#PICT: Pistols and Petticoats

Pistols and Petticoats

175 Years of Lady Detectives in Fact and Fiction

by Erika Janik

March 2nd 2017 Book Blast

Pistols and Petticoats by Erika Janik

Synopsis:

A lively exploration of the struggles faced by women in law enforcement and mystery fiction for the past 175 years

In 1910, Alice Wells took the oath to join the all-male Los Angeles Police Department. She wore no uniform, carried no weapon, and kept her badge stuffed in her pocketbook. She wasn’t the first or only policewoman, but she became the movement’s most visible voice.

Police work from its very beginning was considered a male domain, far too dangerous and rough for a respectable woman to even contemplate doing, much less take on as a profession. A policewoman worked outside the home, walking dangerous city streets late at night to confront burglars, drunks, scam artists, and prostitutes. To solve crimes, she observed, collected evidence, and used reason and logic—traits typically associated with men. And most controversially of all, she had a purpose separate from her husband, children, and home. Women who donned the badge faced harassment and discrimination. It would take more than seventy years for women to enter the force as full-fledged officers.

Yet within the covers of popular fiction, women not only wrote mysteries but also created female characters that handily solved crimes. Smart, independent, and courageous, these nineteenth- and early twentieth-century female sleuths (including a healthy number created by male writers) set the stage for Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Sara Paretsky’s V. I. Warshawski, Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta, and Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone, as well as TV detectives such as Prime Suspect’s Jane Tennison and Law and Order’s Olivia Benson. The authors were not amateurs dabbling in detection but professional writers who helped define the genre and competed with men, often to greater success.

Pistols and Petticoats tells the story of women’s very early place in crime fiction and their public crusade to transform policing. Whether real or fictional, investigating women were nearly always at odds with society. Most women refused to let that stop them, paving the way to a modern professional life for women on the force and in popular culture.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, NonFiction, History
Published by: Beacon Press
Publication Date: February 28th 2017 (1st Published April 26th 2016)
Number of Pages: 248
ISBN: 0807039381 (ISBN13: 9780807039380)
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

With high heels clicking across the hardwood floors, the diminutive woman from Chicago strode into the headquarters of the New York City police. It was 1922. Few respectable women would enter such a place alone, let alone one wearing a fashionable Paris gown, a feathered hat atop her brown bob, glistening pearls, and lace stockings.

But Alice Clement was no ordinary woman.

Unaware of—or simply not caring about—the commotion her presence caused, Clement walked straight into the office of Commissioner Carleton Simon and announced, “I’ve come to take Stella Myers back to Chicago.”

The commissioner gasped, “She’s desperate!”

Stella Myers was no ordinary crook. The dark-haired thief had outwitted policemen and eluded capture in several states.

Unfazed by Simon’s shocked expression, the well-dressed woman withdrew a set of handcuffs, ankle bracelets, and a “wicked looking gun” from her handbag.

“I’ve come prepared.”

Holding up her handcuffs, Clement stated calmly, “These go on her and we don’t sleep until I’ve locked her up in Chicago.” True to her word, Clement delivered Myers to her Chicago cell.

Alice Clement was hailed as Chicago’s “female Sherlock Holmes,” known for her skills in detection as well as for clearing the city of fortune-tellers, capturing shoplifters, foiling pickpockets, and rescuing girls from the clutches of prostitution. Her uncanny ability to remember faces and her flair for masquerade—“a different disguise every day”—allowed her to rack up one thousand arrests in a single year. She was bold and sassy, unafraid to take on any masher, con artist, or scalawag from the city’s underworld.

Her headline-grabbing arrests and head-turning wardrobe made Clement seem like a character straight from Central Casting. But Alice Clement was not only real; she was also a detective sergeant first grade of the Chicago Police Department.

Clement entered the police force in 1913, riding the wave of media sensation that greeted the hiring of ten policewomen in Chicago. Born in Milwaukee to German immigrant parents in 1878, Clement was unafraid to stand up for herself. She advocated for women’s rights and the repeal of Prohibition. She sued her first husband, Leonard Clement, for divorce on the grounds of desertion and intemperance at a time when women rarely initiated—or won—such dissolutions. Four years later, she married barber Albert L. Faubel in a secret ceremony performed by a female pastor.

It’s not clear why the then thirty-five-year-old, five-foot-three Clement decided to join the force, but she relished the job. She made dramatic arrests—made all the more so by her flamboyant dress— and became the darling of reporters seeking sensational tales of corruption and vice for the morning papers. Dark-haired and attractive, Clement seemed to confound reporters, who couldn’t believe she was old enough to have a daughter much less, a few years later, a granddaughter. “Grandmother Good Detective” read one headline.

