Maud West ran her detective agency in London for more than thirty years, having starting sleuthing on behalf of society's finest in 1905. Her exploits grabbed headlines throughout the world but, beneath the public persona, she was forced to hide vital aspects of her own identity in order to thrive in a class-obsessed and male-dominated world. And - as Susannah Stapleton reveals - she was a most unreliable witness to her own life.
Who was Maud? And what was the reality of being a female private detective in the Golden Age of Crime?
Interweaving tales from Maud West's own 'casebook' with social history and extensive original research, Stapleton investigates the stories Maud West told about herself in a quest to uncover the truth.
With walk-on parts by Dr Crippen and Dorothy L. Sayers, Parisian gangsters and Continental blackmailers, The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective is a portrait of a woman ahead of her time and a deliciously salacious glimpse into the underbelly of 'good society' during the first half of the twentieth century.
Country of Publication:
11 June 2019
From 18 years
Section - i: Prologue: The Lady Vanishes Chapter - 1: The Documents in the Case Section - ii: The Creeping Tiger by Maud West Chapter - 2: The Body in the Library Section - iii: The Lady with the Blue Spectacles by Maud West Chapter - 3: Crooked House Section - iv: The Apaches of Saint-Cloud by Maud West Chapter - 4: They Do It With Mirrors Section - v: The Diamond Necklace by Maud West Chapter - 5: The Shadow in the House Section - vi: The Prince of Lovers by Maud West Chapter - 6: To Love and Be Wise Section - vii: The Chelsea Artist by Maud West Chapter - 7: A Kiss Before Dying Section - viii: A Lady's Folly by Maud West Chapter - 8: The Secret Adversary Section - ix: The Clairvoyante Case by Maud West Chapter - 9: Wanted: Someone Innocent Section - x: The Countess and the Snowman by Maud West Chapter - 10: Tracks in the Snow Section - xi: An Unusual Pastime: as related by the San Francisco Examiner Chapter - 11: Partners in Crime Section - xii: The Fatal Letter by Maud West Chapter - 12: The Wrong Man Section - xiii: A Poisonous Revenge by Maud West Chapter - 13: Sweet Danger Section - xiv: The End of His Tether by Maud West Chapter - 14: Look to the Lady Section - xv: Such a Dull Job! Or, Fifteen Minutes with a London Section - xvi: Woman Detective: Interview with Maud West Chapter - 15: A Case of Identity Chapter - 16: Farewell, My Lovely Acknowledgements - xvii: Acknowledgements Section - xviii: Bibliography Section - xix: Notes Picture - xx: Picture Acknowledgements
Susannah Stapleton, a former bookseller at Wenlock Books in Shropshire, studied archaeology at the University of Birmingham and has worked as a freelance historical researcher for over twenty years.