Who knew?

When I go to a conference, there are the panels and workshops I have a role in, and the panels I think will give me useful information about writing or the publishing business. Then there are the sessions I just think sound interesting. I inevitably find myself in one of those, only to find the presenter unlocking a wealth of detail on a subject I know nothing about.And I need to know more.

That was the case when I sat myself down at Left Coast Crime in a panel called Hawaii Crime Series: Policing in Hawaii from Kamehameha I to today. Retired police officer Eddie Croom, who recounted fascinating tales of law enforcement from the days of Hawaiian royalty to the present. He was passionate about the creation of the Honolulu Police Department’s museum, which apparently received generous donations when it was set up, even some from criminals!

He also brought to life Chang Apana, a famed Chinese-Hawaiian detective who served in Honolulu from 1898 to 1932, and who once arrested 40 gamblers on his own, armed only with a bullwhip.

Chang Apana was reportedly the model for Charlie Chan, the detective in the series by Earl Derr Biggers, the subject of another panel at Left Coast Crime. So now I have more books on my to-read list, and another museum I hope to visit on a future trip. A fine conference outcome. #mystery