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Girl in Disguise

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  767 Ratings  ·  239 Reviews
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 in
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published March 21st 2017 by Sourcebooks Landmark
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I received a copy of Girl in Disguise through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Sourcebooks and to Greer Macallister for the opportunity.

"Do your business, but don't make no trouble."

Well, "trouble" is Kate Warne's middle name. A recent widow of a man never loved and a wandering soul herself, Kate Warne approaches Allan Pinkerton of Pinkerton National Detective Agency. It's 1856 in ol' Chicago and our girl has a lot of convincing to do. Pinkerton has never hired a female operative and
Apr 08, 2017 Phrynne rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4000-books
I was intrigued to discover that this excellent piece of historical fiction is based firmly in historical fact. The main character, Kate Warne was really the first ever female operative employed by Pinkerton's Agency in Chicago in the mid 1850s. She must have been a truly remarkable woman and this book goes a long way towards demonstrating that.
I love reading about historical detective work. It always seems charmingly naïve compared with the gritty stuff we read about in today's world. Kate spen
Apr 06, 2017 *Avonna rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
Check out all of my reviews at:

GIRL IN DISGUISE by Greer Macallister is a historical fiction book based on the life of Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton agent. I always love to read about the “first” females in any role and this being the first detective agency in the U.S. made it sound even more interesting. Kate’s story is perfectly suited to be told in as a historical fiction due to the fact that a lot of the actual paperwork from her time in the Pinkerton ag
♥ Sandi ❣
Jan 19, 2017 ♥ Sandi ❣ rated it really liked it
This novel was inspired by the real life of Kate Warne.
In the style of Amy Stewart's Girl Waits with Gun series or Emily McCabe's I Shall Be Near to You, Greer Macallister does a fine job of making you visualize the first female Pinkerton agent in 1856. Not only Allan Pinkerton, but Chicago has their hands full when it comes to Agent Kate Warne's detective sleuth. Unaccepted initially by her co-workers - all male - Warne is a force to be reckoned with. Through thick and thin she remains stoic,
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Girl in Disguise, a book about the first the first female Pinkerton detective did sound like a fantastic book idea and I was thrilled to read it. I especially liked that the book is inspired by the real life on Kate Warne, a female Pinkerton detective who sadly we don't know much about.

I think the book started off good, with Kate Warne getting a chance at Pinkerton to prove that she has what it takes to be a Pinkerton detective. Her trials and tribulations you could say to prove that, despite
Laura Rash
Mar 19, 2017 Laura Rash rated it it was amazing
I'm not usually a huge fan of historical fiction but this was written in such an entertaining, quick witted fashion that it was hard to not become absorbed immediately. Kate Warne is a unique woman & truly brought to life on these pages. Excellent read!
Apr 08, 2017 Karen rated it it was amazing
“I’d already applied to every possible position appropriate for a lady. Only the inappropriate ones remained.” Kate Warne

Thank you, Greer McAllister! Because of you, I discovered the inspiring and trailblazing Kate Warne - the first female operative of the Pinkerton Detective Agency. I loved everything about scrappy and smart Kate and her determination to become a successful detective.

Thank goodness Mr. Pinkerton saw something special in Kate after she walks into his office looking for a job. K
The Shayne-Train
Jan 24, 2017 The Shayne-Train rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This was an extremely interesting look into the life of the first female Pinkerton agent, Mrs. Kate Warne. Well-written with truly fleshed-out characters, you follow Kate through her decision to become the first female operative ("Someone HAS to be the first"), through her training, and into her professional life. Regular investigative case-work turns to war-time intelligence gathering, and there are both triumphs and tragedies aplenty.

I really enjoyed this book. Both the time-period (just pre-C
Karen Whittard
Dec 30, 2016 Karen Whittard rated it liked it
Thank you to NetGalley, sourcebooks landmark, and Greet Macallister.

