Mrs. Sherlock Holmes: The True Story of New York City’s Greatest Female Detective and the 1917 Missing Girl Case That Captivated a Nation

Brad Ricca. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (432p) ISBN 978-1-250-07224-5
Ricca (Super Boys) provides a fascinating account of Grace Humiston, a pioneering attorney in the early 20th century, dubbed “Mrs. Sherlock Holmes” by the press for her investigative prowess. The author effectively employs a novelist’s techniques to heighten suspense; the first chapter features the discovery of a hole in the floor of a building, the significance of which is not revealed until much later. Ricca then depicts the tragic disappearance, in 1917, of 18-year-old Ruth Cruger, who had left her Manhattan home on an errand. Finally, he introduces Humiston, who in 1905 became one of “only a thousand female lawyers in the whole United States.” Her intervention on behalf of a woman convicted of murdering an abuser in New Jersey showcases the intelligence, determination, and savvy that became her hallmark. Humiston’s later exploits almost defy belief as she traveled to the South as a Special United States District Attorney to uncover the practice of slavery “through forced debt,” an inquiry that came to the attention of President Theodore Roosevelt. Ultimately, Humiston gets involved in the search for Ruth Cruger, succeeding where so many others had failed. Her incredible life story, superbly portrayed by Ricca, is more proof that truth is stranger than fiction. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/24/2016
Release date: 01/03/2017
Open Ebook - 432 pages - 978-1-4668-8365-9
Hardcover - 605 pages - 978-1-4104-9955-4
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-1-250-16083-6
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