A library of detective novels from the 1870s to the 1890s, written by Albert W. Aiken
“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!”
The Frisco Detective is a fine choice to begin this collection of rare mysteries
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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.”
Hilda 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!
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Hilda Serene, or The Actress Detective as she is known from the first book in this trilogy, has advanced as a detective and pursues a case for the New York City Police.
Ms. Serene is a two-fisted and skilled detective, and also an unusual transgender character for an 1889 detective thriller. She presents herself as a man for most of the novel, and finally corners the Invisible Hand band that played such a role in the first book, The Actress Detective.
The story opens in a truly seedy dockside neighborhood where an old doctor performs an astonishing service for his criminal clients. The scene moves to a beach community favored by the best citizens of New York.
Tom of California is a rough and tumble read, and features a wonderfully unusual hero!
Tom of California is the second book in the Hilda Serene Trilogy that began with The Actress Detective. The third book, titled The Silver Sharp, is currently in production!
Dark Lantern Tales
Rediscover Crime and Detective Stories from the 1800s
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