From the USA Today Bestselling author of The Magician's Lie
"A Spunky Spy Saga." — NPR Books
"Macallister is becoming a leading voice in strong, female-driven historical fiction. Exciting, frightening, and unspeakably moving..."—Erika Robuck, bestselling author of Hemingways's Girl
For the first female Pinkerton detective, respect is hard to come by. Danger, however, is not.
In the tumultuous years of the Civil War, the streets of Chicago offer a woman mostly danger and ruin—unless that woman is Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective and a desperate widow with a knack for manipulation.
Descending into undercover operations, Kate is able to infiltrate the seedy side of the city in ways her fellow detectives can't. She's a seductress, an exotic foreign medium, a rich train passenger—all depending on the day and the robber, thief, or murderer she's been assigned to nab.
But is the woman she's becoming—capable of lies, swapping identities like dresses—the true Kate? Or has the real disguise been the good girl she always thought she was? As the tensions between the north and south escalate, Kate takes on a job in which the stakes have never been higher. The nation's future is at risk, even as the lines between disguise and reality begin to blur.
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About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A must read!
Loved The Magicians Lie by same author. So far this book has been great too!!
Turns out not much is known about Kate Warne, The Pinkerton Agency’s first female operative, but that doesn’t stop author Greer Macallister from writing a compelling tale about a woman and the love of her job. I was expecting Girl in Disguise to unfold a bit different than it did. I was expecting to read about an unusual woman with a penchant for solving crimes and perhaps be treated to a single mystery with a bit of backstory about Mrs. Warne. The story took on a bit of a different shape connecting several different cases together while building Kate’s character and showing her dedication to her job and her country. It was a pleasant surprise. Kate ranks right up there, in my mind, with Alexandra Bergson from Willa Cather’s O! Pioneers. A woman willing to deny herself simple pleasures in an effort to survive, overcoming life’s obstacles to find a rewarding self-made life beyond those struggles. I admired Kate’s tenacity and ingenuity. I do wish that many of the case files from Mrs. Warne’s days with The Agency hadn’t been lost in Chicago’s Great Fire as her story is certainly one I wouldn’t mind reading more about. I have to hand it to Ms. Macallister for taking a few scant details and introducing me to a new historical heroine to admire. Her compelling story gives strength and encouragement in the darkest known part of American history to date.
I found this to be a pretty interesting book. I had never heard about a Pinkerton saving the life of President Lincoln and while I was reading it, I wondered if it was fact or fiction. It's too bad that we lost a lot of information about the first Pinkerton woman during the big Chicago fire. It sounds like her life was pretty interesting. I'm not sure that I could have done that. There were some pretty mean characters that she associated with. And those characters didn't really care about whether they shot you or not. Kate Warne sounded like a pretty feisty character and not someone I would really like to meet in a dark alley or to be on her hit list. I know because of the fire, the author was able to find enough evidence to find out that Ms. Warne was one heck of a spitfire. I immensely enjoyed reading this book and to know that this was a real woman and a real pioneer for women's rights. Thanks to Sourcebook Landmark for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
Kate Warne is the first female Pinkerton detective and in 1856 Allan Pinkerton was not about to hire a woman. Follow along as Kate takes on many cases over the years and stands toe to toe with the other male detectives. Kate is a master of disguise and uses her talents to get information during the Civil War. I never thought of women working for the Pinkerton’s but it makes sense. What better disguise than to work in an all male profession especially when women are thought less of a man? Kate is a smart, snarky woman that has no problem getting dirty to do her job. I love reading about strong women, especially those that step out of society’s norms. I didn’t realize that Kate Warne is a real person. There is not much known about her since so much was lost in the great Chicago fire. I really wish I knew more about her. I am definitely interest in learning more about her because of Girl in Disguise. This is a great, entertaining story. It’s a historical fiction that leaves you wanting more. Although I think Greer MacAllister could have made this a series, this book does leave me wanting more stories with Kate in them. I received Girl in Disguise from SourceBooks for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.
Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister is based on the real life of the first female Pinkerton agent, Kate Warne. It is 1856 in Chicago, Illinois and Kate Warne needs a job. She is a widow with little in the way of funds. In response to an advertisement, Kate arrives at the offices of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. Kate is interviewed by Allan Pinkerton who states that they do not hire women. She asks him for an opportunity to prove her worth by solving a case. If she can close the investigation, Kate will get a position. Pinkerton agrees and gives her an opportunity to recover money stolen from First Eagle Savings Bank. With a little assistance, Kate is successful and gets her position as the first female Pinkerton agent. Unfortunately, her fellow agents are not as welcoming as Allan Pinkerton. Kate sets out to learn the skills she needs to be a successful agent and prove to the men that she is an asset. We get to follow Kate as she learns her craft and shows how valuable female agents can be to the agency. Kate is so successful that Pinkerton needs to start a Female Bureau of Detectives, and he wishes Kate to head it. This is a great opportunity for Kate, and she embraces the challenge. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Kate feels her services are more valuable in the field. Kate’s skills could prove vital to the country during this time of upheaval. But life is not all rosy for Kate. Pick up a copy of Girl in Disguise to find out what happens to Kate Warne. Girl in Disguise is a slow starter, but it gets better the further I got into the story. The novel is nicely written, and I did find it appealing. I wish, though, that the author had focused on Kate’s joining the Pinkerton agency and maybe one or two cases. Kate’s life would have made a great series. Each book could have focused on a new case. The novel starts in 1856 and takes us through the end of the Civil War. I was dissatisfied with the romance portion of the book and how it affected Kate. It just did not seem to go with her personality or behavior prior to this point. I give Girl in Disguise 4 out of 5 stars. The book, in a way, reminds me of a biography. But it lacked the depth you would find in one. We do not get enough details on Kate and her life as an agent. It is a superficial overview. I would have loved more details especially when she first started out as an agent. It is supposed to be a fictionalized account, so I wish the author had pushed it a little further. The ending was a bit of a letdown. It would have been nice if the author had included an epilogue showcasing the end of Kate Warne’s life. I am interested in finding out more information about Kate Warne and her life. I know that little information on Kate and her activities survived the Chicago Fire of 1871, but I hope to find more details than were available in Girl in Disguise. If you enjoy reading historical novels, check out Girl in Disguise.