The Experiences of Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective
Catherine Louisa Pirkis
Public Domain Books
DESCRIPTION: Loveday Brooke, one of the greatest detectives in 1890's England, hides her keenly inquisitive mind behind a nondescript appearance. Employed by a
prominent London detective agency, she tackles a number of baffling cases, from burglaries to disappearances and even murder.
REVIEW: Written around the same time as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes (and a number of other serialized detective tales), Loveday Brooke may not be the most personable or dynamic sleuth, but she gets the job done. She tends to keep her deductions to herself, and hides a few pieces of key evidence from the audience, but she's hardly unique for these faults. Like Doyle, Pirkis brings to life a bygone England, though she rarely sketches in characters as singular and memorable as those encountered by Holmes or Watson. The stories themselves sometimes wandered, and I was grateful to my Nook's dictionary feature for defining several archaic words. Overall, though, it's not a bad collection of mysteries, adding a feminine perspective to the male-dominated nineteenth-century detective scene.
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