Fifty Candles is a mystery/thriller novel by Earl Derr Biggers published in 1921. The murder mystery novel is set in San Francisco where the only clue is a birthday cake with 50 candles.
Fifty Candles can be seen as a prequel to the following Charlie Chan novels. The novel begins in a courthouse in Honolulu, moves to China, then to San Francisco. Many elements used in the Charlie Chan series are present: Chinese characters, a shrewd detective and a murder complete with plenty of suspects. Biggers’ fans will enjoy the origins of the Charlie Chan canon.
Earl Derr Biggers (1884 – 1933) was an American novelist and playwright. He is remembered primarily for his novels, especially those featuring the Chinese American detective Charlie Chan, from which popular films were made in the United States and China.
The popularity of Charlie Chan extended even to China, where audiences in Shanghai appreciated the Hollywood films. Chinese companies made films starring this fictional character.
The Charlie Chan series:
The House Without a Key (1925)
The Chinese Parrot (1926)
Behind That Curtain (1928)
The Black Camel (1929)
Charlie Chan Carries On (1930)
Keeper of the Keys (1932)