The Aresbys. Who Killed Coralie? (1927) 330 pp.
On a foggy night in Chinatown, San Francisco reporter Parrish Darby witnesses the mysterious death of a young shop owner named Coralie Henderson. Darby, who works for The Blade and is a self-avowed “crime-hound,” was watching the young woman through the window of her tourist shop. As the church bells tolled ten-o’clock, the woman pitched forward, dead. The cops and coroner proclaim her death due to heart-failure. But Darby recognizes a small lump on the back of her neck as being the same as he found on the corpse of a Chinese beggar weeks earlier—another death the cops didn’t want to investigate. With the help of Coralie’s business partner, the young, beautiful, and naïve Elizabeth May, Darby investigates the death on his own—and falls in love with Elizabeth in the process. The investigation leads Darby into the dark corners of Chinatown as he uncovers Coralie’s secrets—secrets involving interracial relationships, drug smuggling, and a dead baby—and could cost him his job, the woman he loves, and possibly even his life before he is able to sniff out the killer …
Editor’s note: “The Aresbys” is the joint pseudonym of Helen R. Bamberger and Raymond S. Bamberger.