Monday, August 26, 2013

Earl Derr Biggers wrote Charlie Chan series

Biggers finished The House Without a Key after a vacation in Hawaii. Inset: Charlie Chan of the movies.
It is the birthday of writer Earl Derr Biggers (1884), who created the Charlie Chan detective series. His six novels became the basis of a popular series of films that even achieved a following in China. Biggers based the Charlie Chan character on a Honolulu police detective who investigated opium smuggling and gambling. Biggers was on vacation in Hawaii and read about the detective, Chang Apana, in newspaper reports. Biggers was inspired to insert the Chan character halfway through the book he was working on, House Without a Key (1925). Chan was so popular with readers that Biggers featured him in the subsequent novels in the series, which include The Chinese Parrot (1926), Behind That Curtain (1928), The Black Camel (1929), Charlie Chan Carries On (1930), and Keeper of the Keys (1932).

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