The Book Report: Charlie Chan as written by Earle Derr Biggers

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I have finished reading the Charlie Chan books and some of the other books by Earle Derr Biggers, (August 26, 1884 - April 5, 1933,) an American novelist and playwright. I can't say enough about Author Biggers. He was a superb writer and his well structured stories have great pacing. Though many of his works were written in the early part of the Twentieth  Century, around the 1920's and 30's, and not at the time historical, today Biggers stories give the readers a great sense of the times they were written in and yet the characters could easily walk the streets today with no problems other than their old-time way of speaking. Being an old movie buff I've seen all the Charlie Chan movies and like them no matter who played Charlie, but they are nowhere as good as the books. Not even close in my opinion.
Image result for book collection cover of the charlie chan Besides his books, Earle Derr Biggers wrote plays and theatrical adaptations and short stories some of which became films. I read there might have been forty films featuring detective Charlie Chan alone.  
Charlie Chan came to being when Biggers read an article in the newspaper about a Hololulu detective named Chang Apana he decided to model his own detective character after him. He reasoned, "Sinister and wicked Chinese are old stuff... but an amiable Chinese on the side of law and order had never been used."  
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The father of many children, 11 or more, the character Charlie Chan lives in Hawaii in his home on Punchbowl Hill. But this don't stop the character from finding his way around the world and in his own way root out killers. Charlie is sometimes treated with the lack of dignity and respect due to his race that was common to books of the era they were written in. But Charlie overcomes the prejudice by outwitting those carpers and earning respect. There is always a touch of romance between the young characters the author lines up to help Charlie foil the murderers.
Image result for books by earl derr biggersThere are six Charlie Chan original: House Without a Key, The Chinese Parrot, Behind That Curtain, The Black Camel, Charlie Chan Carries On, and The Keeper of the Keys. 
A few other books by Biggers worth mentioning are: Agony Column, Love Insurance, 7 Keys to Baldpate.  I recommend all.  
Image result for books by earl derr biggers Earle Derr Biggers suffered a heart attack in 1933 and died. He was cremated and his ashes scattered in the San Gabriel Mountains. He left for us Charlie Chan to Carry On. Biggers once said, "I am quite sure that I never intended to travel the road of the mystery writer." 

Character Quotes: from Simple Things by JD Holiday

Character Quotes: Simple Things

Simple Things cover DONE copy church in it  Kirby craned his neck as the truck drove down the street. Then the Speedy Delivery driver limped down their front stairs shouting, "Hey! Hey!"
Shaking his head, Kirby went to the front door wondering what to say to Gram. She would not believe this.
The doorbell started ringing as his grandmother came into the living room. Her cherry color hair bobbed and her bony arms outstretched while wiping her hands on a dish towel.
The bell rang again as Gram reached it. At the door, Kirby stood to one side while she opened it. The deliveryman leaned against the doorjamb and holding his head. "Someone stole my truck," he said.  Kirby winced thinking this will not end well.

