Though men are the archetypal private investigators, fictional woman private investigators have existed far before even Sherlock Holmes was introduced in 1887. A writer of British origin, Andrew Forrester Jr. introduced Mrs Gladden, the first female detective character in 1864. If a person reads Mrs Gladden’s experiences and approach to crime, an individual would discover that Holmes is perhaps a worthy successor to her methods of deduction.
Reality vs fiction
Soon after Mrs Gladden arrived Mrs Paschal. She was a widow of forty and comes across as another hardboiled male detective. She’s proficient in using a Colt revolver. Her instances involved everything – murder, forgery, kidnapping and theft. She was the narrator of her own experiences and in them she asserts that she has “certain benefits” over her male rivals because suspects and offenders don’t think of her as a detective. Her methods of resolving a crime involved a systematic strategy, and were contrary to the criticism that a woman private investigator relies too heavily on instinct. Both, Gladden and Paschal exhibit their abilities of disguise.
Another contemporary American woman detective who had been introduced in the year 1880 was Kate Goelet. Despite being young (she was just twenty three) and beautiful, she was skillful in weaponry and might pull out six inch daggers out of her sleeves without difficulty. The founder of Goelet also brought to life a different female detective character Cad Metti, who revealed she was able not only to look after herself but also at knocking out an antagonist.
She also comes across as a genius in disguise. Of the most famous female investigators ever made however is Agatha Christie’s famous lady detective Miss Jane Marple, making her first appearance in 1928. Introduced as a spinster at the ripe age of sixty five, Miss Marple modestly admits many occasions that she’s “not smart” and leads what is supposed to be a quiet life in the English countryside. She does say that living several years has given her a rare insight into human character.
Although she always stays ladylike and genteel, her experiences demonstrate that she is able to uncover just about any offense because of her”rare insight”. Though the aforementioned characters remain etched in the minds of book fans, in real life girls in the business of private investigation were unheard of until the year 1856, when Kate Warne earned the honor of being the first female researcher in the history of America. She had been associated with the Pinkerton Detective Agency that was set by Allen Pinkerton.
Although she’d applied for the job of a secretary, the creator of this firm was so impressed with her that he saw in her the possibility of creating a excellent female investigator. Indeed, Warne lived up to the expectations of Pinkerton and became proficient at collecting information that none of her male counterparts managed to.
She was able to rescue the then presidential pick Abraham Lincoln from an assassination attempt. The unfortunate part in the history of personal investigation is that although there might have been a lot of brilliant woman private investigators nobody has bothered to keep their documents and success stories. With times and days changing today, one hopes that history won’t repeat itself and the work of female private investigators will be given as much credit as with their male counterparts.