chan, who traveled the world from Shanghai to Europe, the Charlie Chan of Earl Derr Biggers' novels only made it to Hawaii and California--with a ship ride in between the two. And the two settings in rural California turned out to be the least effective for his mysteries, especially this last novel set on Lake Tahoe. Charlie seems tired in this book. Maybe Biggers was getting tired of him. Hard to say. But this was just another workmanlike finish for Biggers. I was sorry to see the series end on such a comparatively less inspired note. Perhaps I am annoyed with Biggers' depiction of the common folk. For in Keeper of the Keys, Charlie's helper(s) have been replaced. Instead of high society social figures, the reader finds more than a dose or two of the local county sheriff and his father, Don and Sam Holt. And their folk wisdom. And, worse, their folksy dialogue. Earl Derr Biggers is not John Steinbeck. And so's I reckon I hear'ed jes' 'bout a'neff of that ther'n Sam Holt feller. I reckon. Mebbe his son, too. I reckon. Still, I would have liked to see more novels. A pity Biggers died so young. *A note to myself. In the past five months, I've read through all the Mr. Moto and Charlie Chan novels. Marquand is a better writer than Biggers, although Biggers is better at constructing a crime mystery per se. But then Marquand's Mr. Moto series is not just about a mystery. It's more of an adventure series, with a good mystery thrown in. Two very different type novels, really.

  12. 5 out of 5

    David Allenson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. One of the Golden Age detectives I've been wanting to read. While there are strengths to the story I found three things that made me rate the book poorly. 1/ I figured out the clues when they were first introduced. 2/ The romantic subplot was ... not good. Kind of embarrassing. 3/ For its time it's noticably trying to be non-racist. Mr. Biggers puts in a lot of work to flesh out the stereotypes around Charlie Chan. Then he writes another Chinese character - and an Italian character - who are just cr One of the Golden Age detectives I've been wanting to read. While there are strengths to the story I found three things that made me rate the book poorly. 1/ I figured out the clues when they were first introduced. 2/ The romantic subplot was ... not good. Kind of embarrassing. 3/ For its time it's noticably trying to be non-racist. Mr. Biggers puts in a lot of work to flesh out the stereotypes around Charlie Chan. Then he writes another Chinese character - and an Italian character - who are just cringeworthy. I think with a vigorous re-edit that this would make a good movie. Several of the minor characters (including a dog) are delightfully portrayed. The pacing is good. Mr. Chan himself is one of the better of the Golden Age detectives (nowhere near as irritating as a Poirot!) With the exceptions of the Chinese servant and the Romantic pairings, the dialogue tends to be well-written.

  13. 4 out of 5

    George

    #6 in the Honolulu detective Charlie Chan mystery series set in Honolulu. The story opens with Charlie at a lonely lodge on a wintry night at Lake Tahoe as an invited guest of the weathy owner who has also invited 3 other men: the owner and those 3 all had been married to the same woman, a famous opera singer. He also invites the woman to attend and shortly after her arrival she is shot to death. Through his instincts and understanding of human nature, Charlie arrives at a conclusion fraught with #6 in the Honolulu detective Charlie Chan mystery series set in Honolulu. The story opens with Charlie at a lonely lodge on a wintry night at Lake Tahoe as an invited guest of the weathy owner who has also invited 3 other men: the owner and those 3 all had been married to the same woman, a famous opera singer. He also invites the woman to attend and shortly after her arrival she is shot to death. Through his instincts and understanding of human nature, Charlie arrives at a conclusion fraught with problems making a decision that doesn’t follow the letter of the law. Another good Charlie Chan mystery.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jessi

