The Female Detective
by Andrew Forrester
Paperback: 316 pages
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Released: August 2, 2016
Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
Book Description, Modified from NetGalley:
The Female Detective is the first novel in British fiction to feature a professional female detective. Written by Andrew Forrester, it was originally published in 1864. Miss Gladden's deductive methods and energetic approach anticipate those of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, and she can be seen as beginning a powerful tradition of female detectives in these seven short stories.
'G' uses similar methods to her male counterparts like examining crime scenes, looking for clues, and employing subterfuge, observation and charm to solve crimes. Little is ever revealed about 'G' herself, and her personal circumstances remain a mystery throughout. It is her ability to apply her considerable energy and intelligence to solve crimes that is her greatest appeal.
The Female Detective is a mystery novel that was originally published in 1864 and is set in England. Miss Gladden is a professional, undercover detective. She's clever and usually assumes the role of a genteel woman on hard times until the arrest is about to be made.
The style was of a memoir containing five cases that she solved and two that were of interest to her. The focus was on the facts of the case and her deductions from those facts, not on her as a person. It's like getting the final scene of the mystery, where the great detective takes everyone back through events and points out the important clues and what they meant.
Since it's not really a guessing game, I found the historical aspects of the cases more interesting than the mysteries. For example, one case hinged on how a marriage settlement worked if the wife died before giving birth. Another involved identifying an unknown body. The cases ranged from murder and accidental death to robbery, fraud, and an escape from a locked room.
The author liked to use dialect for lower class characters, though he usually made sure the reader understood what was meant. The writing in first story was a little choppy, but the rest flowed well. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting novel.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.