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Posted June 15, 2005
Patience, Hard Work and Perseverance
An American tourist named Hugh Morris Drake is murdered in his room at Broome's Hotel in London during the night. Chief Inspector Duff of Scotland Yard investigates the crime. Duff learns that the victim was a member of the Lofton Round The World Tour. The only clues are a hearing aid, a safe deposit box key and a bag full of small stones. All of the members of the tour are suspects including Dr. Lofton, Max Minchin, Captain Ronald Keane and John Ross. Lofton is the director of the tour. Minchin is a racketeer from Chicago. Keane is an unemployed engineer and Ross is a lumber man from Tacoma. As the tour continues, Walter Honeywood and his wife Sybil are killed in Nice. Sergeant Welby of Scotland Yard is accompanying the tour and continuing the investigation. He is murdered on the docks of Yokohama. Chief Inspector Duff travels to Honolulu to join the tour. While visiting Charlie Chan, Duff is shot in the back and hospitalized. Charlie gets permission to fill in for his friend on the final leg of the trip to San Francisco. Charlie is on a mission to save face since Duff was shot in Charlie's office. The reader knows that the killer may as well surrender now as Charlie begins to demonstrate the Chan trademarks of patience, hard work and perseverance. The book was made into a movie by Fox in 1931. It was the fourth Charlie Chan film and the first in which Warner Oland appeared as Chan. In 1932 Earl Biggers wrote a report to his Harvard classmates on the occasion of the twenty-fifth reunion of the class of 1907. He described how he happened to conceive of creating an ethnic Chinese detective for a mystery story set in Hawaii: 'But my memories of the islands were rather dim; I dropped into a library to brightem them a bit by a perusal of recent Honolulu newspapers. In an obscure corner of an inside page, I found an item to the effect that a certain hapless Chinese, being too fond of opium, had been arrested by Sergeants Chang Apana and Lee Fook, of the Homolulu Police.' Because of this chance reading of this newspaper item, Biggers was inspired to use Chan in THE HOUSE WITHOUT A KEY which was published in 1925 after running serially in the SATURDAY EVENING POST.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.