The Female Detective

Andrew Forrester

Andrew Forrester

Distributed for British Library


With an Introduction by Mike Ashley and a Foreword by Alexander McCall Smith

316 pages | 5 x 7 1/2 | © 2012
Paper $15.00 ISBN: 9780712358781 Published October 2012 For sale in North and South America only

In 1864, the British writer James Redding Ware (1832–c.1909), under the pseudonym Andrew Forrester, published The Female Detective, introducing readers to the first professional female detective character, G., and paving the way for the more famous female detectives of the early twentieth century, namely Miss Marple and Nancy Drew. This edition from the British Library makes The Female Detective available for the first time as a trade paperback for the general public.
Characteristic of the casebooks of the time, The Female Detective features a number of different cases, each of which is narrated by G. She uses methods similar to those of her male counterparts, examining the scene of the crime, looking for clues, and employing skill and subterfuge to achieve her ends, all the while trying to conceal her own tracks and her identity from others. Her deductive methods anticipate those of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, who would not appear for another twenty years, and like Holmes, she regards the regular constabulary with disdain. For all the intrigue and interest of the stories, little is ever revealed about G. herself, and her personal circumstances remain a mystery throughout. But it is her energetic and savvy approach to solving crimes that is her greatest appeal, and the reappearance of the original lady detective will captivate a new generation of crime fiction fans.

Emelyne Godfrey | Times Literary Supplement
“An important contribution to our understanding of the development of the detective in fiction, The Female Detective also provides an insight into crime-fighting during the anxious 1860s.”
Sara Lodge, University of St Andrews | Weekly Standard
“Striking. . . . Intriguing reading for anyone interested in the history of crime fiction.”
Pretty Sinister Books
“The Female Detective is a very welcome addition to the ever continuing evolution of the detective novel as we know it. . . . Ware’s book proves that it can hold its own against modern technical forensic thrillers, psychological suspense, and the intense legal and police procedurals that make up the bulk of contemporary crime fiction. In many cases the subtleties of the characters’ motives and the uncharacteristic and surprising vagaries of criminal behavior explored at the hands of a woman detective in the Victorian era are much more interesting . . .  than similar themes that have practically become commonplace in contemporary crime fiction.”

Foreword by Alexander McCall Smith
Introduction by Mike Ashley

The Female Detective
    Tenant for Life
    The Unraveled Mystery
    The Judgment of Conscience
    A Child Found Dead: Murder or No Murder
    The Unknown Weapon
    The Mystery
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