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The House Without a Key
     

The House Without a Key

4.1 22
by Earl Derr Biggers
 

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The Charlie Chan series #1 The novel, which takes place in 1920s Hawaiʻi, spends time acquainting the reader with the look and feel of the islands of that era from the standpoint of both white and non-white inhabitants, and describes social class structures and customs which have largely vanished in the 21st century. The novel deals with the murder of a former

Overview

The Charlie Chan series #1 The novel, which takes place in 1920s Hawaiʻi, spends time acquainting the reader with the look and feel of the islands of that era from the standpoint of both white and non-white inhabitants, and describes social class structures and customs which have largely vanished in the 21st century. The novel deals with the murder of a former member of Boston society who has lived in Hawaiʻi for a number of years. The main character is the victim's nephew, a straitlaced young Bostonian bond trader, who came to the islands to try to convince his aunt Minerva, whose vacation has extended many months, to return to Boston. The nephew, John Quincy Winterslip, soon falls under the spell of the islands himself, meets an attractive young woman, breaks his engagement to his straitlaced Bostonian fiancee Agatha, and decides after the murder is solved to move to San Francisco. In the interval, he is introduced to many levels of Hawaiian society and is of some assistance to Detective Charlie Chan in solving the mystery.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940016704715
Publisher:
Tri-Fold Media Group
Publication date:
05/23/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
634 KB

Meet the Author

The son of Robert J. and Emma E. (Derr) Biggers, Earl Derr Biggers was born in Warren, Ohio, and graduated from Harvard University in 1907. Many of his plays and novels were made into movies. He was posthumously inducted into the Warren City Schools Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame. His novel Seven Keys to Baldpate led to seven films of the same title and at least two with different titles (House of the Long Shadows, Haunted Honeymoon) but essentially equivalent plots. George M. Cohan adapted the novel as an occasionally revived stage play of the same name. Cohan starred in the 1917 film version (one of his rare screen appearances) and the film version he later wrote (released in 1935) is perhaps the best known of the seven film versions. Biggers lived in San Marino, California, and died in a Pasadena, California, hospital after suffering a heart attack in Palm Springs, California. He was 48.

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The House without a Key (Charlie Chan Series #1) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yep it's an old book that was scanned and there are typos because of that, but this is a good book, a really good mystery in which the great detective Charlie Chan is introduced. This book reminds me of the black and white films of long ago. If a book could be one of those wonderful films- this would be it!! I recommend that you give this book a read- you will be glad you did!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Charlie Chan works with the Honolulu Police to solve a murder involving members of an old Boston family. There are vivid descriptions of Hawaii and its people along the way. Yes, racial terms avoided in today's society are used, but Biggers also shows a respectful rapport between people from different ethnic backgrounds. As with other archived books, punctuation errors and spelling mistakes are frequent, but they shouldn't interfere with your enjoyment of the book. The 198 pages will fly by! First published in 1925. Enjoy! xstitchfan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is like a time machine back to when travelling was done on trains and ships and the "80's" referred to the 1880's. The writing is good and keeps the story moving along. If you like classic black and white Hollywood whodunnit films then the ambiance of those films can be found here. But unlike the Charlie Chan films the original characters here are much more three dimensional and likeable, less stereotypical. And the sense of Hawaii in the early 1900's that comes across in this book is golden.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting and feel good reading
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Annoying i
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HaleAna More than 1 year ago
Forget the movies. Read this instead!
HonoluLou More than 1 year ago
The novel is a genuine classic. Written in 1925 its no wonder its being reissued again around 80 years later. Influenced by real life Honolulu Police Detective Chang Apana, it is historical as well as entertaining and a truly suspensful mystery. I found I could not put it down! The author, Earl D. Biggers, has a way of leaving the reader in anticipation at the end of each chapter. And the subplots, charater development, and romance of the islands, pacifiic ocean, and tropical setting are almost mystical. If you've read the exploits of Sherlock Holmes (I've read them all over and over), you need to discover his competition on the other side of the globe! To Mr. Biggers I can only quote the words of his famous detective..."Thank you so much"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book.
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autodraw More than 1 year ago
For a book that was written in 1925 I think it's a very good read. What I really liked about the book was that description is not over used like so many books in the cozy market today. I really get tired of ready about what kind of flowers were placed in the vestibule or what kind of dress the heroine was wearing etc.. This book has a good story with acceptable characters. The only thing that I was surprised about was that Charlie Chan didn't do much until the very end. He didn't take much of an active role through most of the book, but of course it's hard not to compare this book with the movies where we Charlie Chan on every page. But I plan on reading the rest of the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
agoodbook More than 1 year ago
Earl Biggers weaves a thrilling and indeed, dramatic story about Honolulu detective Charlie Chan in his first installment of the series. Charlie is intrduced in chapter 7 and quickly becomes a deep and loveable character. His ancient Chinese wisdom is always welcome and provides a great insight into the mind of this detective. Written in 1928, this is one classic you don't want to pass up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Charlie Chan is introduced in Chapter VII of this first book of the popular series about an oriental detective from Honolulu. Although playing a minor role in the beginning, Charlie asserts himself by the end of this case.In my opinion, THE HOUSE WITHOUT A KEY is the best of the six Chan novels written by Earl Biggers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Charlie Chan is introduced in Chapter VII of this first book of the popular series about the oriental detective from Honolulu. Although playing a minor role in the beginning, Charlie asserts himself by the end of the case. The House Without A Key was produced on the screen in 1936 as a Pathe serial with George K. Kuwa in the role of Chan.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Charlie Chan is introduced in Chapter VII of this first book of the popular series about an oriental detective from Honolulu. Although playing a minor role in the beginning, Charlie asserts himself by the end of the case. John Quincy Winterslip, a young lawyer from Boston, is on a trip to Hawaii to visit a wealthy relative, Dan Winterslip. Along the way he is asked to find and destroy an ohia wood box which is in the attic of Dan's San Francisco house.He fails to get the box and learns on his arrival in Hawaii that Dan has been murdered. The leading suspect is Jim Egan, owner of a ramshackle hotel on the beach. The essential clue is a wrist watch with an illuminated dial which is damaged. Motivated by the growing interest in Egan's daughter, Carlotta, John Quincy helps Charlie and the police solve the crime. The real hero, however, is Charlie who manages to stay one step ahead of everybody else. 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 brighten 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 Honolulu Police' Because of this chance reading of a newspaper item, Biggers was inspired to use Charlie Chan in THE HOUSE WITHOUT A KEY which was published in 1925 after running serially in the SATURDAY EVENING POST.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Charlie Chan is introduced in Chapter VII of this first book of the popular series about an oriental detective from Honolulu. Although playing a minor role in the beginning, Charlie asserts himself by the end of the case. John Quincy Winterslip, a young lawyer from Boston, is on a trip to Hawaii to visit a wealthy relative, Dan Winterslip. En route he is asked to find and destroy an ohia wood box which is in the attic of Dan's San Francisco house. He fails to get the box and learns on his arrival in Hawaii that Dan has been murdered. The leading suspect is Jim Egan, owner of a ramshackle hotel on the beach. The essential clue is a watch with an illuminated dial which is damaged. Motivated by his growing interest in Egan's daughter Carlotta, John Quincy helps Charlie and the police solve the crime. The real hero, however, is Charlie who manages to stay one step ahead of everybody else. 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 brighten 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 Honolulu Police.' Because of this chance reading of a 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.