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The Chinese Parrot Paperback – 1 Dec 1990


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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Warner Books (1 Dec. 1990)
  • ISBN-10: 0445402121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0445402126
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,936,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Earl Derr Biggers (1884 -1933) was an American novelist and playwright. He is remembered primarily for his novels, especially those featuring the Chinese-American detective, Charlie Chan. Biggers was born in Warren, Ohio, and graduated from Harvard University in 1907. Many of his plays and novels were made into movies, and he was posthumously inducted into the Warren City Schools Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame. By 1908, Biggers was hired at the Boston Traveler to write a daily humor column and, soon after, became the drama critic. It was at this time that he met Elanor Ladd, who would later become his wife and who would have a marked influence in his writing. The popularity of Charlie Chan extended even to China, where audiences in Shanghai appreciated the Hollywood films. Chinese companies made their own versions of the films starring this fictional character. Biggers lived in San Marino, California, and died in a Pasadena, California of a heart attack. He was 48.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rosemary Brunschwyler on 19 Dec. 2005
Format: Paperback
Sally Jordan is a Honolulu heiress who is forced to sell a valuable set of pearls. The pearls are sold to Wall Street financier P.J. Madden through a local jeweler named Alexander Eden. The plan is to deliver the pearls to Madden in New York City. Charlie Chan and the jeweler's son Bob are selected to make the delivery. Charlie and Bob learn along the way that there has been a change of plans and the pearls will now be taken to Madden's ranch in the California dessert. Charlie is suspicious and decides to send Bob ahead to the ranch without the pearls while he arrives later disguised as a Chinese cook. THE CHINESE PARROT was produced as a silent film by Universal in 1926 with the role of Chan played by Kamiyama Sojin, a Japanese actor.
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Format: Paperback
THE CHINESE PARROT is a fairly good Charlie Chan mystery which takes place mostly at a ranch in the California desert. Charlie spends part of his time disguised as a Chinese cook while working on the case. Earl Biggers is the author of just six Charlie Chan mysteries and they all are entertaining detective stories.
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Format: Paperback
THE CHINESE PARROT is a fairly good Charlie Chan mystery which takes place mostly at a ranch in the California desert. Charlie spends part of his time disguised as a Chinese cook while working on the case. Earl Biggers is the author of just six Charlie Chan novels and I consider all of them to be entertaining.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 24 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Chinese Parrot - Charlie Chan 17 July 2000
By "edwartell" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Of late, Charlie Chan is viewed with disfavor, due to the fact that he is an Oriental stereotype. However, nobody can deny that he is smarter than everyone around him, as he proves in this, the second Charlie Chan mystery. The murder mystery revolves around a mysterious millionaire, a valuable necklace, and a parrot who speaks of murder before being killed. Chan is confined to supporting character status for the most of the book, as Bob Eden, the jeweler's son who tags along for the ride, takes the lead; while Chan disguises himself as a servent in the millionaire's house, Eden is out romancing, discovering clues and making friends. This leads for an EXTREMELY leisurely mystery - since Eden, not Chan is the main character here. Still, the book is charming, full of pleasant characters, witty lines ("Golf has ruined more good men than whiskey.") and an endearing, smoking-room atmosphere. And the ending is a doozy. A fully competent mystery.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
An Entertaining Artifact from a More Innocent Era 25 Aug. 2004
By Gary F. Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In recent years it has become fashionable to decry Charlie Chan as distastefully stereotypical. In truth, at the time the character was a marked departure from Asian characters as typically depicted in both fiction and film, which tended toward a "Fu Manchu" point of view. And it may startle detractors to learn that Chan was loosely based on an actual person: the legendary Chang Apana (1887-1933), a Hawaiian police officer of Chinese heritage who preferred a bullwhip to a gun and was noted for his fearlessness in dealing with criminals engaged in the opium trade.

In the hands of Biggers, the character emerges as a considerably more thoughtful, more formal personality--and one capable of unraveling elaborate crimes. Originally published in 1926, THE CHINESE PARROT is the second of Bigger's Chan novels, and it finds Chan employed by aging and impoverished socialite Sally Phillimore Jordan to transport her last valuble possession from Hawaii to San Francisco: a string of remarkable pearls. When the Phillimore pearls are sold to the wealthy and powerful P.J. Madden, Chan agrees to deliver them personally... but upon arriving at Madden's desert home he finds the circumstances unexpectedly suspicious.

THE CHINESE PARROT pairs Chan with Bob Eden, son of the jeweler who has brokered the sale, and the result is more of a romantic adventure than a mystery per se--and modern readers will smile a bit over such impossibilities as a parrot that learns an entire string of words after hearing a single repetition. Even so, it has a considerable charm, Biggers writes with a light touch, and while some of the author's attitudes are clearly a bit naive, he never treats Chan with anything less than complete respect. An entertaining and generally enjoyable cultural artifact from a more innocent era; recommended to Chan fans everywhere.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyable Old Time Mystery 17 Jun. 2014
By James Dainis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A jeweler's son, Bob Edan, and Charlie Chan are tasked with delivering a valuable string of pearls to a buyer's house in the desert. When they get there Charlie senses that something is wrong and he elicits the help of Bob in putting off the delivery of the pearls until they can check out the situation. Perhaps they have stumbled upon a hidden murder?

This is a gently moving mystery story. The dialogue is realistic and interesting with some playful romantic sparing between Bob and a young lady who works for a movie company. The characters are diverse and also interesting from the bad to the good with a few desert characters thrown in for extra measure. The descriptions of the loneliness and beauty of the desert add appeal to the story.

The Charlie Chan in the book is different from the Charlie Chan of the movies. His accent in the book doesn't "sound " quite the same. He doesn't put forth the aphorisms one is used to hearing in the movies. Also there is no number one or number two son to add some comic relief. Charlie himself works mostly in the background with the reader following Bob around as he tries to unravel the mysteries that seem to hang in the air. Charlie does come though in the end and all is revealed. This is just a nice old time mystery novel.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
It's a Mystery 14 Jun. 2014
By george Klingbeil - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As good a mystery as I've ever read and I've read a few. What surprised me the most is how little the zeitgeist has changed since. 1927: " Gentlemen prefer bonds", indeed. Anyone who likes the likes of Sir Arthur C.D. Is going to really enjoy this. It is easy to see why Hollywood jumped on.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Delightful old-fashioned mystery 13 Jun. 2014
By Leonard L. Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I owned a paperback edition of this book way back in my teen years and had forgotten most of it. It was a great pleasure to read it again. It is old-fashioned, it is true; no hardboiled detectives here. But the characterization and dialogue are excellent, and Biggers' writing style is first rate. The desert setting, beautifully displayed, plays a large part in the flavor of the book. Although young Bob Eden's viewpoint dominates most of the book, there is never any question about who the main character really is. Chan's normal language is something of a stereotype, and his assumed language when he poses as a cook is certainly such, but the noted Chinese police detective is presented with the highest respect. And he definitely earns that respect through his thoughts and actions.

The plot is convoluted, with many unexpected twists and turns. I did guess a major part of the solution to the puzzle, but the author disguises the mystery very skillfully. There is a very nice romance, with both parties very likable and their bantering very witty and charming. The pace may seem a bit slow to some readers, but I didn't mind it at all. To me the interest was there all the way. There are a number of unlikely coincidences in the story, but Biggers is very careful to make each one individually possible, if not totally plausible. In fact this is one of the book's charms. And when the grand climax comes, there is a breathtaking concatenation of events that is spellbinding.

If you want a break from the current mystery novels, you might be pleasantly surprised by the fascinating quality that exists in this older classic. I loved it!
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