Lifetime: 1884 - 1933 Passed: ≈ 90 years ago


American Novelist, Playwright


United States

Earl Derr Biggers

Earl Derr Biggers was an American author best known for his mystery novels, particularly the Charlie Chan series. He was born in Warren, Ohio, in 1884, and went on to attend Harvard University. After graduating, he worked as a journalist and wrote short stories before publishing his first novel in 1925.

Biggers was known for his impeccable writing style and his ability to craft intricate and compelling mysteries. He was also known for his keen observations of human nature, which he used to create complex and interesting characters. His novels were hugely popular during his time and continue to be enjoyed by readers today.

Biggers' philosophy was rooted in the belief that everyone has a story to tell. He believed that there was something to be learned from everyone, no matter how seemingly insignificant their life may seem. This philosophy is reflected in his writing, where he often focused on the lives of ordinary people who found themselves caught up in extraordinary circumstances.

Biggers was famous for his Charlie Chan series, which follows the adventures of a Chinese detective working in Honolulu, Hawaii, and later San Francisco. The series was hugely popular and spawned a number of movies, television shows, and other adaptations. The character of Charlie Chan was seen as groundbreaking at the time, as he represented one of the few positive portrayals of an Asian character in popular culture.

Biggers' other notable works include "Seven Keys to Baldpate," which was adapted into a successful Broadway play, and "Behind That Curtain," which features another famous detective, Inspector Holt.

Earl Derr Biggers passed away in 1933 at the age of 48 due to a heart condition. He is remembered today as one of the most influential mystery writers of his time. His work has inspired countless authors and continues to be enjoyed by readers around the world.

One interesting fact about Biggers is that he initially intended for Charlie Chan to be a minor character in his novels. However, after the character proved to be hugely popular with readers, he became the main focus of the series. Additionally, Biggers was a prolific traveler and visited many countries throughout his life, including Japan, China, and Europe, which inspired many of the settings and characters in his novels.

In conclusion, Earl Derr Biggers was a talented and influential writer who left an indelible mark on the world of mystery fiction. His commitment to creating complex and interesting characters, as well as his belief that everyone has a story to tell, have made his work timeless. From the Charlie Chan series to his other notable works, Biggers' legacy continues to inspire readers and writers today.

Books by Earl Derr Biggers

The House without the Key Cover image

The House without the Key

Detective Family Murder Mystery Crime Wealth Secret Twists Plotting Cast Victim

It is a mystery novel. First published in 1925, it is the first in a series of novels featuring the iconic detective, Charlie Chan. The story is set in Honolulu, Hawaii, and follows the investigation of a murder at a wealthy family's estate. The nov...