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The Fearless Mrs. Goodwin

3.34  ·  Rating Details ·  395 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Manhattan, 1912. A time of greed, corruption, scandal and distrust, when the police commissioner had this advice for the citizenry: “Don’t take a criminal investigation into your own hands. Don’t poke about a dead body. Don’t investigate a robbery all on your own.”

Then the most outrageous and brutal bank heist of the young century occurred, and the city combusted in fear a
Kindle Edition, 44 pages
Published August 17th 2011
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In Cold Blood by Truman CapoteHelter Skelter by Vincent BugliosiThe Stranger Beside Me by Ann RuleThe Devil in the White City by Erik LarsonThe Manson File by Nikolas Schreck
True Crime
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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May 29, 2015 Maeve rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
I really enjoyed learning about the first female police detective on the NYC police force, though the book is a 'kindle single' so it was short and left me wanting more.
Jan C
Jul 19, 2012 Jan C rated it liked it
Interesting story about the first woman detective on the New York Police Department and how difficult it was to become that. It was a time of corruption on the force. Her husband had been a "roundsman" - I never was sure what that was. After he died, she got hired as a matron - escorting female prisoners, etc. Until the day came when they needed a woman to go undercover. And she knew how to blend.

It is pretty short and apparently some reviewers took exception to the shortness of it.
Jesse Post
Oct 15, 2015 Jesse Post rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
This was a little light on research but still a thrilling read about a not-very-well-known part of NYC history. Really well-written and it has all the makings of a modern police procedural. Goodwin was a hero.

Isabella Goodwin was a thirty-nine year old widowed mother of four and a police matron in 1912 when she was sent undercover as a maid at a boardinghouse in the tenderloin district to root out the whereabouts of Eddie 'the Boob' - a professional boxer and their - from his 'tea dancer' girlfriend Swede Annie, and bring him in, if she could, for the worst bank heist in New York's history. The Fearless Mrs. Goodwin relates how she succeeded in doing just that. This was my first kindle single experi
Feb 17, 2013 Shelly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Vicky, Becca
Very interesting. A little choppy but worth the read. I happened to read this about the time of the Connecticut school shooting and I thought this was interesting:
"The newspapers complained that the Sullivan Law, which made it illegal for a civilian to carry a firearm without a license, had merely made robbers more bold."

Kind of interesting considering this was 1912! All this time and we still aren't getting it right.

Nathalie Belkin
Jan 06, 2014 Nathalie Belkin rated it liked it
Shelves: history
This book had so much potential but i found it fell short on both the story of Mrs.Goodwin herself and the writing - which i hate to say since i know how much heart and soul writers pour into their work -- it just fell flat a little for me.

Mrs. Goodwin, buried in Green-Wood Cemetery was a fascinating woman that Ms. Mitchell barely focused on. The crime that got her involved was the main focus of the book (also very interesting, but not what i wanted to know about solely).
Nov 04, 2011 Mary rated it it was ok
Mrs. Goodwin was indeed fearless. This could have been a very interesting book but it was more like a high-school theme paper. Mrs. G was a remarkable, tough, woman who did an almost impossible job. Perhaps someone will take this information and turn it into a good novel.
Aug 19, 2011 Byliner rated it it was amazing
Amazing true story of New York City’s first female police detective, and a the brutal bank heist that only she could solve. Imagine Erik Larson's "Devil in the White City" crossed with Caleb Carr's "The Alienist," and you've got the Fearless Mrs. Goodwin!
Petra Willemse
Dec 30, 2011 Petra Willemse rated it it was ok
This story goes bizarrely back and forth between a variety of glimpses into early New York policing. The lack of focus on the title character and the jumping of time periods makes it hard to get a sense for what the author was attempting to elucidate here.
Jamie Bradway
Sep 04, 2011 Jamie Bradway rated it it was ok
Rather short on story, even for a short story. There's very little real mystery to recount, nor episodes that reveal Mrs. Goodwin to be fearless.

There is a little bit of interesting history surrounding the making of the first female detective in New York, but not enough to make this compelling.
Nov 12, 2011 Barbara rated it it was amazing
I guess if I was a teacher, I would be an Easy Marker, but this story deserves 5 stars, or perhaps I just like short stories? Anyway, in my opinion, this was a real gem of Woman's History. Should be on HS recommended-reading list.
Jan 14, 2012 Felicity rated it did not like it
Mrs. Goodwin is a really intriguing character. This short piece doesn't do her justice -- and not because it's short. When historians try and create atmosphere, they had better be damn good at it, otherwise it's cheesy. This, sadly, is melodramatic and boring.
Oct 05, 2013 Marilyn rated it liked it
Short story, but excellent information; who knew? A female police person in NYC way back when?
Would be good choice for high school lit class or even an outside reading for social studies class in first yr. high school or perhaps grade 8.
Sep 05, 2011 Atlantis rated it liked it
This fact-based book read almost like a long newspaper article. Mrs. Goodwin was a hard worker who deserves commendation for her efforts in helping to solve a famous bank robbery in New York City.
Jan 14, 2012 Paulette rated it it was ok
It was okay. Some interesting information about what NYC was like in the early 1900s. Got it for .99 on ebooks so that was good.
Sep 02, 2011 Chris rated it it was amazing
This short Kindle essay tells the story of Isabella Goodwin, New York's first female detective.

She was awesome, a single working mother who believed women could do anything.
Val Wilkerson
Jan 04, 2012 Val Wilkerson rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011-books-read
About the first woman to wear a police uniform in New York,
1930's I believe. The book was short and just didn't grab my
interest, I think the author did not paint a very deep picture
of Mrs Goodwin.
Mar 08, 2014 Pat rated it really liked it
A short story about the first female detective in New York City. Late 1800's. Interesting side note , she married at 55, a 23 year old singer. Way to go Mrs. Godwin.
Aug 31, 2016 Sarah rated it it was ok
Great topic for a story, but it was so poorly written that, in addition to a lack of character development and narrative, was almost impossible to follow.
Jul 13, 2014 Eileen rated it it was ok
Interesting historical about NY's first woman detective. Details about the crime and the process for solving it are hazy, however.
Dec 17, 2012 Nicole rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-on-kindle
I am really empressed with Mrs. Goodwin. I hope to grow up to be just like her. She was a very strong woman.
Aug 28, 2011 Gayle rated it it was ok
Some interesting info from the early 1900's and what is was like to live in New York as well as what the police force was like. However, I found neither the writing nor the characters engaging.
Ceceilia Williams
Jan 07, 2014 Ceceilia Williams rated it did not like it
Interesting story about a woman undercover official but it didn't flow well. It was difficult for me to actually get into it.
Annie rated it it was amazing
Jul 02, 2014
Fquerido rated it it was amazing
Aug 14, 2014
Joanne rated it it was amazing
Jun 09, 2014
Ellen rated it really liked it
Dec 02, 2015
Lorraine rated it liked it
Jan 11, 2012
Deanne Brown
Deanne Brown rated it really liked it
Jan 19, 2015
Jon Hepner
Jon Hepner rated it did not like it
Aug 30, 2011
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Elizabeth Mitchell is the author of two nonfiction books: Three Strides Before the Wire: The Dark and Beautiful World of Horse Racing (Hyperion, 2002) and W.: Revenge of the Bush Dynasty (Hyperion, 2000). Her third book, Liberty’s Torch: The Great Adventure to Build the Statue of Liberty, will be published by Grove/Atlantic Monthly Press in July 2014. The Washington Post selected Three Strides as ...more
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