The personality of Charlie Chan is fairly well known; he is more human and more credible than Mr. Holmes, less precious in deduction than Mr. Vance, but has one serious dramatic defect. That is his Oriental origin, which calls into play all the ridiculous flummery which passes on the domestic stage for a Chinese accent, which was almost the ruin of Mr. Colton's Shanghai Gesture and which will survive until Mr. Nathan at last hoots it into ignominy.
The scene of "Inspector Charlie Chan" is a luxurious hunting lodge on Lake Tahoe: the characters: a famous diva, her four ex-husbands, her flance, and Mr. Chan. Two mysteries appear and two mysteries are solved, to the satisfactory entertainment of all, but Mr. Harrigan, as the Chinese detective, is pretty consistently embarrassed by his verbal luggage, and the diva's Yale-dictory is more strained than even a diva's valedictory should be. With these reservations, however. Charlie Chan is a recommended evening, a point which might handily be proved if it were not for the management's express injunction against any but provocative revelation.