A Christian, Christmas middle-grade novel.
 #books with a #Christian worldview

Truth As Strange As Fiction: A Troubled Reflection

A Troubled Reflection 

One evening when I came home for dinner after hanging out with my friends around the ten block area we called our neighborhood I found that a murder had taken place having to do with the nursing school across the street from us and my family was very disturbed about it.
The eighteen year old young woman, just four years older than me, didn't go to school there but she attending classes at the nursing school located behind the then Paterson General Hospital. It was also a dormitory where many of the girls lived while going to school there.
Alys obtOne of my mother's sisters who lived next door to us in the block of row homes on Madison Avenue stood on their front porch talking to my father who sat in one of the two Adirondack chairs on ours. My younger brothers Ike and Dave where also there, sitting on the steps while and one of my older cousins stood at their doorway, and other neighbors along the block were also outside all watching the large commotions going on at the school.
When I came around the corner of twenty-third Street onto Madison, I saw a group of car, a few double parked, in front of the school even with the usual city traffic trying to get by. Two or three of them vehicles with Police. A lot of girls, some in the nurses uniforms, others in street clothes on the wide stone bifurcated staircase leading up to the Nursing School's wide white columned porch. All appeared to be crying as they stood or sat some in pairs, a few in a group hugging one another. The next day we learned that the police flashed pictures of the dead woman at them which sent them out of the school in tears.
As I walked up the walkway to the house we rented for the last two years my younger brother Ike said, "A girl's been murdered yesterday."
Like most of my reactions in my young life to everything I heard for the first time seemed to stun me into silence. This was the first time someone in my sphere, though not someone I knew was murdered. City sounds drowned out from around me as a dumbfound silence filled my head.
Looking back on this event to me my mind froze as my brain moved along each words I heard before they jellied into one blurry image since I'd never pictured a person murder before. It still produced a hideous picture cloaking me into continued silence, almost as if I never learned to talk at all.
obit AysSo I just listened to the talk around me. My mom came out of the front door with beer for her and my dad and sat in the other chair. She joined the conversation with her sister and my dad about what happen.
For weeks the girl's murder was covered as it was big news for our area in northern Jersey, a thirteen miles drive to the George Washington Bridge. There were two local papers in Paterson, the Morning Call and The Evening news.
My parents read all about it and what was reported about it on the TV and radio. Some times the reporting would be contradictory. The story change depending on where you got your news either from the TV or print. So the facts were hard to follow.
One account saying she was beaten and raped, and others making it clear that she wasn't raped but her clothes were in disarray and that she was stabbed either eighteen times or up to sixty times. Another problem was the contradictory report that there was a dog in the house that did not bark so the dog must have known the murderer, to there was no dog in the house and still no barking. And then it was said it was a crime of passion but she could have stumbled into a home burglary of her house. Some said she told her school she was leaving early to go to a funeral for her great aunt's funeral in New York with her father and were to meet at their house for the journey, her mother having got ahead. And another account mentioned she didn't tell the school she was leaving. But a few things that reminded constant thorough out; that it was a chase and a fight thorough the house ended in the dining room in front of the French style doors to the family's back patio in her Fair Lawn home.
A fact that haunted me was that her father was the main suspect. It seemed the police questioned why the father had her cremated within days of her murder. This was unimaginable to me and frighten. I knew my Dad. And that made it clear to me, in my young mind, this had to be an impossibility. They just had to be wrong. Of course, it time I would learn that almost anything is possible with humans.
Was it her father? A stranger? Or someone else she knew? 
Alys EberhardtI waited for months for a conclusion with none coming and the girl's life slipped from many memories. For years this murder has got unsolved. It's not often but once in a while I remember this sad event.
For me I settled on that it was an intruder, possible someone she knew from somewhere or around her neighborhood, there, to rob the house. But he or she turned into a murderer when recognized and it was a vicious killing because they had to wrestling her to death.
She graduated from high school in June of that year and entered nursing school two weeks before her murder. She had an interests in music and liked to ski. Her name was Alys Jean Eberhardt.
Copyright 2018 by JD Holiday

Character Quotes: SIMPLE THINGS

jd-Simple Things ad-downsized_large“We do say our prayers at“We do say our prayers at night and the whole family goes to church on Sundays but we’ve come to think of Christmas as just a time to get gifts, kind of forgetting that it’s to remember Jesus and what HE said to do for others. You know, to help other people. People in situations where they don’t have anything at all. Some of them probably only think about having simple things that we have. And those are things that my family don't give a thought to not having. Christmas is really a time to really think about all the people in need and to remember that those of us that have everything are lucky. I forgot that stuff,” Phoebe finished and looked over at Trisha who was sound asleep. ~

Phoebe to Trisha from SIMPLE THINGS by J.D. Holiday

Simple Things by JD Holiday is
a Christian, Christmas middle-grade novel.
 #books with a #Christian worldview



This is a wonderful story which is all about family at Christmas time. I felt like I knew these characters. The story has that hope that Christmas brings. I’ve read it twice. My favorite character is Kirby who is the story’s guiding force. ~ review by A Amenta

A great read for middle school aged children. Serious issues dealt with in an age appropriate manner resolving in a happy ending. Shows children behaving responsibly and choosing to do the right thing. ~ from E. Woodhouse

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