“The Gilded Age Detective Stories include compelling novels by Albert W. Aiken, and many will feature stories set in the theater. Aiken’s own experience as a playwright and actor bring authenticity to these thrilling tales of mystery and detection!”
San Francisco, California, 1873:
Andrew De Lormé is a young attorney with more education than wealth, and he interrupts his Bohemian way of life to become involved with La Belle Helene, an alluring stage actress.
A British gentleman arrives in San Francisco to fulfill his dead brother’s legacy by finding his brother’s long lost child. This child would now be an adult in their twenties and if they can be found, the gentleman will award them an inheritance of Five Millions of Dollars. Of course, several parties are all too ready to help!
Soon the young DeLorme is also deeply involved in searching for the missing heir through the seamiest parts of San Francisco, and the Flats of the Stanislaus where gold was still being mined.
Andrew De Lormé meets challenges with fists and firearms, but no one is prepared for the results of his search!
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New York City, 1889. Hilda Serene grew up rough in the mining camps of the American West, and became an experienced actress on stage. But the life of a detective looked increasingly like a better use of her talents.
Hilda is described by others as muscular and masculine, and she demonstrates great skill as a fighter with both fists and weapons.
Miss Serene describes herself as, “an accident of birth,” and as a “Man-Woman.” She feels that she should have been born as a man, and although not particularly interested in love, she declares, “I have had friends, both men and women, whom I have liked, but, as a rule, I have fancied the women a great deal more than I have the men.”
As compared to the story of Ann Lister, from five decades or more before the time of The Actress Detective and portrayed in the HBO series Gentleman Jack, Hilda is not concerned with running a large estate or in pursuing passion. She most wants the life of a detective and soon demonstrates her acumen for the job.
The Actress Detective is the first in a trilogy about Hilda Serene. Don’t miss her second case, Tom of California, followed by The Silver Sharp!
Dark Lantern Tales
Rediscover Crime and Detective Stories from the 1800s
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