THE CHINESE DETECTIVE by Joseph Theroux (Samoa)


YA Mystery

The Chinese Detective: Hawaii’s Real Charlie Chan
by Joseph Theroux (Samoa 1975-78)
Kilauea Publications
January 2024
228 pages
$5.00 (Kindle); $12.00 (Paperback)
Reading Age 15 and up

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Honolulu, 1920 —

Joseph Theroux (Samoa 1975-78)

Lloyd Osbourne witnesses the remains of a body that has washed up on the Waikiki shore, and soon finds himself working alongside a remarkable local Chinese detective. Other dead bodies appear and the detectives draw up a list of missing men in the city. Writer Earl Derr Biggers is also vacationing at Waikiki and one morning his wife suddenly disappears. A search for her results in the kidnapping of Lloyd, and a massive opium enterprise is uncovered. A scandal at the Customs House involves the suicide of a cashier named William Wilder.
Is Honolulu Sheriff Charles Rose merely incompetent or is he an active conspirator in the opium ring? And how is the violent murder of a young girl on Kaua’i somehow connected to all this?

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Joseph Theroux served as a Peace Corps teacher in Samoa (1975-78), and taught high school in Hawaii before becoming a principal there. He has published stories and historical articles in The Hawaiian Journal of History, The Journal of Pacific History, Honolulu Magazine, Hawaii Magazine, Historic Nantucket and Aloha Magazine, among others, and nine other mysteries.

He is married to the former Diane Younghans of Pittsburgh. He lives on Cape Cod, and participates in community theater at the Chatham Drama Guild, where he also serves on their Board.

One Comment

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  • Wow—who would have “thunk” it—in beautiful Hawaii, all that mayhem. Sounds like a book I must read.

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