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Girl in Disguise Hardcover – 21 Mar 2017

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc (21 Mar. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1492635227
  • ISBN-13: 978-1492635222
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 3.3 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,136,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"Greer Macallister brings the original Miss Pinkerton roaring back to life in this electrifying tale. Girl in Disguise is a rollicking nineteenth-century thrill ride, complete with clever disguises and coded messages, foiled plots and hidden agendas, lies, indiscretion, and forbidden love. Kate Warne is a scrappy, tough-as-nails detective who did a man's job for the first time in American history. She lives and breathes again in this riveting novel." - Amy Stewart, New York Times bestselling author of Girl Waits with Gun

"I was absolutely ensnared byGirl In Disguise, Greer Macallister's unflinching investigation of what it means to be true to yourself while living a life of deception. Mysterious Kate Warne, who fought perception to become the first female Pinkerton detective, is just the kind of courageous, ingenious, fierce character I love. I could not stop turning pages as she dons disguises, tells lies, rubs shoulders with lady spies, hardened criminals, double agents, and President Lincoln, and manages to uncover the truth-not just about the crimes she investigates, but her own heart. Chock full of fascinating ripped-from-the-headlines period details and intriguing historical personages, I drank this book down in a single shot." - Erin Lindsay McCabe, USA Today bestselling author of I Shall Be Near To You"

"From theunderbelly of Chicago to the front lines of the Civil War, Girl in Disguisecrackles with spirit, and the trailblazing Kate Warne is a character I would follow anywhere. In Macallister's confident hands, this novel is packed full of adventure, moxie, and heart. I dare you not to get hooked.
" - Rae Meadows, author of I Will Send Rain and Mercy Train"

"Macallister's story is a rip-roaring, fast-paced treat to read, with compelling characters, twisted villains, and mounds of historical details adeptly woven into the tale of a courageous woman who loves her job more than anything or anyone else." - Booklist

"I was absolutely ensnared by Girl In Disguise, Greer Macallister's unflinching investigation of what it means to be true to yourself while living a life of deception. Mysterious Kate Warne, who fought perception to become the first female Pinkerton detective, is just the kind of courageous, ingenious, fierce character I love. I could not stop turning pages as she dons disguises, tells lies, rubs shoulders with lady spies, hardened criminals, double agents, and President Lincoln, and manages to uncover the truth-not just about the crimes she investigates, but her own heart. Chock full of fascinating ripped-from-the-headlines period details and intriguing historical personages, I drank this book down in a single shot." - Erin Lindsay McCabe, USA Today bestselling author of I Shall Be Near To You

"If you love historical fiction, you're going to devour GIRL IN DISGUISE. The time, the place, the girl - this book takes you on a thrill ride with the first female detective, making her way by pluck and luck through the seedy streets of 19th century Chicago, finding her place in a male-dominated world" - Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue

"a sure crowd-pleaser for lovers of historical fiction and chilling plotlines." - Library Journal

..".the balance of beautiful prose with both the hard truths of Kate's experiences and and her emotional journey turn the sketchy facts of a shadowy historical figure into a very realistic, living and breathing person. What a pleasure to learn about one such woman, especially one we know so little about, through Macallister's eloquence and artistry!" - BookBrowse

-Greer Macallister brings the original Miss Pinkerton roaring back to life in this electrifying tale. Girl in Disguise is a rollicking nineteenth-century thrill ride, complete with clever disguises and coded messages, foiled plots and hidden agendas, lies, indiscretion, and forbidden love. Kate Warne is a scrappy, tough-as-nails detective who did a man's job for the first time in American history. She lives and breathes again in this riveting novel.- - Amy Stewart, New York Times bestselling author of Girl Waits with Gun

