The Chinese Parrot by Earl Derr Biggers

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1926. The character of Charlie Chan was based in part on the experiences of two Chinese detectives, Chang Apana and Lee Fook, who Biggers had read about in a Honolulu newspaper while on vacation. Biggers wrote six Charlie Chan mysteries. The Chinese Parrot is the second book in the series and begins: Alexander Eden stepped from the misty street into the great, marble-pillared room where the firm of Meek and Eden offered its wares. Immediately, behind showcases gorgeous with precious stones or bright with silver, platinum and gold, forty resplendent clerks stood at attention. Their morning coats were impeccable, lacking the slightest suspicion of a wrinkle, and in the left lapel of each was a pink carnation, as fresh and perfect as though it had grown there.
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The Chinese Parrot by Earl Derr Biggers

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