Erika Janik's new book is Pistols and Petticoats: 175 Years of Lady Detectives in Fact and Fiction. From her Q&A with Deborah Kalb:
Q: How did you get interested in the topic of female detectives, and why did you decide to write a book about them?--Marshal Zeringue
A: Even though I grew up reading some detective books and watching Sherlock Holmes movies with my Dad (Basil Rathbone for the win), this book really began when I ran across an ad from around 1900 for a female private eye in Chicago.
In the ad, she said she could solve any case but really marketed herself to other women, asserting, in part, that she would do a better job with women’s cases because she was a woman herself.
I was surprised to see that a woman was running her own agency (and that there weren’t outraged letters about it in the newspaper!) at that time so I started looking deeper into women in detection.
Something that motivates much of my work is...[read on]