-I was absolutely ensnared by Girl In Disguise, Greer Macallister's unflinching investigation of what it means to be true to yourself while living a life of deception. Mysterious Kate Warne, who fought perception to become the first female Pinkerton detective, is just the kind of courageous, ingenious, fierce character I love. I could not stop turning pages as she dons disguises, tells lies, rubs shoulders with lady spies, hardened criminals, double agents, and President Lincoln, and manages to uncover the truth-not just about the crimes she investigates, but her own heart. Chock full of fascinating ripped-from-the-headlines period details and intriguing historical personages, I drank this book down in a single shot.- - Erin Lindsay McCabe, USA Today bestselling author of I Shall Be Near To You

-an exciting, well-crafted historical novel. Loaded with suspense and action, this is a well-told, superb story.
- - Publishers Weekly, STARRED

-With cunning, guile, and a dash of desperation, Kate Warne charms her way into the old boys' club of a mid-19th-century Chicago detective agency and soon finds herself catapulted into a world of spies, rogues, and double-crossers. As she dons and sheds all manner of disguises, Kate discovers that she has a knack for subterfuge - and more than that, she likes it. Inspired by a real-life story, Greer Macallister has created a fast-paced, lively tale of intrigue and deception, with a heroine at its center so appealingly complicated that she leaps off the page.
- - Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train

-From the underbelly of Chicago to the front lines of the Civil War, Girl in Disguise crackles with spirit, and the trailblazing Kate Warne is a character I would follow anywhere. In Macallister's confident hands, this novel is packed full of adventure, moxie, and heart. I dare you not to get hooked.
- - Rae Meadows, author of I Will Send Rain and Mercy Train

-If you love historical fiction, you're going to devour GIRL IN DISGUISE. The time, the place, the girl - this book takes you on a thrill ride with the first female detective, making her way by pluck and luck through the seedy streets of 19th century Chicago, finding her place in a male-dominated world- - Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue

-All hail a mighty woman in a man's world! Greer Macallister aims her pen at Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective, and hits the mark with this rousing, action-packed adventure. A book that brings to light a commanding and little-known contribution to American history.
- - Sarah McCoy, New York Times and international bestselling author of The Mapmaker's Children

-Macallister is becoming a leading voice in strong, female-driven historical fiction. Exciting, frightening, and unspeakably moving, Girl in Disguise reveals what one courageous woman endures to enact justice in a nation at war, and change the course of history.
- - Erika Robuck, national bestselling author of Hemingway's Girl

-Girl in Disguise cleverly unearths the story of Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective. Fast-paced, subversive, and with rich prose, it's everything an historical mystery should be. In the end it will leave you stunned. And then you will want to read everything else Greer Macallister has ever written.-
- - Ariel Lawhon, author of Flight of Dreams

-A celebration of a singular woman's life that's guided by facts but features some inviting imaginings. - - Kirkus

-The best book I read in 2016 hasn't been published yet. Historical fiction at its best.... a rollicking tale. - - Publishers Weekly

-Macallister's story is a rip-roaring, fast-paced treat to read, with compelling characters, twisted villains, and mounds of historical details adeptly woven into the tale of a courageous woman who loves her job more than anything or anyone else.- - Booklist

-a sure crowd-pleaser for lovers of historical fiction and chilling plotlines.- - Library Journal

-...the balance of beautiful prose with both the hard truths of Kate's experiences and and her emotional journey turn the sketchy facts of a shadowy historical figure into a very realistic, living and breathing person. What a pleasure to learn about one such woman, especially one we know so little about, through Macallister's eloquence and artistry!- - BookBrowse

-A Spunky Spy Saga....Girl in Disguise, Macallister's sophomore effort, dives into case after case, convincing the reader as well as Pinkerton that Kate is an ace detective in this dangerous man's world. Kate gets better as she goes - and so does the book.
- - NPR Books

"an exciting, well-crafted historical novel. Loaded with suspense and action, this is a well-told, superb story." - Publishers Weekly, STARRED

"With cunning, guile, and a dash of desperation, Kate Warne charms her way into the old boys' club of a mid-19th-century Chicago detective agency and soon finds herself catapulted into a world of spies, rogues, and double-crossers. As she dons and sheds all manner of disguises, Kate discovers that she has a knack for subterfuge - and more than that, she likes it. Inspired by a real-life story, Greer Macallister has created a fast-paced, lively tale of intrigue and deception, with a heroine at its center so appealingly complicated that she leaps off the page." - Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train

