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The House Without a Key

Earl Derr Biggers

"This is an alien world you're entering now. Not Boston, John Quincy, nor any other old, civilized place. Not the kind of place where the mind rules. Out here it's the heart that charts our course. People you're fond of do the wildest, most unreasonable things, simply because their minds are sleeping and their hearts are beating fast. Just-- just remember that, John Quincy."
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The House Without a Key was written by Earl Derr Biggers in 1925. This story marks the inaugural appearance of Honolulu detective Charlie Chan. Chan doesn’t appear until about page 70, and while the mystery is neatly developed, cleverly solved, and stands on its own, the book is also a solid piece of literature with sharp observations of the times (1925) and blends a romantic theme to accompany the mystery. Biggers applies his commentary across three localities: Boston, San Francisco, and Honolulu/Waikiki. His protagonist comes from the fading Boston Brahmin class, about which gentle humor is made, but he soon learns to appreciate the class freedom of San Francisco, and the languor of the Islands. Among his amusing observations is the lament of Hawaiians that Oahu has been ruined by 1925 with too many automobiles, phonographs, and radios, but oh, it was so unspoiled back in the 1880s!

Book publisher: Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company
Book copyright: 1925
Book edition: First edition, early printing
Pages: 316
Size: 5″ x 7-5/8″
Dust jacket: No
Illustrations: None
Back matter: none
Digital edition © 2021 Curtis Philips. All Rights Reserved.

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