Sunday, 21 May 2017

The Detective's Assistant by Kate Hannigan

 This is a well told story based on the true life of Kate Warne, the first woman detective of the Pinkerton Detective Agency.  The character of Nell is fictional.

From the first chapter, I was sucked into the story and couldn't let it go.   I listened to the audio book almost non-stop.  Nell is very rough around the edges and in need of someone to take her in.  Her aunt Kate is a young working woman with no inkling of how to care for a child.  Together they make quite the pair.  The brash youngster and the refined lady.  How could I not love them and root for their success at forming a family.

I enjoyed learning some of the history of the Pinkerton's, the politics of 1860 and of the Underground Railroad.  It was thrilling each time my home town of St. Catharines, a northern terminus of the railroad, was mentioned.

I listened to the unabridged audio book as read by Christine Lakin.  She did a marvellous job of the very different characters especially when Nell and Kate were working undercover.  She captured the youthfulness of Nell and her brash nature.  I had no trouble believing her to be that rural farm girl.

Author Kate Hannigan brought the Pinkerton's to life and clearly showed both the excitement of being a detective as well as the great risks that those women and men take in that job.

To learn more about the history of the Kate Warne and the Pinkerton Detective Agency, visit the Pinkerton website. 

Cover image courtesy Hachette Book Group.


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