You will find my review on both Goodreads and Amazon. On Goodreads from today under my name of Karen Whittard and on publication date on Amazon under my name K.e.whittard.

I want to start this review by saying I simply love the way this book is written. It reads like a noir film narrative. If you can imagine a dark detective noir style film like the American Horror series Hotel and the way it is narrated and filmed you will hav
Mar 29, 2017 Snooty1 rated it really liked it
It's important to note that Kate Warne is a real person, and though the story is fictitious, she truly was an amazing woman.
She was the first female Pinkerton agent, and held her own in a male dominated world. "Someone has to be the first". Many of the events in the story are historically accurate and I am amazed by the harrowing situations she reveled in. The setting is in the 1850s, prior and throughout the civil war and I was captivated by a time, and situation that I knew nearly nothing abo
Cindy Burnett
Mar 11, 2017 Cindy Burnett rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
Girl in Disguise is the story of Kate Warne, the first female detective hired by the Pinkerton Agency. Her story is fascinating and inspiring. I thoroughly enjoyed the history of the Pinkerton Agency, and its involvement in various historical figures and incidents including Abraham Lincoln. Greer Macallister makes the characters come alive while teaching the reader a lot about the Civil War era. My only quibble is that I would have preferred a slightly different ending. I cannot say more without ...more
Aug 20, 2016 Kathryn rated it it was ok
Girl in Disguise is a fictional account of the career of Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective. This first person narrative reads like a casebook of Mrs. Warne, and although the narrator tells us a lot, it is difficult to feel connected to her through this novel. In real life, there is very little known about Warne's personal life and many of the Pinkerton records were lost in the Chicago fire in 1871. She was close enough to Allen Pinkerton to be buried in his family's cemetery, but ...more
Rhiannon Johnson
Mar 15, 2017 Rhiannon Johnson rated it it was amazing
Read my full review here:

When I read the second book by an author I love, I always hold my breath, but I wasn't let down with Girl in Disguise! I am a person who writes in my books (among us book lovers I know that people are very divided on that!) and I underlined so many witty quips and comebacks by the main character. Just like with The Magician's Lie, Macallister hooks the end of every chapter to keep you reading well after when you thought you'd stop
Oct 26, 2016 Vicki rated it it was amazing
Who would have thought that the Pinkerton Detective Agency actually hired a female detective back in the 1850s? I certainly never did! This fast-paced and suspenseful historical novel is based on the life of that first female Pinkerton, Kate Warne, and she is a fascinating and vividly-drawn character. With a keen mind and a knack for disguises, she quickly becomes an integral part of the Pinkerton team, although it takes a while for her fellow detectives to accept her. This book will be perfect ...more
This book caught my attention because I loved the idea of a novel about Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton agent, and I just hoped the writing, plot, and characters would be as good as the premise. I knew from the first few pages they would be.

Excellently written with great characters, fictional and historic alike, the plot takes the reader into the spy world of the Civil War. I did feel as though the romance was a little superficial, but otherwise, I felt the character development was very
Lynda Loigman
Mar 29, 2017 Lynda Loigman rated it it was amazing
In her second novel, Greer Macallister gives us a glimpse into the dangerous and fascinating life of Kate Warne, the very first female Pinkerton detective. Because I had no prior knowledge of Kate to draw upon, I held my breath throughout the descriptions of her adventures, many of which were based on actual cases.

Macallister’s novel is so well-researched that we feel as if we are there alongside Kate, from the streets of Chicago to an evening in Baltimore helping to thwart an assassination att
May 09, 2016 Ashley rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, bea16
It was a good book, but it didn't quite end up being what I was hoping.

