For a character who appeared in just six books, all of them written between 1925 and 1932, Charlie Chan retains a huge amount of popularity - and also manages to create controversy - far out of proportion to that rather limited volume of work. He is only a sergeant in the Honolulu police force on his first appearance, in "The House Without a Key," but he is later promoted to an Inspector.
In looking back at this blog, I see that I've done audio reviews of three of the six novels (links will take you to the audio): "The House Without a Key," "The Chinese Parrot" (second book in the series) and "Charlie Chan Carries On" (the fifth). The other three books - "Behind That Curtain," "The Black Camel" and "Keeper of the Keys" - are in my "To Be Read" pile, and I look forward to sharing my thoughts about them in the weeks and months ahead.
But the real purpose of this blog is to get you to read these classic mysteries yourself. So please take note of the fact that Academy Chicago Publishers have reprinted all six of the Charlie Chan novels in relatively inexpensive paper editions.
I also want to recommend another book very strongly - a non-fiction work: "Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History," by Yunte Huang, which won the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award last year for the best critical/biographical work. Huang tracks the career of Chang Apana, who is thought to have been the model for Charlie Chan, and interweaves the biographies of Apana and Biggers - and, along with them, of Charlie Chan.
It's all fascinating reading. If your favorite indie bookstore can't help you, please use this link to Amazon.com for new and/or used editions of these books - and, for that matter,all of these are available as e-books as wel.