"From the underbelly of Chicago to the front lines of the Civil War, Girl in Disguise crackles with spirit, and the trailblazing Kate Warne is a character I would follow anywhere. In Macallister's confident hands, this novel is packed full of adventure, moxie, and heart. I dare you not to get hooked." - Rae Meadows, author of I Will Send Rain and Mercy Train

"All hail a mighty woman in a man's world! Greer Macallister aims her pen at Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective, and hits the mark with this rousing, action-packed adventure. A book that brings to light a commanding and little-known contribution to American history." - Sarah McCoy, New York Times and international bestselling author of The Mapmaker's Children

"Macallister is becoming a leading voice in strong, female-driven historical fiction. Exciting, frightening, and unspeakably moving, Girl in Disguise reveals what one courageous woman endures to enact justice in a nation at war, and change the course of history." - Erika Robuck, national bestselling author of Hemingway's Girl

"Girl in Disguise cleverly unearths the story of Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective. Fast-paced, subversive, and with rich prose, it's everything an historical mystery should be. In the end it will leave you stunned. And then you will want to read everything else Greer Macallister has ever written" - Ariel Lawhon, author of Flight of Dreams

"A celebration of a singular woman's life that's guided by facts but features some inviting imaginings." - Kirkus

"The best book I read in 2016 hasn't been published yet. Historical fiction at its best.... a rollicking tale." - Publishers Weekly

"A Spunky Spy Saga....Girl in Disguise, Macallister's sophomore effort, dives into case after case, convincing the reader as well as Pinkerton that Kate is an ace detective in this dangerous man's world. Kate gets better as she goes - and so does the book." - NPR Books

About the Author

Raised in the Midwest, Greer Macallister is a poet, short story writer, playwright and novelist whose work has appeared in publications such as The North American Review, The Missouri Review, and The Messenger. Her plays have been performed at American University, where she earned her MFA in Creative Writing. She lives with her family in Brooklyn.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Girl in Disguise, a book about the first the first female Pinkerton detective did sound like a fantastic book idea and I was thrilled to read it. I especially liked that the book is inspired by the real life on Kate Warne, a female Pinkerton detective who sadly we don't know much about.

I think the book started off good, with Kate Warne getting a chance at Pinkerton to prove that she has what it takes to be a Pinkerton detective. Her trials and tribulations you could say to prove that, despite being a woman, or actually because she is a woman that she could be a detective since she clearly demonstrated that some roles, well sometimes it takes a woman to do some jobs. However, I saw right from the start the obvious romance that would without any doubt occur later on in the book and to be totally honest that made me not that happy. I'm not against romance in books, well, not always, but in this case, it just didn't rub me the right way. Probably because I've seen it so many time before, man meets a woman, they dislike each other, but then they feel that they can't deny their growing attraction and wham bam thank you, mam!

Girl in Disguise is just not my kind of book, I even took a month long break from it and had a hard time getting inspired to return to it. It was not totally bad, I just felt that the characters never really came to life and that the storyline was too predictable in certain aspects. When the obvious romance part happened towards the end did my interested in the book fizzle out. I mean it's Civil War going on, and it should be a dangerous and intensive time for Kate and the rest of the Pinkerton, but I never felt that. Even when the story did take a surprise turn towards the end of the book did I feel anything for the characters. I was just bored.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I absolutely loved this novel, I found the era captivating and the description historically relevant.
The novel begins in 1856, in Chicago where we meet the fantastically written Kate Warne. Kate desires to become a Pinkerton agent and the first few chapters detail her introduction into the agency itself.
The characters are well written, in particularly Kate, you root for her in every investigation. The reader wants Kate to prove a worthy detective and she delivers in every case.
The novel isn't centred around one specific case and instead is cleverly written as a reflective account of Kate's life as an agent and the many cases she and the team worked on.
I found this novel to be hugely gripping and my only complaint would be that it was not intended to be a series! I would have loved a Kate Warne series!
I would recommend to readers who enjoy historical fiction and historical crime novels. I would also recommend to advanced YA readers, as I felt my daughter (13) would enjoy this novel as well.
I would rate this book 4.5/5
*I received an Ebook copy via netgalley
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By Clare O'Beara TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 Mar. 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
I enjoyed this lengthy look at the life of the first Pinkerton lady detective/ agent. Not much is genuinely known about Kate Warne so the author has put her portrait together from the general times and the fellow agents, the kind of cases Pinkerton undertook and the major personalities of the day, as well as the known facts.

