Comments: 15
You're welcome -- I'm glad you finally received it! :)

Hope you'll enjoy.
That looks amazing!
Elentarri's Book Blog 3 years ago
Looks pretty. :)
BrokenTune 3 years ago
Well, I do love the cover for showing two Victorian ladies who don't seem too put out by the body on the floor...I mean, neither of them has fainted. ;) This should be good, and I am also looking forward to the foreword.
Elentarri's Book Blog 3 years ago
I'm fairly sure Victorian ladies didn't faint as often as novels and TV series make out. After all, hitting the floor is rather painful.
BrokenTune 3 years ago
My tongue was firmly implanted in my cheek when typing the above comment.
Yes -- if there's one book published in the 19th century that shows that particular cliché up for what it is, it should be this one. A very apt cover indeed! :)
Elentarri's Book Blog 3 years ago
I think author Carole Nelson Douglas has a series with a woman detective in Sherlock Holmes times? Or something like that. I liked the originality of her fantasy series, but since I'm not really interested in semi-historical detective fiction, never looked at the rest. She also seems to have books with cats on the cover... ;)

...if you are interested... the covers were pretty. :)
There is plenty of historical fiction along those lines; Anne Perry alone has two series in both of which women feature strongly, and there is a whole host of "women Sherlock" pastiches and other "Golden Age women detective" series nowadays.

What makes this book so special, though, is that it's not only one of the books that established the mystery genre in the second half of the 19th century to begin with -- it's actually a book *from that era* with a woman detective ... predating a whole slew of mystery fiction in which women feature as either a victim or a villain, but manifestly NOT as the detective. Virtually the only exceptions are Baroness Orczy's "Lady Molly of Scotland Yard" (very early 20th century, so roughly contemporaneous with Sherlock Holmes) and, in a Dr. Watson role, the "lady journalist" who relates her conversations with "The Old Man in the Corner" in that latter series, also by Baroness Orczy (and also from the early years of the 20th century) -- as well as, of course, Agatha Christie's Miss Marple and Patricia Wentworth's Miss Silver.
BrokenTune 3 years ago
It is exactly this "from the era" aspect that I am excited about with this book. And for a detective story to a) predate Holmes (A Study in Scarlet was published 23 years after this one) and b) feature a woman as the detective makes it just the sort of hidden gem I'm keen on.

(Btw, Orczy is on the list, too, just haven't gotten around to her ... beyond Sir Percy, that is.)
Yup. "The Female Detective" was published in 1864 and thus predates "A Study in Scarlet" (1887) by over two decades.

And Orczy's women detectives only arrived at the scene some 40+ years after this book, and another 20+ years would pass (after the publication of Orcy's books) before Miss Marple and Miss Silver made their first appearance in the late 1920s.

Truly pioneering stuff.
As for Orczy, one of the "Lady Molly" stories is included in the 2018 British Library Christmas anthologies. I liked it (my first exposure to "my lady") and have the "Lady Molly" stories sitting on my physical TBR. I hope their structure is a bit more varied than that of the "Old Man in the Corner" stories, though -- with those, about halfway through you almost invariably knew where you were in terms of the solution, because there's a central "gimmick" that is employed in virtually all of them. Once you've cracked its application in the story you're reading just then, you start wondering what is taking everybody else so long (or at least, I did).
BrokenTune 3 years ago
Is it the Christmas Card Crime collection? If so, I think I have that one.
Yes. Appropriate for the season, it's called "A Christmas Tragedy".