    I heard about this book from the Classic Mysteries podcast. I have not read a Charlie Chan mystery before and this one was pretty interesting, even if it took me awhile to wade through. The description of Chan being invited to a gathering is a good one. He seems to be about the only person there who wasn't at one point married or involved with Ellen Landini, a favorite opera singer. When she turns up dead, there is no shortage of suspects. It is up to Charlie to figure our who the killer among t I heard about this book from the Classic Mysteries podcast. I have not read a Charlie Chan mystery before and this one was pretty interesting, even if it took me awhile to wade through. The description of Chan being invited to a gathering is a good one. He seems to be about the only person there who wasn't at one point married or involved with Ellen Landini, a favorite opera singer. When she turns up dead, there is no shortage of suspects. It is up to Charlie to figure our who the killer among the exes is.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Charlie Chan is asked to a rich San Franciscan's mansion on Lake Tahoe, where he encounters winter for the first time in his life. He also encounters his host, the first husband of famous opera star Ellen Landini. Landini's other three husbands are also there, including the one she's visiting Reno to divorce. When the diva herself appears, tempers fray, and the rest of the party finds a dead body. Chan joins forces with the local sheriff, a young man who has succeeded his now-blind father, who h Charlie Chan is asked to a rich San Franciscan's mansion on Lake Tahoe, where he encounters winter for the first time in his life. He also encounters his host, the first husband of famous opera star Ellen Landini. Landini's other three husbands are also there, including the one she's visiting Reno to divorce. When the diva herself appears, tempers fray, and the rest of the party finds a dead body. Chan joins forces with the local sheriff, a young man who has succeeded his now-blind father, who held the post for many years.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Inspector Charlie Chan discovers snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. Brought in to find the long lost son of his host, he instead is asked to help the young, inexperienced local sheriff solve the murder of his host's ex-wife. With three ex-husbands, a future husband and his sister, and a faithful long-time servant, there are plenty of suspects on hand. Charlie solves the mystery with his characteristic wit and astute reasoning. Inspector Charlie Chan discovers snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. Brought in to find the long lost son of his host, he instead is asked to help the young, inexperienced local sheriff solve the murder of his host's ex-wife. With three ex-husbands, a future husband and his sister, and a faithful long-time servant, there are plenty of suspects on hand. Charlie solves the mystery with his characteristic wit and astute reasoning.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Houston

    very clever Charlie Chan plot

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jimmie Lee Johnson

    Much better than many of the movies would lead you to believe.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eileen

    A Charlie Chan mystery. Not too long or short. Plots develops well. I actually figured out “who done it” before author reveals it (though not by much). Fun to read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jack Heath

    Synopsis: it was an unusual dinner party. Four of them had been married to the same woman. Charlie Chan was there too. Then the woman died.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kay Bowen

