The story of the very first female detective traces her growth from determined young woman to seasoned pro.
Though she was not a woman who expected to work, as few women of the 1850s did, Kate Warne is determined to find a position that suits her. Though she's a widow desperate for income, Kate eschews this identity, cultivating instead a reputation as a woman with a quick mind. When she applies for a position at the Pinkerton Detective Agency, Kate uses her powers of persuasion to convince Allan Pinkerton that having a woman on staff might be of particular value. Pinkerton gives Kate a trial case, and while she ends it at odds with fellow detective Tim Bellamy, she lands the job and becomes Pinkerton’s first lady agent. Macallister (The Magician's Lie, 2015) follows Kate through her years with Pinkerton’s, with each case serving as the next chapter in the serial storyline. Kate finds an ally in colleague Graham DeForest and potential adversaries in Bellamy and new hire Jack Mortenson. The animosity of the latter becomes more prescient when Kate is put in charge of her own department of lady detectives, and Mortenson’s lack of respect for women becomes a serious problem. The story follows Kate as she comes into her own, from missteps and mix-ups, like losing key pieces of evidence, to protecting President Abraham Lincoln from an assassination attempt. An Author’s Note provides some of the details on the differences between the fiction and Kate’s true history, though those immersed in the plot may not want to know the difference.
A celebration of a singular woman's life that's guided by facts but features some inviting imaginings.