Monday, April 20, 2015

Kate Warne: First Female Private Eye

Kate Warne disguised as a man during
the Civil War to blend in during counter
spy investigations.
As a kid some of my favorite shows were about cops, private eyes and  spies, like Mission Impossible, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Hawaii Five-O, and Mannix. And once, because of a job related incident while a librarian, I was questioned by the FBI and then subpoenaed to be a federal witness, which was a fascinating experience. 

Although I'm too wimpy to fire a gun or chase bad guys, I have a fascination with people who do!    

I'm taking a small departure from historical fiction as I work on my next book, which is a contemporary comedic mystery that involves a female private investigator.

However, since I am a history lover, I wanted to learn about the very first female private eye. Her name was Kate Warne (1833-1868), and here's part of her story from Wikipedia:
Described by Allan Pinkerton as a slender, brown haired woman, there is not much else known about Warne prior to when she walked into the Pinkerton Detective Agency in 1856. Born in New York, Warne became a widow shortly after she married. Warne was left as a young childless widow in search of work. In answer to an ad in a local newspaper, Warne walked into Pinkerton's Chicago office in search of a job. There is still debate whether or not she walked in with intentions to become a detective or just a secretary. Women were not detectives until well after the Civil War. Pinkerton himself claimed that Warne came into his agency and demanded to become a detective. According to Pinkerton's records, he
"was surprised to learn Kate was not looking for clerical work, but was actually answering an advertisement for detectives he had placed in a Chicago newspaper. At the time, such a concept was almost unheard of. Pinkerton said " It is not the custom to employ women detectives!" Kate argued her point of view eloquently - pointing out that women could be "most useful in worming out secrets in many places which would be impossible for a male detective." A Woman would be able to befriend the wives and girlfriends of suspected criminals and gain their confidence. Men become braggarts when they are around women who encourage them to boast. Kate also noted, Women have an eye for detail and are excellent observers."[2]
Warne's arguments swayed Pinkerton, who at 10 o'clock on the morning of August 23, 1856, employed Warne as the first female detective.[3] Pinkerton soon had a chance to put Warne to the test. In 1858, Warne was involved in the case of Adams Express Company embezzlements where she was successfully able to bring herself into the confidence of the wife of the prime suspect, Mr. Maroney. She thereby acquired the valuable evidence leading to the husband's conviction.[4] Mr. Maroney was an expressman living in Montgomery, Alabama. The Maroneys stole $50,000 from the Adams Express Company. With Warne’s help, $39,515 was returned. Mr. Maroney was convicted and sentenced to ten years in Montgomery, Alabama.
For the rest of her story click here.
Had you ever heard of Kate Warne?
Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Pork Chops for the Slow Cooker

I love pork chops and that's one food that my whole family likes. I haven't tried this recipe yet, but I'm planning to this week. Thought I'd share it today; it's from and looks pretty easy and sounds really good. I especially love the 5 minute prep time! It also a hint of Asian influence--that's always a winner with my family. Enjoy!

Pork Chops for the Slow Cooker

6 boneless pork chops
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 t ground ginger
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 cloves garlic, crushed
salt and pepper to taste

Place pork chops in slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over pork chops.Cook on low 6 hours, or until internal temperature of pork has reached 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).

Do you have a favorite pork chop recipe?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Taking a Spring Break

Enjoy the spring and the beautiful weather it brings along! Will be back April 13th.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Good Character, Good Cop

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing."  Edmund Burke

Once you get law enforcement officials talking about their work, it's hard to shut them up!  They love what they do and they're glad to share their adventures.

I attended a writers meeting not long ago and enjoyed a program presented by four members of law enforcement.  Represented were an Undercover Narcotics Agent, an Arson Investigator, a Private Investigator and a Police Officer.

This was a wonderful program with lots of great information provided to help us shape up those romantic suspense novels more accurately.  For two hours, these gracious gentleman answered question after question asked by a curious audience of romance writers.  One of my favorites was, "What is the most important character trait in your line of work?"

We were given a variety of answers.  If you're writing a romantic suspense novel, I hope you'll find this useful in developing your characters.

Private Investigator:  "Compassion toward my clients is the most important thing.  We console them, and it's important that we empathize with them."

Police Officer:  "Good personal character is the most important thing on the job.  It's my job to make someone happy.  There are a lot of bad character cops (the ones who hate what they do and only want a paycheck) that give all cops a bad name.  The police officers of good character truly want to serve."

Arson Investigator:  "Extroverted, aggressive, never bashful.  And divorce yourself from family problems on the job.  What's going on at home can't  interfere with the task at hand."

Undercover Narc:  "A thick skin."  This officer, with long hair and faded jeans, said he's much grungier looking on the job to fit in with the bad guys he's trying to catch.  Because of his appearance, he's not taken seriously by law abiding citizens when he has to inform them he's a cop.  "Yeah, right," is the usual response.  Although he's often followed by security after walking into a store, he has to let it all roll off his back.

All in all, a great presentation, and this is just a tidbit!  Hope it helped you!

What are your thoughts?  Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Reprinted from 9/13/10

Monday, March 23, 2015

Warrior Writing: Strategic Change

"Act like a man of thought. Think like a man of action." Thomas Mann

Recently I had the awesome experience of attending New York Times bestselling author Bob Mayer's "Warrior Writing" workshop.

I learned several valuable lessons, but the most important one for me focused on change.

What holds you back? YOU! And you can change you. According to Bob, if you aren't where you want to be, you must change. We've all come to a crossroads when we realize that in order to make something happen in our careers, some type of change must occur.

We may not like the change. We'll struggle with it, and perhaps deny that we have to change at all. Then we'll experience anger as we realize that the change is for the best. We'll bargain with ourselves about the best way to change, hoping there will be an easy way, then become depressed when reality says easy isn't best. If we're wise, we'll accept the change and work hard for it.

Change isn't just thinking differently, although this is the first step. And think about this: To make is externally motivated. To become is internally motivated. The successful become.

All of us can change. But we need to show change, not just talk about it. And change requires three things to happen:

  • A Moment of Enlightenment
  • Making a Decision
  • Implementing a Sustained Action
The five stages of change include:
  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance
Moment of Enlightenment (MOE): This happens when you experience something never experienced before. Or, when you experience something you have experienced, but it affects you differently than ever before. Think light bulb going on above head.
By itself, the MOE is not change, just a mementary awareness. Denial often blocks MOEs. Anger stops MOEs when it is actually an indicator of an MOE. And bargaining dilutes MOEs.
Decision: Because of the Moment of Enlightenment, a decision is made. But it may not be a good decision. So you're either stuck with the decision (externally imposed change) or you stick with the decision (internally motivated change). By itself, a decision isn't change, but just a fleeting commitment. Bargaining can dilute a decision, and depression can cause you to give up a decision all together.
Sustained Action: Because of the decision, behavior is changed. The changed behavior is sustained long enough to become a habit. In the military, this is called training. Sustained action leads to change. Sliding back on the five stages of change stops this. Acceptance isn't easy because your reality has changed!
Time to expand your comfort zone, by going into your courage zone. Courage is needed on the path to changing you and developing your self confidence!
As mentioned earlier, Bob's workshop was awesome! It was also inspiring and encouraging! Be sure to check out Bob's "Who Dares Wins" homepage at so you can become a warrior writer!

Are you ready for change?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Reprinted from 6-15-10.