“She looks for relief among some of the old ones”


I love to read. As a mommy & a writer, sometimes it’s hard to find the time but find it I do! Follow me on Goodreads. I just finished: The Female Detective

It’s an amazing novel written by About Andrew Forrester, pseudonym used by James Redding Ware. This predates Doyle and is really something. I remember a few *cough nameless* people who were like, ‘how can you have a woman sleuth in 1900?’ To which I just smile knowningly. As my heroine would say, “why try to talk people out of their misplaced notions about themselves?” (Well, in her case, she’s referring to men and in particular a certain lawyer!) but this novel is what one might say in 1900, an example of: “the proof is in the pudding.” She is an amateur sleuth people — in the 1800’s! The more you read actual historical novels — that is novels written and published in the time period — the more you realize that our “modern” era really begins around the 1700s. We have similar values that began back then: class issues, money, the good life, city sophisticates, art, family, money, good food, good education etc. etc. etc. One could even argue it begins with the Rennaissance. About the only thing that really didn’t come along until the first part of the 20th century in any real way is women’s rights. There were trailblazers of course. In the 1800’s there were “bohemians” who lived on the cutting edge of many changes to the norm and helped bring them along. So, the 1900’s may seem ever so long ago — and many things were different — for example, women literally were not ‘allowed’ out alone at night… but all that was changing. And so much of the people then, their wants, desires, needs, secrets, and passions are similar to ours now. So yes, 40+ years after this book was written — there could quite feasibly be a female sleuth!

My short Goodreads review below:

This is an amazing book. One of the first female detectives. It’s an important entry in the genre. It also showcases so many amateur sleuth tropes we are now familiar with such as a “stake-out”, following someone, being for hire, working with a police department, double-crossing clients, and even the Mafia. Pretty amazing since it’s mid 19th century. My favorite is the reason the police inspector hires her to investigate is because she’s a detective “in petticoats.”The genre of this book is more thriller or adventure — it’s interesting to note there’s very little ‘whodunit’ here. This is a book of short vignettes.


The Female Detective


published writer, mom, wife, reader, mystery geek, history lover & caretaker of one crazy lovable border collie and 3 rescued tree frogs.