Last month I read Yunte Huang's "Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History." I recommend it, as I do the first three of the five Chan novels. The Charlie Chan books were originally all about ... Hawaii and how unalike it was from Mainland America. The detective was just the crutch Der Biggers used to build his travel adventures upon. "The House without a Key" has as its main character, yes, a Boston Brahmin who steps off the boat into tropical romance. Chan is just a plot-filler. If anybody today wants to write a Hawaiian mystery, consider that in the early 1920s Agatha Christie visited and surfed Hawaii, future Olympian Duke Kahanamoku was teaching surfing with his Beach Boys (yes, that's where the name comes from,) Earl Der Biggers was recuperating at Waikiki, and the true Charlie Chan (Chang) was a street-tough Honolulu cop. (He carried a whip, like Indy Jones!!) With those four characters ... now have a body wash ashore!!!!
OUT was very good.When Kindle had those free downloads in December, John downloaded one (I wish I could remember the title) featuring a half-Greek/half-Chinese detective called Socrates Cheng who solved the mystery based on his extensive knowledge of antique fountain pens. John's assessment: not very good (surprise!).
I have enjoyed the Ava Lee novels by Ian Hamilton. Ava kicks ass! Fun reads...
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