As Kate was widowed and had no dependents she put herself forward for a job as agent, opening up a new avenue of work for women. As she had a theatre background she played parts well. We get a good look at women of the day and the other agents, as well as Allan Pinkerton himself. Background detail seems solid and the period is well evoked. Anyone interested in historical crime should read this one; there are crimes aplenty.

I was sent an ARC and this is an unbiased review.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

I though this was a really well written novel. I know next to nothing about Kate Warne and the only thing I know about the Pinkerton Agency is that they were spies.

The author draws you straight into Kate's life and trials and tribulations and from there it's a complete journey. As a woman you understand what she has to do to prove herself worthy of being a Pinkerton operative. As a reader, it was engrossing to be seeing things through her eyes and wondering what you would do in the same situation. Kate is inventive and very good at being an operative.

Throughly enjoyed this book and I'm glad to see this is actually the authors second novel. Off to get the first.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 33 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breaking Barriers 7 April 2017
By Avidreader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Can you imagine being a young widow in the mid-1800s, desperate for a way to make a new life? Would you be willing to enter a world of subterfuge and deceit in order to survive? Would you seek a job heretofor only open to daring men? Kate Warne did just that by convincing Allan Pinkerton that she would be a unique asset to his burgeoning detective agency; and Greer Macallister imagines it for us, deftly weaving what little is known of the real Kate Warne with real events of the period. Using actual cases from her research into the Pinkerton files, Macallister creates a convincing portrayal of a woman who is strong and determined, clever and daring. Yet, Kate is complex, as real women are, and is sometimes vulnerable, questioning her own identity and motives. To be successful in bringing criminals to justice, she must lie and deceive, tricking others into her confidence, ultimately betraying their trust. Does this make her a bad person? What will happen to the children whose mothers she exposes as criminals or spies? How far will she go to justify the end result? Will her fellow detectives ever accept her as an equal partner? Whether playing a prostitute in a stinking Chicago bar, a charming Southern sympathizer, or Abraham Lincoln’s protector, Kate proves herself an accomplished operative; and Macallister proves herself an accomplished storyteller, taking us into the imagined life of a determined woman, rich in love of her life and her work.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this novel but throughout the reading of it felt ... 13 Mar. 2017
By Tara - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I really enjoyed this novel but throughout the reading of it felt something I wanted to be there wasn't. Perhaps it's a case of not as much mystery as I'd hoped for, no "whodunit-ness". I wish there had been more cases honestly, but after reading the author's note and discovering how very little data there is to find about this remarkable woman, I say she did a great job with what she had.

The novel recreates Kate Warne's life from the moment she became a Pinkerton agent. She convinces Pinkerton to hire her, the first woman agent. She learns deceit even though it bothers her at times--the jewelry store manager. It explains why rumors abounded about her and Pinkerton but doesn't make her "that woman". She battles animosity within the ranks. She falls in love. She spies for the Union.

It was intriguing and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found the writing well done too. I could visualize everything, put myself in the scene.I recommend this story to any woman who chooses that "unconventional" path. Or heck, if you've ever thought of taking that path... A true heroine and trailblazer was Kate Warne.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, Entertaining Fictionalized Account of the Life of the First Female Detective 23 Feb. 2017
By JLee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I’ve been fascinated with Kate Warne for a while, which is very frustrating because we know so little about her. She became, in the 1850’s, the first female detective in America, having been hired as an agent by Allan Pinkerton. He eventually put her in charge of training and hiring all his female operatives, and, in fact, wrote that she was one of his best agents.

