Earl Derr Biggers. Behind That Curtain (1928) 337 pp.
Detective-Sergeant Charlie Chan of the Honolulu police—in San Francisco awaiting passage back to Hawaii—gets involved in the murder of Sir Frederic Bruce, a retired Scotland Yard inspector. Sir Frederic is in San Francisco pursuing clues in the only unsolved murder of his career, a sixteen-year-old case that is somehow tied to the mysterious disappearance fifteen years ago of a young English bride from the Indian town of Peshawar. Sir Frederic seems on the verge of breaking both cases—he has gathered a varied list of witnesses together at the home of his San Francisco host, Barry Kirk—when he is found shot to death in Kirk’s office. Although Chan is anxious to return home, he had met with Sir Frederic (and had been present at the dinner party where he met his end) and feels compelled to stay in the city to assist the local cops—and the beautiful assistant district attorney, Miss J.V. Morrow—in the investigation. Several red herrings—and two missed Hawaii-bound boats—later, Chan uncovers the killer and ties up all the loose ends.
Baird & Greenwood 253