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The Pinkerton & the Outlaw
In my new release, Lawless Hearts, a female Pinkerton detective and an Irish-Cherokee outlaw work together to find a missing agent and become entangled in a net of corruption, crime...and murder. It’s a tale of daring deception, pulse-pounding suspense, and sizzling romance, all in a Western setting that is as authentic as it is wild.
The entire series is rooted in historical events that follow the expansion of the railroad across the American West and features numerous secondary characters from the pages of history. For my heroine, I took inspiration from the history of the Pinkerton Agency and the country’s first female detective.
A woman who made history
In 1856, a young 20-something woman named Kate Warne answered an advertisement for detectives posted by Allan Pinkerton to fill his fledgling agency. According to Pinkerton’s records, she convinced its progressive founder that women could be “most useful in worming out secrets in many places which would be impossible for a male detective.” Her arguments and determination impressed Pinkerton and he hired her over the objection of his brother Robert, who was also a partner in the business. Thus Warne became the first female private detective in the United States.
Warne was an excellent private investigator and acted undercover, infiltrating social gatherings and events. During the Civil War, she was instrumental in saving Lincoln from the first assassination attempt. She wore disguises and changed her accent at will and became a huge asset for the agency. Later, Pinkerton hired other females and appointed Warne as Supervisor of Female Detectives.
Two opposites defy historical norms
In Lawless Hearts, Brigit Stevens is modeled after the young female detectives mentored by Kate Warne. These were women who defied cultural norms and broke down societal barriers. In that sense, they were truly “lawless” in their pursuit of justice.
The outlaw Brigit chooses as a temporary partner is one of my favorite characters in this series. Over the course of three books, readers have seen him evolve into a complex, contradictory character whose conscience undergoes intense reconstruction. He isn’t the devil presented on the Wanted posters, but he doesn’t perceive himself as a hero. In fact, he’s confused when Brigit treats him like one. But her determination to reform him inspires Jasper to consider changing his ways.
After spending most of his life on the wrong side of the law, he takes Brigit up on her offer to join her on the right side. Unfortunately, there are some who have the law on their side and are using it for nefarious purposes, and they have Brigit and Jasper in the crosshairs.
Here's a short book trailer:
Have you read the Steam! series? Do you have a favorite character? Who is it, and why? If not, who is your favorite literary detective?
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As a special offer, I’ll also give away a copy of Fugitive Hearts, which sets the stage for Lawless Hearts. Leave a comment below and enter the Rafflecopter. I’ll draw a winner Friday.a Rafflecopter giveaway