Charlie Chan is introduced in Chapter VII of this first book of the popular series about an oriental detective from Honolulu. Although playing a minor role in the beginning, Charlie asserts himself by the end of the case.
John Quincy Winterslip, a young lawyer from Boston, is on a trip to Hawaii to visit a wealthy relative, Dan Winterslip. En route he is asked to find and destroy an ohia wood box which is in the attic of Dan's San Francisco house. He fails to get the box and learns on his arrival in Hawaii that Dan has been murdered. The leading suspect is Jim Egan, owner of a ramshackle hotel on the beach. The essential clue is a wrist watch with an illuminated dial which is damaged. Motivated by his growing interest in Egan's daughter Carlotta, John Quincy helps Charlie and the police solve the crime. The real hero, however, is Charlie who manages to stay one step ahead of everybody else.
This report prepared by Peter Kenney