cover image Kate Warne, Pinkerton Detective

Kate Warne, Pinkerton Detective

Marissa Moss, illus. by April Chu. Creston (IPS, dist.), $18.99 (44p) ISBN 978-1-939547-33-0

In a story infused with mystery, Moss (the Amelia’s Notebook series) introduces Kate Warne, who became the first woman detective in the U.S after being hired by the Pinkerton Agency in 1856. The brunt of the book follows Warne through an early case involving $40,000 in stolen funds, during which she adopted an alias and befriended the wife of the prime suspect. Chu (Ada Bryon Lovelace and the Thinking Machine) amplifies the story’s intrigue in shadowy scenes that capture the unfolding game of cat and mouse, though some readers may find it difficult to track the details of the case. Moss relies on invented dialogue throughout, and the book’s assertion that Warne’s former surname was Carter contradicts the author’s note, which says that her “real name and history are a mystery.” A thorough bibliography is included. Ages 5–13. (Apr.)