Macallister’s lively new book Girl in Disguise, loosely based on the career of the first female Pinkerton agent Kate Warne, will please fans of historical fiction. She has crafted an enjoyable narrative of an interesting career by teasing intrigue and suspense out of limited information.

In her concluding author’s note, Macallister explains what the record shows, and where her imagination filled in the gaps. Unfortunately, she relates, the Great Chicago Fire wiped out most of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency’s files prior to 1871 – a period encompassing Warne’s entire career – so precious little remains about this pioneer.