She burnished her reputation in a high-profile crusade to root out fortune-tellers preying on the naive. Donning a different disguise every day, Clement had her fortune told more than five hundred times as she gathered evidence to shut down the trade. “Hats are the most important,” she explained, describing her method. “Large and small, light and dark and of vivid hue, floppy brimmed and tailored, there is nothing that alters a woman’s appearance more than a change in headgear.”

Clement also had no truck with flirts. When a man attempted to seduce her at a movie theater, she threatened to arrest him. He thought she was joking and continued his flirtations, but hers was no idle threat. Clement pulled out her blackjack and clubbed him over the head before yanking him out of the theater and dragging him down the street to the station house. When he appeared in court a few days later, the man confessed that he had been cured of flirting. Not every case went Clement’s way, though. The jury acquitted the man, winning the applause of the judge who was no great fan of Clement or her theatrics.

One person who did manage to outwit Clement was her own daughter, Ruth. Preventing hasty marriages fell under Clement’s duties, and she tracked down lovelorn young couples before they could reach the minister. The Chicago Daily Tribune called her the “Nemesis of elopers” for her success and familiarity with everyone involved in the business of matrimony in Chicago. None of this deterred twenty-year-old Ruth Clement, however, who hoped to marry Navy man Charles C. Marrow, even though her mother insisted they couldn’t be married until Marrow finished his time in service in Florida. Ruth did not want to wait, and when Marrow came to visit, the two tied the knot at a minister’s home without telling Clement. When Clement discovered a Mr. and Mrs. Charles C. Marrow registered at the Chicago hotel supposedly housing Marrow alone, she was furious and threatened to arrest her new son-in-law for flouting her wishes. Her anger cooled, however, and Clement soon welcomed the newlyweds into her home.

Between arrests and undercover operations, Clement wrote, produced, and starred in a movie called Dregs of the City, in 1920. She hoped her movie would “deliver a moral message to the world” and “warn young girls of the pitfalls of a great city.” In the film, Clement portrayed herself as a master detective charged with finding a young rural girl who, at the urging of a Chicago huckster, had fled the farm for the city lights and gotten lost in “one of the more unhallowed of the south side cabarets.” The girl’s father came to Clement anegged her to rescue his innocent daughter from the “dregs” of the film’s title. Clement wasn’t the only officer-turned-actor in the film. Chicago police chiefs James L. Mooney and John J. Garrity also had starring roles. Together, the threesome battered “down doors with axes and interrupt[ed] the cogitations of countless devotees of hashish, bhang and opium.” The Chicago Daily Tribune praised Garrity’s acting and his onscreen uniform for its “faultless cut.”

The film created a sensation, particularly after Chicago’s movie censor board, which fell under the oversight of the police department, condemned the movie as immoral. “The picture shall never be shown in Chicago. It’s not even interesting,” read the ruling. “Many of the actors are hams and it doesn’t get anywhere.” Despite several appeals, Clement was unable to convince the censors to allow Dregs of the City to be shown within city limits. She remained undeterred by the decision. “They think they’ve given me a black eye, but they haven’t. I’ll show it anyway,” she declared as she left the hearing, tossing the bouquet of roses she’d been given against the window.

When the cruise ship Eastland rolled over in the Chicago River on July 24, 1915, Clement splashed into the water to assist in the rescue of the pleasure boaters, presumably, given her record, wearing heels and a designer gown. More than eight hundred people would die that day, the greatest maritime disaster in Great Lakes history. For her services in the Eastland disaster, Clement received a gold “coroner’s star” from the Cook County coroner in a quiet ceremony in January of 1916.

Clement’s exploits and personality certainly drew attention, but any woman would: a female crime fighter made for good copy and eye-catching photos. Unaccustomed to seeing women wielding any kind of authority, the public found female officers an entertaining—and sometimes ridiculous—curiosity.

Excerpt from Pistols and Petticoats: 175 Years of Lady Detectives in Fact and Fiction by Erika Janik. Copyright © 2016 & 2017 by Beacon Press. Reproduced with permission from Beacon Press. All rights reserved.

Readers Are Loving Pistols and Petticoats!

Check out this awesome article in Time Magazine!

