I am thrilled to be here again! I have so much fun reading the blog posts on this blog and even more fun when I get to be a guest author. Today, I’m going to talk about two of my favorite genres of books: Westerns and Mysteries.
When I discovered Dad’s Louis L’Amour books, I read every one we owned and then started getting more and more and more from the library. When I wasn’t reading one of Louis L’Amour’s books, I would read a mystery book, usually Sherlock Holmes. Of course, I also read other genres, but those were the two I loved the best.
Because of my love of Westerns, becoming an author of Westerns was an easy choice. Mystery, though, was a genre I didn’t think I would be able to do successfully. Then I came to book five in my series and it didn’t work any other way than with a mystery. So I wrote it as a Western Mystery.
Along the way, I had to do some research on the Pinkerton Detective agency. Since the main character is a Pinkerton detective, I wanted to make sure I did things correctly. Even if that meant I ended up with two William’s in my story. I already had a William in the series who’s name couldn’t be changed and I couldn’t just ignore him since he was good friends with Joshua, the main character. And William Pinkerton was the boss after his father, Allan, died, so Joshua would naturally have to talk to him, too.
A few interesting facts about Pinkerton Detectives:
- Allan wasn’t always a detective. He started out as a rabble-rouser in Ireland, then moved to Dundee, Illinois, with his very young wife (she claimed to be 17, but many think she may have been 14), where he became a cooper.
- Allan’s first mystery was solved unintentionally. He went to an island to get some wood for his barrels and found evidence of some unsavory characters, told the sheriff, and was instrumental in putting some counterfeiters behind bars.
- After that, Allan was asked to become a Deputy Sheriff of the county and did so for a short time.
- His name started coming up to some people who then decided to hire him privately as a detective.
- Allan started out with investigating train robberies.
- On President Lincoln’s journey to the inauguration, Allan Pinkerton was the one who convinced President Lincoln to sneak into Washington. No one knows for sure if there were people ready to assassinate Lincoln before he could truly become President or not, but Allan Pinkerton was very convinced of it.
- He fought in the Civil War under the name Major E. J. Allen.
- He was very reluctant to hire a female detective, but eventually did.
There’s just a few fascinating facts about Allan Pinkerton. To close out my blog post, I’ll give you a little excerpt of Joshua talking to his adopted brother about Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective.
As they galloped and then slowed to a fast canter, Otis pondered what Joshua had shared. What had Allan fled from? What else had he done in his career as a detective? Had he been unwilling to hire a woman? And who was this Strong Eagle Joshua had known?
Otis looked around, drinking in the sights, sounds, and smells. He had never left Castle City and had always wondered what it looked like beyond the confines of their small town. Sure, they had silver mining and ranches, but that was nothing compared to the wildness of this country.
He knew Daniel and Harriet Brookings attributed it all to God. Even his aunt Eleanor believed it was all from God and she had grown up with his father. His father had said all the God talk was hogwash and was only for weaklings. But his father had been wrong about a lot of things. Was he wrong about God, too?
Otis sighed. Maybe after the Pinkerton and Indian discussions, he could ask Joshua.
He scowled. Why does everything have to be so confusing and complicated? It seems like it’s getting worse the older I get, too. Sometimes, I wish I hadn’t been born, but then I wonder what would’ve happened to my sisters if I hadn’t been there. Why is God portrayed as loving when He allowed Pa to do so many bad things? If he’d only had one kid or none… Why did six have to suffer all that?
Otis shook his head and looked up. His cheeks warmed when he saw Joshua waiting for him. “Sorry, I didn’t realize Princess had slowed down.”
“It’s fine. You looked deep in thought.”
“Want to share?”
“Maybe some other time. I’d rather hear about the woman detectives.”
Joshua and Otis got their horses trotting and Joshua smiled. “Kate Warne. She was the first. When she came into Pinkerton’s office and said she wanted to be a detective, at first Allan didn’t think she could handle it. A lot of the places detectives go are dangerous and require physical strength.
“He thought about it overnight and said yes the next morning. Mrs. Warne helped with the train robbery case I told you about, too, by befriending the wife of the man who was stealing the items.”
“How many women detectives does Mr. Pinkerton have?”
“I don’t know.”
“When did he start being a detective?”
“Oh! So he probably fought in the War Between the States.”
“He was a major. Major E. J. Allen.”
Otis blinked. “What?”
“His real name was too well known.”
“He was the one to convince President Lincoln to sneak into Washington, D.C., before his inauguration. He’d uncovered a plot to have Lincoln assassinated and worked tirelessly to uncover it.”
“So he saved the President’s life?”
“Most likely. He was one of the few who believed there really was a threat.”
They were silent for a few minutes.
“What do Pinkertons do now?”
“Pretty much anything.”
“What have you done?”
Joshua took a deep breath. “We need to go fast again. I’ll answer that on our next trot.”
Otis wrinkled his nose. “Fine.” He spurred his horse forward and raced ahead of Joshua.
The first book in my series, A Mighty Fortress, is now permafree, so feel free to click on the cover and pick up your copy. It is also available on iBooks, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.
One lucky commenter will get an eBook of their choice of any of my books.
Faith Blum started writing at an early age. She started even before she could read! She even thought she could write better than Dr. Seuss. (The picture doesn’t show it well, but there are scribblings on the page of Green Eggs and Ham). Now that she’s grown up a little more, she knows she will probably never reach the success of Dr. Seuss, but that doesn’t stop her from trying.