The Chinese Parrot (1926) is the second novel in the Charlie Chan series of mystery novels by Earl Derr Biggers. It is the first in which Chan travels from Hawaii to mainland California, and involves a crime whose exposure is hastened by the death of a parrot.
The story concerns a valuable string of pearls which is purchased by a wealthy and eccentric financier. The handsome young son of the jeweller is assigned to shepherd the transfer of the pearls to the financier's vacation home in a desert area of California. Because of his long association with the owner of the pearls—before joining the police force, he was her houseboy—Charlie Chan travels from Hawaii to California with the pearls. After two mysterious deaths, first of a Chinese-speaking parrot and then of the household's Chinese man-of-all-work, Charlie Chan masquerades as a pidgin-speaking cook named Ah Kim and works underground to solve a number of crimes.
The novel was adapted for film twice, as The Chinese Parrot in 1927 and as Charlie Chan's Courage in 1934 (which is considered a lost film).
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)