    The cowboy dialect was a bad idea, I think. And the story was a bit sillier than usual.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Excellent story and wonderful characters. Keeps you going to the very end.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Good as always.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Pulpjunkie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Dudley Ward, first ex-husband of opera singer Ellen Landini, has invited the diva's other two ex-husbands to his secluded mansion in the mountains near Lake Tahoe. He has also invited Inspector Charlie Chan of Honolulu, recently visiting San Francisco. Shortly after revealing the reason for the invitations (he is seeking information on the whereabouts of a long lost son Landini bore in secret after their divorce), Landini herself arrives, accompanied by her young male protege, his pretty and pro Dudley Ward, first ex-husband of opera singer Ellen Landini, has invited the diva's other two ex-husbands to his secluded mansion in the mountains near Lake Tahoe. He has also invited Inspector Charlie Chan of Honolulu, recently visiting San Francisco. Shortly after revealing the reason for the invitations (he is seeking information on the whereabouts of a long lost son Landini bore in secret after their divorce), Landini herself arrives, accompanied by her young male protege, his pretty and protective sister, and a private airplane pilot she once had an affair with (whose wife still works as Ward's housekeeper). During the night, Landini is murdered... Chan volunteers his aid to the local sheriff, an inexperienced young man named Don Holt. Holt is also aided by his blind father, who was himself sheriff for many years. With their help, Chan may be able to puzzle out the solution to this mystery, but first he needs to determine where Ward family servant Ah Sing fits into the picture. All of Chan's insight into human nature and the ways of Chinese culture fail to enlighten him to the ancient servants actions and motives, or help him to reduce the old man's reticence. But Chan must hurry, for he sees suspicion falling on the wrong party. Earl Derr Biggers visited Hawaii in 1919, where he conceived the idea of setting a murder mystery in Honolulu. He was already a successful published author. His mystery thriller "Seven Keys to Baldpate" (1913) had been a big hit, and had been adapted to stage and screen (by George M. Cohan, no less!) to much success. In addition to his trip, Biggers was further inspired by a newspaper article he read a few years later, profiling a pair of Honolulu police detectives of Chinese origin, Chang Apana and Lee Fook. Thus, Biggers introduced a Chinese-American police detective named Charlie Chan in a supporting role in the 1925 novel "The House Without a Key". Chan was a big hit with the public, so Biggers put him front and center in five more novels, published between 1926 and 1932. (Biggers died of a heart attack in 1933.) Biggers reportedly intended Chan to serve as a counter to the prevalent "yellow peril" stereotype he saw as widespread in California at the time. Chan is conceived as an implacable force for justice, yet more cerebral than physical. A rotund working class family man, Chan presents a polite, diplomatic, and benevolent face, "exotic" and reassuring at the same time. His occasional flash of impatience, or even more occasional righteous anger, will be kept in check, and justice will be served in a very even-tempered fashion. The novel itself is mostly unremarkable, though hardly a chore to read. The style is reasonably brisk, the characters, for the most part, broadly but sympathetically drawn. The drama strays little outside the Ward house, and the small group assembled inside, and the story resolves neatly, with a fresh romance begun (a frequent counterbalance for bloody murder in mysteries of this vintage). The most interesting (and most problematic) part of the book involves the interplay between Chan and Ah Sing. Chan has, to a large degree, assimilated into American (or, at least, Hawaiian) society. His position as a resident of Hawaii is very different from that of Ah Sing, who grew up in 19th century California mining camps. It's not mentioned in the book, but at the time of publication there were still laws in effect that entirely forbade immigration from Asia. Anti-Asian sentiment in California had been high for decades at this point. Ah Sing's stony reticence is understandable in this context, as is his ultimate loyalty to the family which treated him well all these years. Chan laments, at one point, his lack of connection to Ah Sing, despite their shared heritage. Their vastly different backgrounds and circumstances keep him from bridging that gap. The problematic element of all this is that, for all Biggers' best intentions, the characterizations of Chan and, especially, Ah Sing come across as grossly stereotyped. this is mostly due to the oddly stilted speech pattern Chan is saddled with, combining overly formal wording with slightly imperfect grammar. Ah Sing, being a product of an older generation, is given a thick pidgin dialect which will sound downright insulting to modern sensibilities, regardless of how accurate it may or may not have been at that time. There's also much generalization about how "the Chinese" tend to act and/or think (particularly in an early scene between Chan and a married pair of railroad employees), which may have some validity in terms of the workings of an un-assimilated minority culture, but still feels awkward. (I don't know how much research Biggers bothered to do on the subject of Chinese-Americans, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. I know he *meant* well, anyway.) Even so, I never get the impression that Biggers treats his Chinese characters with less respect than any of the Caucasians in the story.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michele bookloverforever

    nothing like the movies...but Excellent period pieces.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jim Dooley