“Erika Janik does a fine job tracing the history of women in police work while at the same time describing the role of females in crime fiction. The outcome, with a memorable gallery of characters, is a rich look at the ways in which fact and fiction overlap, reflecting the society surrounding them. A treat for fans of the mystery—and who isn’t?” ~ Katherine Hall Page, Agatha Award–winning author of The Body in the Belfry and The Body in the Snowdrift

“A fascinating mix of the history of early policewomen and their role in crime fiction—positions that were then, and, to some extent even now, in conflict with societal expectations.” ~ Library Journal

“An entertaining history of women’s daring, defiant life choices.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

Author Bio:

authorErika Janik is an award-winning writer, historian, and the executive producer of Wisconsin Life on Wisconsin Public Radio. She’s the author of five previous books, including Marketplace of the Marvelous: The Strange Origins of Modern Medicine. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Catch Up With Our Ms. Janik On:
Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Wisconsin Public Radio 🔗, & Twitter 🔗!

 

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Don’t Miss Your Chance to Win Pistols and Petticoats!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Erika Janik and Beacon. There will be 5 winners of one (1) print copy of Pistols and Petticoats by Erika Janik. The giveaway begins on March 3rd and runs through March 8th, 2017. The giveaway is open to residents in the US & Canada only.

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Cover Reveal: Use Somebody by Beck Anderson – Hollywood standalone

b078f2221d6ec0463539f01708b9e727Feather Stone: Having read Beck’s Fix You series, I can totally understand why she is a two-time Rita© finalist. Two words comes to mind. Passion and Depth. You can feel the breath of the characters on your face. You feel their heartache and desperate hope. Life like? They are more. They remain with you after the last page is read. The plot? Beck Anderson’s skill in writing a plot of twisting and unexpected turns makes her novels so fun to read. Be sure to make a note on your calendar on October 8th for the release of USE SOMEBODY.

 

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Use Somebody is Beck Anderson’s newest Hollywood standalone!

Releasing October 8th.

Add to your TBR at: http://bit.ly/2bYXvId

Blurb

Jeremy King, Hollywood über-agent to the stars, knows that sharks gotta swim. He’s one of them, after all. He’s never met a deal he couldn’t strike or an argument he couldn’t win. LA is his kind of town—they both never stop moving.

So when his friend and client, movie star Andrew Pettigrew, invites him on a “man-cation” to the wilds of Idaho for a little fly-fishing, Jeremy’s not so sure. He might not have cell service. There’s no way there’ll be any supermodels to woo. And his idea of the great outdoors is a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway in his Tesla Model S—moose definitely do not factor into the picture.

Fitting then that because of a moose, he meets Macy Shea Summerlin, the best fly-fishing guide on the South Fork. Jeremy’s surprised and tantalized, but Macy isn’t having any of his alpha male posturing. She gives as good as she gets, and she knows how to throw a mean right hook.

As the two of them get tangled up in each other’s lives, both Jeremy and Macy must come to terms with winning and losing and letting love in. And Jeremy has to find the answer to his own question: Is he simply “using” Macy or could he really “use” someone like her? Find out in Use Somebody, book 3 of the Fix You series.

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beck-andersonBeck Anderson is a two-time Rita© finalist and author of four novels including the Fix You series and The Jeweler. She’s also a wife, a mom, an educator, and a walker of a small, bossy dog-slash-evil genius.

Find her at authorbeck.com,

on Twitter: @BeckAndersonID,

Pinterest, Facebook,

and GoodReads.

 

THANK YOU!

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#Comedy Book Week: HANS & GRETA by Nicki Elson

 Feather Stone:  You’ve got to read Hans & Greta. It’s hilarious. Among our author community and Nicki’s fans, she is particularly admired for her talent in creating unforgettable characters and shocking plot twists. That’s why her books are so popular. I just love her writing. This week, Nicki is participating in the #Comedy Book Week. It’s a real treat to feature Nicki Elson on my blog.
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Welcome to #ComedyBookWeek, an annual, online celebration of humor in writing. Today Nicki Elson is going to take us for a walk into the woods with an excerpt from her twisted fairy tale novella, HANS & GRETA. But first, how about a video preview…

Excerpt from HANS & GRETA by Nicki Elson

TWIGS SNAPPED UNDERFOOT, and the pale light of the moon dimmed as the branches overhead grew thicker.

“I can’t believe they ran out of food,” Liesel complained.

“They were hardly out of food,” said Hans. “They just didn’t have any more of what you liked.”

“Pepper knows I swore off carbs years ago, and did you taste that pâté? It was completely inedible. I’m glad she’s so smitten with her new huntsman boyfriend and all, but venison-wurst? Gag me with a harpsichord.”

Hans reluctantly followed his fiancé deeper into the woods. “Be nice.”

She glanced over her shoulder and smirked, lifting her long skirt to expose a teasing ankle. “Oh, I plan to be.” Skipping ahead, she disappeared behind two fat tree trunks.

Hans paused and barely managed to stifle a groan. Six months ago, such flirtation would’ve elicited a completely different kind of groan. But six months ago he’d barely known her. Back then she’d simply been the pretty daughter of a wealthy financier—the ticket to saving his father’s woodcarving business. He’d truly believed it would be easy enough to fall in love with her, but as the months ticked by he realized that no amount of wavy blond hair nor evenings spent with her plump lips applying just the right amount of pressure to his various pleasure points could make up for the rotting carcass of a soul that resided beneath all that beauty.

He couldn’t go through with it, not all the way to the wedding. But he’d play along with the engagement. Before the church bells started ringing, however, the financial documents would be signed, his father’s business would be saved, and he could break off the relationship quietly, tastefully, finally. Until then…

“Liesel, stop! We’re going to lose our way if you go any further. We really should get back.”

She peeked out from behind a tree several yards ahead. “Didn’t you drop any bread crumbs?” Her long, lean arm emerged from behind her back, and she flourished a pair of white, lacy panties and dropped them to the forest floor. “Guess we’ll just have to leave something else behind.”

She dashed off again, further into the forest, and Hans clenched his fists, tempted to turn around and leave her to be the victim of her own folly. But then he thought of his father—his kind, gentle father who’d already lost so much—and took long strides into the forest.

He found her leaning against a tree, waiting for him. A silvery beam of light broke miraculously through the leafy branches to illuminate her sensual form, casting an enticing glow upon every curve. Even Hans, jaded against her as he was, couldn’t help but admire the vision. He reflected that his lot wasn’t the worst that could befall a man and didn’t resist when she reached out and pulled him to her.

Pressing his fiancé against the rough bark, feeling her mouth open readily under his, he attempted to set ethics aside for the moment and give himself over to passion. She clearly wanted it—she always did—so who was being hurt?

The acrid aftertaste of cigarettes bit at his tongue. The sour flavor of stagnant garlic and whatever else had been on that edamame she’d sucked down earlier choked him. Reflexively, he pulled back.

“This again?” she whined.

“I’m sorry, love. Truly I am.”

Pouting, she ran a polished fingernail along the side of his face. “What are we going to do with you?”

“I think the question is, what are you not going to do with me?”

She huffed. “I just can’t understand why you’re more concerned with my virtue than I am lately. You had no problem deflowering me months ago.”

“Your flower had already been de’d,” he retorted but switched tactics when he was met by a cold glare. “Maybe it’s not about virtue; maybe it’s more about wanting to cool off for a bit so that it will be special on our wedding night.”

“Or maybe it’s all about what you want, and what I want be damned!” She purposely dug her fingernail into the side of his face as she scratched down and pushed away from the tree, away from him. Her eyes carried a wild glint he’d become all too familiar with. “Perhaps I’ve made things too easy for you, hm? Perhaps what you really want is a chase!” She took off into the darkness.

“Bitchy and crazy,” he muttered to himself as he moved forward, less than eager to catch up.

See what happens next at Nancee Cain’s blog tomorrow.

 

Partners in Crime Book Review: The Good Traitor by Ryan Quinn

The Good Traitor

on Tour April 5 – May 13, 2016

The Good Traitor by Ryan QuinnThe US ambassador to China is killed in a suspicious plane crash just days after a news article links Chinese spies to US business interests. The American intelligence community is left scrambling to investigate possible connections between the crash and a series of other high-profile deaths.

On the other side of the world, ex-CIA operative Kera Mersal returns to the United States determined to clear her name after being branded a traitor for exposing illegal government surveillance. There, former colleague and fellow fugitive J. D. Jones contacts her with a new assignment: find out who is staging accidents to murder news sources. As the news site continues to publish stories about top-secret CIA programs and Chinese government corruption, Mersal reunites with old allies to uncover the truth and prove her loyalty to her country once and for all. But Mersal’s investigations put her on the trail of a sinister hacker whose own motives may influence a vaster—and more deadly—geopolitical conspiracy than either of the world’s two largest superpowers is prepared to handle.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Number of Pages: 334
ISBN: 978-1503954625
Purchase Links:AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

FEATHER’S REVIEW

INTENSE That’s the best word that describes my experience in reading The Good Traitor by Ryan Quinn. Thankfully, I’m allowed to express more fully how fantastic this novel is.

Ryan Quinn knows his stuff. He’s either an experienced cyber techie spy agent, or he’s done his research (I suspect the latter … I hope). The varied settings, the dynamic characters, the exciting scenes weave a complex plot. In other words, the detail and variety of characters kept me both glued and amazed at how complex the world has become – and dangerous. Given I was born in a remote rural community that had no phones or electricity, I’m in the generation that struggles to keep abreast of modern technology. As a result, some of the more advanced techno jargon was beyond me. However, instead of losing me in the mystery, it added to the suspense.

