Fictional Detectives

Merry Christmas, Sherlock Holmes style

blue-carbuncle-1892

Illustration by Sidney Paget, 1892. Wikimedia Commons.

Happy Holidays! As a mystery lover, Christmas reminds me of one of my favorite Sherlock Holmes stories, “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle.” The mystery starts with a dropped hat and a Christmas goose left behind.

The following recording is from the Sherlock Holmes audio archive of stories, many of them (including this one) narrated by none other than Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Holmes and Watson. My favorite team! The recording includes the classic touches of dramatic organ interludes and even a couple of commercials. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Let the adventure begin!

 

 

From a different adventure...Basil Rathbone (Holmes) and Nigel Bruce (Watson), Universal Pictures, 1943. Wikimedia Commons.

From a different adventure…Basil Rathbone (Holmes) and Nigel Bruce (Watson), Universal Pictures, 1943. Wikimedia Commons.

To listen to other stories in the archive (more than 125 of them!), click here.

May your Christmas be filled with fun and mystery!

Until next time,

Kathy

P.S. – Book 1 of the Concordia Wells Mysteries, Dangerous and Unseemly, is on sale! You can now get the ebook version for only 99 cents. (Psst…it makes a great gift for the mystery lover in your life). The discount is available through Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo, and is good until January 6th.

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Never Sleep: the story of a lady Pinkerton

Never Sleep: the story of a lady Pinkerton

I have a new series coming out, and I wanted you all to be the first to know about it!

Chronicles of a Lady Detective

The series is centered upon a character many of you know from the Concordia Wells mysteries: Penelope Hamilton. You may recall that she served as lady principal of Hartford Women’s College in book 1 (Dangerous and Unseemly), and recently made a return in book 3 (Unseemly Ambition) to help with a difficult case.

Readers have long told me that they enjoy Miss Hamilton’s character and would like to see more of her, so I decided to go backwards in time and explore her early detective cases.

cover art by Melinda VanLone

cover art by Melinda VanLone

Never Sleep, set in 1885 (more than a decade before Concordia meets her), is the story of how Miss Hamilton first gets started as a Pinkerton in her own right. Each of the stories in the series will be novelette-length and published in ebook form only (for now).

Historical Background:

Although a rarity in the 19th century, women working as Pinkertons wasn’t without precedent. The first and most noteworthy was Kate Warne in 1856. According to Allan Pinkerton, the young widow walked into the Chicago office and asked straight away for a position as a detective, rather than requesting a clerical job. Her argument pointing out the unique qualifications of women as detectives persuaded Pinkerton to hire her, and to later put her in charge of Pinkerton’s “Female Detective Force.”

Allan Pinkerton (seated, right) at Antietam. The beardless man is thought to be Kate Warne in disguise. Image via Library of Congress, n.d.

Allan Pinkerton (seated, right) at Antietam. The clean-shaven man is thought to be Kate Warne in disguise. Image via Library of Congress, n.d.

Warne was quite successful as a detective. She acted as an intelligence operative before, during, and after the Civil War, and was instrumental in uncovering the “Baltimore Plot” to assassinate Lincoln on the way to his inauguration. She relayed key information and was part of the group that helped protect the President-elect during this time, as he traveled by train (a different one than announced earlier) between Harrisburg and Baltimore, in disguise.

Excerpt from Pinkerton's report, published in Norma Cuthbert's 1949 book: Lincoln and the Baltimore Plot, 1861.

Excerpt from Pinkerton’s report mentioning Kate Warne. Published in Norma Cuthbert’s 1949 book: Lincoln and the Baltimore Plot, 1861.

My gift to you:

I wanted to find a way to say “thank you” to everyone who reads my books and follows my posts. Your support means so much to me! Where would I be without my readers? So, during the month of March, I’m giving away Never Sleep to every subscriber. And this is exclusive access; I won’t be putting it up on Amazon or anywhere else until April. 

How to get Never SleepThe story will be available for download as a mobi (Kindle) and epub (iPad, Nook) on a password-protected page here at the website. Current subscribers will get an email newsletter tomorrow (didn’t want to send you guys two email notifications in one day) with the page link and a password. Future subscribers (during the month of March) will receive the same email newsletter with the link and password when they confirm their subscription.

If you have any difficulties getting it, drop me a line: contact@kbowenmysteries.com and I’ll directly email you the file.

Thanks again!

~Kathy

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How Sam Spade Came to Be Hard-Boiled, part 2

How Sam Spade Came to Be Hard-Boiled, part 2

falcon4Hi, everyone!  I hope you can join me over at Misterio Press today for part 2 of my series on the hard-boiled mystery genre and, specifically, The Maltese Falcon.  Today we’re talking about Dashiell Hammett’s very interesting life, the influence of his Pinkerton work, how the novel was received in its day, and more!

Here’s the link: How Sam Spade Came To Be Hard-Boiled, part 2

See you there!

~Kathy

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How Sam Spade came to be hard-boiled, part 1

How Sam Spade came to be hard-boiled, part 1

falcon5

 

Happy Hump Day, everyone!  For the next two weeks, I’m guest posting over at Misterio Press.  Come explore the origins of the hard-boiled detective tradition, and a classic example of the subgenre: The Maltese Falcon.

Hope to see you there!

~Kathy

 

Here’s the link: How Sam Spade Came to be Hard-Boiled, part 1

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Masters of Mystery – Dame Frevisse

Masters of Mystery – Dame Frevisse

Margaret (Gail) Frazer, the author of the Dame Frevisse Mysteries and the Joliffe Player Mysteries (both set in medieval England), died last week at age 66, after a long fight with breast cancer.  In honor of her legacy, here’s my post from 2011 (with some updating) about her amateur sleuth, Dame Frevisse.  Enjoy!

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Judge Dee, Master of Mystery

Hi, all!

While I’m in the final edits of my sequel, here’s a re-post you may enjoy – back when I was doing mystery quizzes along with my detective profiles!

Welcome to Masters of Mystery, where we feature a fictional detective and examine his or her unique contribution to the mystery genre.  You are invited to challenge yourself with a short detective quiz, and see the answers to the previous week’s quiz.

Today we’re going back in time, to Ancient China:

Robert Van Gulik’s Judge Dee

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Hardy Boys, Masters of Mystery

As I labor to clean the Aegean Stables research a sticking point in the current draft of my second novel (hope you like to read about 19thc masquerade balls, because that’s what I’m working on), I’m sharing an earlier post of mine, about those boy super-sleuths, the Hardy Boys.

Enjoy!

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Welcome to Masters of Mystery, where we feature a fictional detective and examine his or her unique contribution to the mystery genre.  You are invited to challenge yourself with a short detective quiz, and learn the answers to the previous week’s quiz.

Let’s play a little word association to get to our detective today:  peanut butter? jelly. Abbott and? Costello. Nancy Drew?

 

…The Hardy Boys

After featuring Nancy Drew last week, it seemed only fair to discuss that pair of intrepid brothers.

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