    The last of the Charlie Chan book series is not the best, but it is still a worthwhile read. The mystery is not as engrossing, although the characters are well-developed. (Two of them were especially memorable for me, and I have no doubt that we would have been seeing them again in a future offering had the series continued.) My sole complaint with this one is the last-minute introduction of a personality trait in a key character that we had not seen before. It seemed much too convenient. That s The last of the Charlie Chan book series is not the best, but it is still a worthwhile read. The mystery is not as engrossing, although the characters are well-developed. (Two of them were especially memorable for me, and I have no doubt that we would have been seeing them again in a future offering had the series continued.) My sole complaint with this one is the last-minute introduction of a personality trait in a key character that we had not seen before. It seemed much too convenient. That said, the resolution is a good one, and the theme of loyalty is nicely developed. When the Charlie Chan novels are especially strong, I find myself racing back to them to learn what will happen next. I was "pushing" through this one. I enjoyed it as the reading progressed, but I didn't find myself looking forward to it with anticipation. The writer completed this one at age 47, and he died less than a year later. Those in the know stated that he had every intention of continuing the Charlie Chan series and, indeed, there no scene in this one of him riding into the sunset to indicate otherwise. It is interesting to speculate on future stories. Would Inspector Duff return again? Does Barry Kirk come to Honolulu and see his god-son? Does Charlie ever make it to Boston? Any of these would have set up good tales. In the meantime, I thank Inspector Chan for allowing this unworthy one to look over his shoulder at a fine collection of classic mysteries.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Larry Piper

    This is the last of the Charlie Chan books, and a fine one it is. Charlie is invited by a rich man to his house on Lake Tahoe. His ostensible job is to learn if the man had had a son by his ex-wife, an opera diva, and if so, to find the son. Also invited to the house are the diva's three other ex-husbands as well as her designated #5, once her Reno divorce on #4 becomes final. So, naturally, the diva shows up as well and manages to get murdered in her sitting room, just as the plane that is to t This is the last of the Charlie Chan books, and a fine one it is. Charlie is invited by a rich man to his house on Lake Tahoe. His ostensible job is to learn if the man had had a son by his ex-wife, an opera diva, and if so, to find the son. Also invited to the house are the diva's three other ex-husbands as well as her designated #5, once her Reno divorce on #4 becomes final. So, naturally, the diva shows up as well and manages to get murdered in her sitting room, just as the plane that is to take her back to Reno comes flying over to land. Oh yeah, the pilot of that plane is also sweet on the diva, much to the chagrin of the pilot's spouse, a maid in the household. Anyway, you can guess that things are rather complicated. Charlie, being an outsider, gets involved at the behest of the new local sheriff, who is way out of his depth, but who knows tjat. It's a complex plot, but rather fun. I don't know if Earl Derr Biggers had plans to continue with Charlie's adventures, but unfortunately, he died shortly after this book was published. This book is a fine one on which to end the Chan series, still well plotted and well written.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Scilla

    After hearing his former wife, opera singer Ellen Landini, may have been pregnant when she left him, Dudley Ward is determined to find his son. He invites Charlie Chan along with Ellen's three later husbands to his large house on Lake Tahoe. Ellen soon shows up with her current flame and his sister. When Ellen is found shot dead on the balcony just as another flame is arriving by plane to take her home, there are many suspects. They include the four ex-husbands, the new boyfriend and his sister, After hearing his former wife, opera singer Ellen Landini, may have been pregnant when she left him, Dudley Ward is determined to find his son. He invites Charlie Chan along with Ellen's three later husbands to his large house on Lake Tahoe. Ellen soon shows up with her current flame and his sister. When Ellen is found shot dead on the balcony just as another flame is arriving by plane to take her home, there are many suspects. They include the four ex-husbands, the new boyfriend and his sister, and the staff. The local sheriff Don Holt and Charlie work together to solve the crime.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jack

    This is the last Chan book written (#6) and it is a good tale. Populated with an assortment of characters and many possible suspects, the complex story had you second guessing til the end. The story and dialog stood up well even though it was written in 1932. The setting was at rustic Lake Tahoe. The last of the series, I found this in a little bookshop in Burlington, VT. I believe there are a couple I may have missed, so I am still on the search!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Early 1930s murder mystery set at Lake Tahoe with too many clues and too many suspects without alibies. Inspector Chan patiently sorts through them to find the murderer. Interesting tension between the Americanized Chan and a Chinese servant who has resisted Americanization. The Inspector uses a scientific technique that the author describes as being still experimental, which technique now appears in many police procedural novels and TV shows.

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