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The Female Detective: The Original Lady Detective, 1864 [Paperback]

Andrew Forrester
2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
Price: £7.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

4 Oct 2012
The Female Detective was published in 1864 and it introduces the first professional female detective in British fiction, Mrs Gladden. Typical of detective fiction of its time, Forrester's book features various cases narrated by Gladden, whose deductive methods and energetic approach anticipate those of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. Mrs Gladden uses similar methods to her male counterparts - she enters scenes of crime incognito, tracking down killers while trying to conceal her own tracks and her identity from others. She does much physical detective work, examining scenes of crime, looking for clues and employing all manner of skill, subterfuge, observation and charm to achieve her ends. Like Holmes, Gladden regards the regular constabulary with disdain. For all the intrigue and interest of the stories, little is ever revealed about Mrs Gladden herself, and her personal circumstances remain a mystery throughout. But it is her ability to apply her considerable energy and intelligence to solve crimes that is her greatest appeal, and the reappearance of the original lady detective will be welcomed by fans of crime fiction.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: The British Library Publishing Division; Reprint edition (4 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712358781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712358781
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 14.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 387,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


The stories have a distinctly Victorian flavour that gives them charm ... Miss Gladden is a remarkable woman. --Past Offences

About the Author

Andrew Forrester is the pseudonym of James Redding Ware (1832 - c.1909). During his early career he wrote a number of detective stories, The Female Detective being the first. Others included Secret Service, or, Recollections of a City Detective (1864), The Private Detective and Revelations of the Private Detective (both c.1868). He also wrote a story called 'A Child Found Dead: Murder or No Murder?', an analysis of the Constance Kent murder case described in the best-selling The Suspicions of Mr Whicher (Kate Summerscale, 2010).

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Women detectives in fiction 5 Sep 2013
I loved that this was a story about a woman detective that was written 50 years before there were any women detective. The author did a wonderful job of showing how great women would be as detectives and wrote as if there were already many women detectives and spies in the world which was really lovely. Rather than one long novel this was a series of short stories or cases that the detective did or didn't solve. I liked that sometimes she didn't figure it out till too late. Some of the cases were better than others, unfortunately one was just a letter she read written by two different men which wasn't as good but there were some lovely moments. The moral dilemma's were interesting too as she would always side with the law over her own views of what was "right" in a case. There were also a lot of stories set in the East End which I liked. It was interesting to read about Whitechapel before the Ripper murders. To see the lives of working people portrayed in a more realistic way. I'm very glad the British Library decided to re-print this and that I got a copy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Historically interesting 15 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Published by the British Library, this book is of interest because it was written contemporaneously with the events described.It therefore has the merit of historical accuracy. The writing style is similar to the language in which a policeman might give evidence in court - therefore it is not a stunning literary piece but each case has a fascination of its own.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Dont bother 17 Sep 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Stories disappointing and the print quality of the text is really poor
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2.0 out of 5 stars Over hyped 12 Sep 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sort of interesting. But not very. Not a very good edition either.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointing 16 Feb 2013
By Worrie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I did not hate it but I did not enjoy it Rather poor I thought Not even interesting historically speaking
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