The Female Detective was written fifty years before there was actually a female detective anywhere in Britain, first published in 1864. "Miss Gladden"-the alias of the female detective (the reader never learns her true name)-is the predecessor to all other female detectives; other stories about female detectives were not widely published until after the turn of the century. This is a very unique book-it is told from Miss Gladden's point of view as she describes several cases she has had-some solved, some not. It is a rather dry read, and more slowly paced (as is often the case with books written in that time period) than modern books, especially mysteries. We learn about her investigative tactics, the procedures she must follow, and how she feels about some of her cases.
While dry, this book was still very interesting-mystery readers would enjoy reading Miss Gladden's accounts of her cases and how they were solved. I recommend this book for fans of female detectives especially-seeing the literary "roots" of what has become a fairly good sized field and getting so much historical context makes this a book I will read again.