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Publisher's Summary

Death in San Francisco...

"Suddenly, from across the hall, came a cry - sharp, uncanny, terrible. I ran out in the direction from which it had come and stood on the threshold of the Drew dining room. A table was set with gleaming silver and white linen, and in its center stood a cake, on which fifty absurd pink candles flickered bravely. There appeared to be no one in the room. On the other side of the table, a French window stood open to the fog, and I went around to investigate. I had taken perhaps a dozen steps when I stopped, appalled.

"Old Drew was lying on the carpet, and one yellow lean hand, always so adept at reaching out and seizing, held a corner of the white tablecloth. There was a dark stain on the left side of his dress coat; and when I pulled the coat back, I saw on the otherwise spotless linen underneath a great red circle that grew and grew. He was quite dead.

"I stood erect, and for a dazed uncertain moment, I stared about the room. Beside me, on the table, fifty yellow points of flame trembled like human things terrified at what they had seen."

©1922 Wildside Press LLC (P)2011 Wildside Press LLC

Critic Reviews

"Though partially set in Hawaii, this 1921 novel predates Biggers's popular Charlie Chan mystery series. Here attorney Mark Drew travels from Hawaii to the underbelly of fog-shrouded San Francisco to solve a murder. Along with the puzzle, there is a little dash of romance to keep the plot moving." (Library Journal)

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Earl Derr Biggers before Charlie Chan

What made the experience of listening to Fifty Candles the most enjoyable?

Good performance of a little known early Biggers novel.

What other book might you compare Fifty Candles to and why?

Much better narration than other early Biggers novel, "Seven Keys to Baldpate," which is a comedy.

What does Kiff VandenHeuvel bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Good emphasis on story twists.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No great emotional levels are here, but plot develops apace. Denouement is dated, but this book is early 20th Century...

Any additional comments?

Purchased on sale and well worth the price.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A classic whodunit with a touch of the exotic.

Would you listen to Fifty Candles again? Why?

Yes,great atmosphere,although with all great whodunits ,not the same after you know whodunit.

What did you like best about this story?

Atmosphere ,suspense,exotic mystery.

Which character ??? as performed by Kiff VandenHeuvel ??? was your favorite?

Mark Drew.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Classic whodunit from the author of Charlie Chan,

Any additional comments?

Judging by this tale,Earl Derr Biggers was a fine writer,would love to listen to more of his works.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful