The Detective’s Assistant
By Kate Hannigan
Little, Brown, and Company, 2015. Fiction.
When eleven-year-old Nell is orphaned, she is sent off to go live with her estranged aunt who is none too
pleased to be strapped down with a child while she is busy being the first female detective for the Pinkerton’s
National Detective Agency. So that she will not be sent to the Home of the Friendless, Nell comes up ways to
be useful to her aunt, including helping with her cases. Along the way she meets interesting people and
discovers the true history of the bad blood between her aunt and her father.
Inspired by the real life first female Pinkerton detective Kate Warne, this book gives a glimpse into life in the
Eastern United States right before the outbreak of the Civil War. Author notes in the back provide information
of the real life characters mentioned. The blend of mystery, adventure, and history will satisfy many readers.