There was a wonderful Canadian television series, called “The Pinkertons,” that featured Kate Warne. It had a talented and very likeable cast, especially Martha MacIsaac as Kate Warne. It was only on one year, but I hope it shows up on video. It was through that show that I first learned of Kate.

So I was very much looking forward to this fictionalized book about Kate. Still, I always worry about how a real character, especially a woman, is portrayed in fiction. I have to say it started off badly for me, seeming like a trite Hollywood version of her story, with Kate deciding to pose as a prostitute to seduce a man and get information. Fortunately, it quickly moved on from there, and I thought the book very entertaining and well done. Various famous Pinkerton cases are woven in, including several that Kate herself was known to have been involved in. The most famous, of course, was the plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln on his way from Illinois to Washington, D.C. for his inauguration.

The Pinkerton’s investigation of Rose Greenhow, a famous Confederate spy, is another prominent event in the book. I was a few times reminded of a terrific nonfiction book, “Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War,” by Karen Abbott. I was not surprised when the author also praised it in her end notes. If you haven’t read it yet, you should.

I was completely caught up in “Girl in Disguise” and couldn’t put it down. Kate was portrayed in a very human manner. She even has a romance, and I am happy to say, the author did not go with the obvious and make her romantic partner to be Allan Pinkerton. Some people suspect an affair between the two because they can’t imagine any other reason he would have hired a woman and kept her around, but I always thought that very unlikely. Would she be buried in his family plot (Graceland Cemetery in Chicago) if she were more than a close friend? Can you imagine the family standing for that? I can’t.

SPOILER ALERT

I was ready to give this book five stars as I really thought it was entertaining. Then . . . inexplicably, the author has Kate go all girly weak, freaking out over something bad that happened, and running away! The author has Kate sulking and hiding out in the Dakotas. This was during the Civil War, a very active time for the Pinkertons, who were agents for the North. No, no, no. Anything remotely like that certainly would have been career suicide for any woman. I was shocked. Still, I liked the book, but I have to detract one star for that embarrassing twist in the plot.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You see Disguise? Disguise in love with... 21 Feb. 2017
By enubrius - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Okay, so in 2014-15 there was a syndicated TV series called "The Pinkertons" that was shown in my area on Saturdays from 5-6 in the afternoon; not exactly prime time, but for what it was it was an enjoyable enough time-killer.

The biggest problem with it was that it postulated the absurd plot point of a female Piinkerton and we all knew that was nonsense just shoved into the plot to provide a hedge against feminist reaction; her name, not that it mattered, was Kate Warne

So you can imagine my surprise when I found out that there really was a female Pinkerton named Kate Warne and she was, for all practical purposes, the country's, the WORLD'S first female PI

You can, further imagine my surprise to discover that this (at best) fair to middling series could easily have been one of the great series of all time... all it needed was Greer Macallister writing it!

Oh, what a joy of a novel this is! I envy you the fun you're gonna have with it, 'cause I can't have that first reading experience again

Even if you've never forgiven Pinkerton for what he did to Cio-cio San, I promised, you will love this book!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and a fun read 17 Feb. 2017
By The Writing Chef - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Fast paced and well written, at first I was concerned because it felt episodic. While each chapter was interesting, each was a case onto itself, and for a long while they didn't connect. So while I was enjoying the read, it didn't really feel like a novel... more of a well-written newspaper account. But Kate Warne was pulling me through, encouraging me to read more, and when the book finally got to the Civil War and her time as an undercover Union spy, it morphed and became more of a well-crafted novel. And at the end... well, I don't want to spoil anything, but it finally all came together. If you like strong heroines, especially in a man's world, and if you like detectives and spies, then this is well worth your time. Very enjoyable.
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