Thursday, March 8, 2018

"Girl in Disguise" by Greer MacAllister

I've had such a great string of reading luck lately -- book after book that have been awesome!

Girl in Disguise is a fictional book based on the life of Kate Warne, the first woman detective hired by the famous Pinkerton Agency back before the American Civil War.  She walks into the Pinkerton agency to ask for a job, wows Mr. Pinkerton himself, and goes on to become one of his finest operatives.  Her career takes her all over the US and spans decades, though most of the book occurs during the Civil War while she is spying for the Union Army as part of her Pinkerton duties.

I finished reading this and set out to find a non-fiction biography of Kate Warne because I wanted to know just how much of this book was based in reality and how much was made up.  And then I learned something disturbing:

There aren't any biographies of Kate Warne.

In fact, we know almost nothing about her.  We don't even for sure have any photographs of her.  All we know was she existed, she was the first woman detective, Pinkerton hired her and eventually made her head of his female detective division, she worked as a spy for the Union during the Civil War and helped Pinkerton smuggle Abraham Lincoln through Maryland on his way to his inauguration, and that she's buried near Pinkerton and his family.


So much for me learning all about Kate Warne.  Or learning more about her, anyway.  Still, I really, really enjoyed this book and look forward to re-reading it one day.  

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  PG-13 for bad language, some violence, and a lot of innuendo and adult situations.  It never crossed the border into explicitness, but it sure danced around that border a lot.

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