New York: Grosset & Dunlap. Very Good+ in Good dj. [ca.1926] (c.1925). Reprint. Hardcover. [light shelfwear to bottom edge, spine slightly turned; jacket edgeworn, with small tears (minor paper loss) at spine extremities]. Early reprint of the mystery novel which introduced the character of detective Charlie Chan, who within a few years would become a popular movie character. Although he's the detective on the case (a murder that takes place in Honolulu) and actually does solve the murder, Chan isn't really the "star" of the book; that distinction belongs to a dude from Boston named John Quincy Winterslip, a relative of the murdered man. (It wasn't until the third book in the series, "Behind That Curtain," that the publishers finally wised up, featured Chan in the jacket art, and blurbed the book as "A Charlie Chan Mystery." (Further evidence that publishers didn't quite yet see the Chan character as a marketing hook is that although the rear-jacket text promotes both this book and the second in the series, "The Chinese Parrot," neither of the blurbs actually mentions Chan, nor does the jacket-flap copy.) Even the movie adaptation of this book, a 10-chapter serial released in 1926, relegated Chan to a secondary role -- although movie-makers returned to the well in 1933 and used the book as the basis for CHARLIE CHAN'S GREATEST CASE, one of the feature films starring Warner Oland, best-known of the screen Chans. (The jacket art on this edition, by the way, is identical with that of the Bobbs-Merrill first edition.) . (Inventory #: 23495)
Unusual, Uncommon and Obscure Books in many (but not all) fields, with particular interest in American Culture (Popular and Unpopular), Art, Literature, Life and People from the 1920s through the 1960s.
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