I thoroughly enjoyed this first Charlie Chan mystery
, and can't believe that I never picked one up before! I imagine this will be a series that I'll tear through.
The mystery itself was good, of course, and it probably stands on par with any number of Agatha Christie
mystery novels, but for me the mystery wasn't what made this book so enjoyable. It was the subtle humor, and the wispy strokes of humanity that Earl Derr Biggers
gave to his characters that made me fall for this book. Charlie's way with words, while at times comical, was so sincere, and heartfelt that he was quickly established as an honorable, genuine, reliable person. He was like a very genteel rock. John Quincy's joy at discovering his wanderlust and true love was exhilerating, and added a spark of youth, fire, and life to the tale. Miss Minerva's strength, fortitude, and self-determination engendered admiration and respect, and caused the reader (and John Quincy) to see her wisdom in living life on her terms.
The House Without a Key was just a good book, full of life, zest, movement, passion, and joy. Just like it's Hawaiian setting.