I liked that many of the characters were occasionally portrayed in their human skin with attachment of failures, fears – a full range of emotions from the darkest to the lovable. This was no romance novel, though. The punch of The Good Traitor was focused on the world of spying and collecting secrets. The tension is inflamed as the reader discovers the deadly risk if the secrets are exposed, and what political governments are prepared to do to safeguard their nefarious actions. Murder, horrific and callous; there’s no escape. Only Kera’s courage and intelligence training and skill can be relied upon to sort through the maze of lies and twisted logic. The reader soon realizes there is no way Kera can survive and escape. Unless ….

The Good Traitor is one of those novels a reader can reread several times and get deeper into the plot’s twists and become a loyal companion of Kera.

I received a copy of The Good Traitor in exchange for posting an honest review. Thank you Ryan Quinn and Partners in Crime virtual book tours for this opportunity to celebrate this novel’s launch.

Author Bio:

Ryan Quinn
A native of Alaska, Ryan Quinn was an NCAA champion and an all-American athlete in skiing while at the University of Utah. He worked for five years in New York’s book-publishing industry before moving to Los Angeles, where he writes and trains for marathons. Quinn’s first novel, The Fall, was an award-winning finalist for the 2013 International Book Awards.

For more, please visit:

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Ryan Quinn. There will be 1 winners of 1 $10 Amazon.com US Gift card. The giveaway begins on April 5th and runs through May 13th, 2016.

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Book Review: Murder & Obsession by Yolanda Renee

Murder & Obsession

 

Synopsis:

Renée weaves a crafty tale, so rich in the Alaskan landscape and rhythms that at times I got lulled into thinking this was a delightfully ‘cozy’ mystery. Only then some brutal murder would flash before my eyes and I’d be all like, ‘Whoa!’ I feel like, beneath the charming world Sarah was desperately trying to recreate, there was this Dean Koontzian edge of crazy that totally kept me on the edge of my seat.” ~Mina Lobo (Amazon Reviewer, for Murder, Madness & Love)

About Murder & Obsession (Detective Quaid Mysteries #3):

Detective Steven Quaid is ready for the new challenges as Anchorage’s top detective, but not until he marries the woman of his dreams on New Year’s Eve. Determined to give Sarah the wilderness honeymoon she desires, he turns his grandfather’s cabin into the perfect honeymoon retreat.
After the final details are complete, Steven treks into the mountains to hunt.

On his return to the cottage, instead of Sarah, he is greeted by several police officers and a bloody crime scene. Accusations fly, and Stephen flees into the wilderness, his heart racing and thoughts etching into his soul.

The wilderness is unforgiving, but Steven faces it head on: Caught between a massive grizzly and a black bear in a deadly tug of war, he is barely saved from death’s door by the fortuitous appearance of his uncle. Despite surviving multiple injuries, Steven continues his investigation as he recovers, but answers don’t come quick or easy.

Having enlisted the aid of his number one suspect, Steven faces a struggle that has become more than personal…This one just may cost him his heart.

Feather’s Review

Readers who yearn for a novel that delivers superb plot and characters will love Murder & Obsession by Yolanda Renee. I hesitate to go into detail for fear of saying too much and giving away too much of the plot dynamics. Every chapter is chock full of intrigue and a deepening inspection into the heart and soul of each character.

The depth of love between Sarah and Detective Steven Quaid sizzles. You know and fear there is nothing these two lovers won’t do for each other – nothing. I haven’t read the first two novels in this series; however, this did not impact my appreciation of book 3 (except for understanding of the Valentine killings).

Another aspect I love about Murder and Obsession is Yolanda’s gift in putting the reader into the scene; vivid descriptions of the physical scene, the terror in the mind of the characters, their desperate struggles is so well written – well, I feel like I know Alaska’s wild and unforgiving nature, and know these characters on a personal basis. And that’s what every hopes to experience.

Well done, Yolanda.

First two novels in this series

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Yolanda Renee:  At one time Alaska called to me and I answered. I learned to sleep under the midnight sun, survive in below zero temperatures, and hike the Mountain Ranges. I’ve traveled from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, and the memories are some of my most valued. The wonders, mysteries, and incredible beauty that is Alaska has never left me and thus now influence my writing.

Despite my adventurous spirit, I achieved my educational goals, married, and I have two wonderful sons. Writing is now my focus, my newest adventure!

Yolanda’s Social Sites

Amazon Author Page

Amazon.com

Blog: Defending the Pen
Facebook – Yolanda Renée
Twitter – @yolandarenee
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