Book Trailer for Pilikia

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

House Without A Key

The House Without a Key by Earl Der Biggers was published in 1925 and featured a detective who was soon to be legendary and as long-lasting as Sherlock Holmes. I'm talking about Charlie Chan.

We don't meet Chan until chapter VII. Our introduction to him is thus: "He was very fat indeed, yet he walked with the light dainty step of a woman. His cheeks were as chubby as a baby's, his skin ivory tinted, his black hair close-cropped, his amber eyes slanting."

Biggers didn't plan him as a series character and was probably surprised at his success. For a great summary of Chan's exploits, read Marv Lachman's excellent article, "Charlie Chan, the Enduring Detective" referenced in the Mystery links on the right.

The original location of the story appears to be a beach house known as "Gray's-by-the-sea" at the end of Lewers street in Waikiki. Gray's has grown into the beautiful Halekulani Hotel, the House Befitting Heaven, a truly world-class hotel. The House Without a Key endures as a restuarant and lanai in the hotel. What a lanai! The best time to get there is right at sunset where you will see a sunset like nowhere else in the world. Sit out on the lanai and order a mai-tai or martini and watch the beautiful hulas performed by the lovely Kanoe Miller under a massive keawe tree right on the ocean.

I have a scene Pilikia Is MY Business that takes place in The House Without a Key.