The Female Detective is the first novel in British fiction to feature a professional female detective. Written by Andrew Forrester, it was originally published in 1864. The protagonist is Miss Gladden, or ‘G’ as she is also known – the precursor to Miss Marple, Mma Ramotswe and Lisbeth Salander. Miss Gladden’s deductive methods and energetic approach anticipate those of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, and she can be seen as beginning a powerful tradition of female detectives in these seven short stories. ‘G’ uses similar methods to her male counterparts – she enters scenes of crime incognito, tracking down killers while trying to conceal her own tracks and her identity from others. ‘G’, the first female detective, does much physical detective work, examining crime scenes, looking for clues and employing all manner of skill, subterfuge, observation and charm solve crimes. Like Holmes, ‘G’ regards the regular constabulary with disdain. For all the intrigue and interest of the stories, little is ever revealed about ‘G’ herself, and her personal circumstances remain a mystery throughout. But it is her ability to apply her considerable energy and intelligence to solve crimes that is her greatest appeal, and the reappearance of the original lady detective will be welcomed by fans of crime fiction.