The story read more like a biography in the sense that it covered Kate's entire career (or at least a big portion of it). We're talking like 10+ years. This made me feel a little distanced from the book and the characters. (view spoiler)
Erika Robuck
Dec 22, 2016 Erika Robuck rated it it was amazing
Review to come on publication.
Minx -The Genre Minx Book Reviews
A history buff I am not, therefore I had no idea about Kate Warne who was the first female Pinkerton detective. When I saw the synopsis for this book I knew I had to read it. This is a fictional account of what her life could have been like. There is little known about Kate Warne as most of the Pinkerton files were destroyed in the Chicago fire of 1871. What is known about her is the bones of this story. The rest is a fictional re-telling but I found the story to be realistic and a rattling good ...more
Tara Chevrestt
Mar 13, 2017 Tara Chevrestt rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel but throughout the reading of it felt something I wanted to be there wasn't. Perhaps it's a case of not as much mystery as I'd hoped for, no "whodunit-ness". I wish there had been more cases honestly, but after reading the author's note and discovering how very little data there is to find about this remarkable woman, I say she did a great job with what she had.

The novel recreates Kate Warne's life from the moment she became a Pinkerton agent. She convinces Pinkerton
Sharon Anne Beers
This is historical fiction about Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective.
Plenty of adventures and misadventures to keep this fictionalized account of the first lady Pinkerton detective interesting with reflections of Old Chicago, President Lincoln, a country at war, and more.
Clare O'Beara
Mar 10, 2017 Clare O'Beara rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this lengthy look at the life of the first Pinkerton lady detective/ agent. Not much is genuinely known about Kate Warne so the author has put her portrait together from the general times and the fellow agents, the kind of cases Pinkerton undertook and the major personalities of the day, as well as the known facts.

As Kate was widowed and had no dependents she put herself forward for a job as agent, opening up a new avenue of work for women. As she had a theatre background she played p
Dec 11, 2016 Stephanie rated it really liked it
The Pinkerton Agency is widely known for their pursuit of Jesse James, the Dalton Brothers and Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch. What is not commonly known is the agency hired the first female Detective-Kate Warne- in the U.S. during the mid-1850’s. The founder Allan Pinkerton immigrated to Chicago from Scotland in the early 1840’s and joined the Chicago police department and soon after opened the first Pinkerton Agency. Before reading, Girl in Disguise, I had not known about Kate, so I was delighted ...more
Terri M.
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 connect
Mar 24, 2017 Marlene rated it really liked it
Originally published at Reading Reality

The subject of this fictionalized biography would be downright offended at its title. By the time this book begins in the mid-1850s, Kate is a woman whose illusions seem to have been stripped away long ago. She’s also a widow.

“Girl” doesn’t fit her at all, and she wouldn’t want it to. What she wants, at least as she is portrayed in this book, is to be treated as an equal. The equal of any man in the Pinkerton Agency. And it’s a hard-knock fight every single
I received a free ebook copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Girl in Disguise was a positive surprise for me. It exceeded my expectations, because I confess I thought it would be no more than a well-written, enjoyable but all-in-all average detective novel. That’s what I believed I’d get after having read Greer Macallister’s previous novel, The Magician’s Lie. I was mistaken. Greer Macallister did a very good job with her second novel.

There isn’t m
When one thinks of the famous Pinkerton detectives, one imagines nondescript but serious men, intent upon their mission, able to blend into any background, and devoted to justice. I always imagine them as the human equivalent of bloodhounds. In Girl in Disguise, Greer Macallister puts faces to the nameless detectives but also introduces someone much more interesting, the first female Pinkerton detective.

Joining the agency during a time when women, especially gentile women, did not work, Kate War
Mar 20, 2017 Kristina rated it really liked it
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 inve ...more
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52 weeks, 52 books: Week 2017.12: Girl in Disguise 2 36 Apr 10, 2017 12:40PM  
Raised in the Midwest, Greer Macallister is a poet, short story writer, playwright and novelist who earned her MFA in Creative Writing from American University. Her debut novel THE MAGICIAN'S LIE was a USA Today bestseller, an Indie Next pick, and a Target Book Club selection. It has been optioned for film by Jessica Chastain's Freckle Films. Her new novel GIRL IN DISGUISE, about America's first f ...more
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