Wednesday, the 14th of September, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, when you got it, and such. If you participate, don’t forget to link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!

Today’s pick is a comic novel by an author I have read and enjoyed before, but in a completely different genre. Earl Derr Biggers (1884-1933) was an American novelist and playwright best known for his Charlie Chan mysteries. Charlie Chan is a Chinese-American police detective based in Hawaii and while he speaks in the stereotypical way, he solves his cases quite cleverly. Biggers wrote six mysteries featuring Chan, and I’ve read the first couple so far. These were the only books by him I was aware of but then a Goodreads friend reviewed one of Biggers’ non-Chan stories, and looking up what was available in public domain, I came across this 1914 comic novel.

Love Insurance is a rather fun sounding story where Allan, Lord Harrowby comes to Lloyds with a very unusual request for insurance–love insurance. Essentially what he wants is to make certain that the American heiress, Cynthia Meryick he is to marry makes it to the altar. Lloyds deputes young Richard Minow for this task and sends him off to the little town of Saint Marco. But when Minnow meets Miss Meyrick, he ends up losing his heart to her himself. And so begins the chaos!

This sounds like a fun read, both in the period it is set in (before the Great War), and its plot. Some of my Goodreads friends have described it as almost Wodehousian and compared it to old Hollywood screwball comedies. I think this would make for a nice light read, as well as give me a chance to explore more of Biggers’ work,

Have you come across this one before or read it? Any other old comic novels that you’d recommend? Looking forward to your thoughts!

Lisa’s pick this week is The Book of Speculation (2015) by Erica Swvler, is a story of books, family, and magic, compared to works like Water For Elephants, and The Night Circus.

Cover image from Goodreads and book information from there and fadedpage where I got my copy.


13 thoughts on “Shelf Control #200: Love Insurance By Earl Derr Biggers

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