Forgotten Books Friday - In Reference to Murder

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August 14, 2009


Cullen Gallagher

I never realized Stout had written about a female detective (I'm not as well versed with his work as I should be). Thanks for pointing this out!

BV Lawson

It would have been fun to see how Stout developed Bonner in future novels, but at least he did use her again as a "guest star." I forgot to mention that this year's Bouchercon is a tribute to Rex Stout in honor of the 75th anniversary of the first Nero Wolfe book.

Bob Schneider

Dol Bonner was actually not among the very first fictional female PI's. Although her predecessors mostly appeared in short stories, by my count at least 23 female PI's preceeded Dol.
Here is a short list of some of these early PI's:

Denver Doll--1882
Loveday Brooke--1894
Dora Myrl--1900
Madelyn Mack--1914
Violet Strange--1915
Constance Dunlop--1916
Maude Silver--1928
Trixie Meehan--1933
Grace "Redsie" Culver--1934
Violet McDade--1935
Sarah Watson--1936
Carrie Cashin--1937

In addition to THE HAND IN THE GLOVE and some of the Nero Wolfe stories, Bonner also appeared in Stout's Tecumseh Fox novel BAD FOR BUSINESS in 1940.

BV Lawson

Thanks for the research and list, Bob! Many of these are out of print now, although some are available via e-books online.

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