The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective

Author: Susannah Stapleton

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 1509867317

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 1822


'If you are susceptible to Miss Marple and Harriet Vane you must read The Adventures of Maud West. You will never know the difference between fact and fiction again.' – Jill Paton Walsh, author of the Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane mysteries. Maud West ran her detective agency in London for more than thirty years, having started 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 historical researcher 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 both 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.

Sister Sleuths

Author: Nell Darby

Publisher: Pen and Sword History

ISBN: 1526780283

Category: History

Page: 216

View: 3870


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 realized 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 unrecognized 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 utilized 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.

Chambers's Journal

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category:

Page: N.A

View: 6292


The Athenaeum

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category:

Page: N.A

View: 3269


British Books

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Bibliography

Page: N.A

View: 2656