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Sister Sleuths

Female Detectives in Britain

Nell Darby

$44.99

Paperback

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Pen and Sword
01 March 2021
The 1857 Divorce Act paved the way for a new career for women: that of the private detective. To divorce, you needed proof of adultery - and men soon realised that women were adept at infiltrating households and befriending wives, learning secrets and finding evidence. Whereas previously, women had been informal snoops within their communities, now they were getting paid for it, toeing a fine line between offering a useful service and betraying members of their sex for money. Over the course of the next century, women became increasingly confident in gaining work as private detectives, moving from largely unrecognised helpers to the police and to male detectives, to becoming owners of their own detective agencies. In fiction, they were depicted as exciting creatures needing money and work; in fact, they were of varying ages, backgrounds and marital status, seeking adventure and independence as much as money. Former actresses found that detective work utilised their skills at adopting different roles and disguises; former spiritualists were drafted into denounce frauds and stayed to become successful private eyes; and several female detectives became keen supporters of the women's suffrage movement, having seen for themselves how career-minded women faced obstacles in British society. These were groundbreaking women, working in the shadows, often unnamed in press reports. Even today, they are something of an unknown, yet of intense interest to the public, their work largely an enigma. This new book seeks to shed light on the female detectives who have worked over the past century and a half to uncover wrongdoing and solve crimes. AUTHOR: Nell Darby is a historian, writer, and has undergone training as a private investigator. She originally trained as a newspaper reporter and was formerly the editor of Your Family History magazine. She writes about social and criminal history for many newspapers and magazines, has a PhD in the history of crime, and is an honorary research associate at Oxford Brookes University. Nell writes the popular Criminal Historian website (www.criminalhistorian.com). This is her fourth book for Pen & Sword. 32 b/w illustrations
By:   Nell Darby
Imprint:   Pen and Sword
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 156mm, 
ISBN:   9781526780256
ISBN 10:   1526780259
Series:   Trailblazing Women
Pages:   200
Publication Date:   01 March 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Unspecified

Nell Darby is a historian, writer, and has undergone training as a private investigator. She originally trained as a newspaper reporter and was formerly the editor of Your Family History magazine. She writes about social and criminal history for many newspapers and magazines, has a PhD in the history of crime, and is an honorary research associate at Oxford Brookes University. Nell writes the popular Criminal Historian website (www.criminalhistorian.com). This is her fourth book for Pen & Sword.

Reviews for Sister Sleuths: Female Detectives in Britain

A unique and inherently fascinating history that brings a particular aspect of the role of women in law enforcement up out of obscurity, Sister Sleuths: Female Detectives in Britain is an impressively well written, organized and presented study that is truly extraordinary and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Women's History and Criminology collections. --Midwest Book Review The historical record often overlooks the contributions of women, making them less visible to future generations. This is an important book to begin setting the record straight. --BORG


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