Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Please welcome our guest poster, Blaire Edens!

Just Like Kate Warne: Pinkerton’s Secret Weapon

When writing A GHOSTLY WAGER, I was interested in the stories of real women who became detectives in the years leading up to and following The Civil War. I stumbled upon Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton agent. Her story inspired my heroine, Annabelle Laurens.

At the age of twenty-three, Kate Warne was a childless widow who was looking for a job. She spotted an ad for Pinkerton agents in the newspaper and went to the Chicago office in 1856 determined to snag a job as a detective. Even though he was surprised at her request, Allan Pinkerton hired her and it turned out to be one of the best decisions he ever made.

Of medium height, Warne was slender and radiated strength and compassion. According to Pinkerton, her dark blue eyes were “filled with fire” and she was “graceful" and “perfectly self-possessed in her manner.”

Warne was, in many ways, Pinkerton’s secret weapon. She had the ability to gain the confidence of other women who offered valuable information especially related to criminal cases. In the Adams Express Case, the agency was investigating the theft of several thousand dollars from the railroad company. Operating on a hunch that a man named Nathan Maloney, the Adams Express office manager in Montgomery, Alabama, stole the cash. Warne was dispatched to cultivate a friendship with Maloney’s wife. The wife told Warne about her husband’s action and Warne was able to find the hidden money and close the case.

In 1861, she worked directly with Allan Pinkerton to foil an assassination attempt on President-Elect Lincoln. Pinkerton sent her to Baltimore. She posed as a Mrs. Barley, a visitor from Alabama, and infiltrated a group of southern sympathizers. She discovered that an attempt on Lincoln’s life would be made while he was passing through Baltimore.. Not only did she courier messages to Lincoln’s party, but she also helped smuggle the president himself onto a train that would ultimately pass through Baltimore with him undetected.

Kate Warne worked for Pinkerton until she became ill and died in 1868. She’s interred in the Pinkerton family plot in Graceland Cemetery in Chicago.

In my book, Annabelle Lauren comes to the Tremayne P.S.I. Agency looking for work as a detective and while she has to convince Agent Cole Swanson that she’s not only capable but 
an incredible asset to the Tremayne team, she gets the job done. Just like Kate Warne.

Thank you, Blaire! That was very interesting! Now let's find out more about the anthology...

Blurb ~

What do you get when you mix cowboys with ghosts? A collection of eight (stand-alone) amazing stories from the Old West with haunts of every variety. 

Get your love of alpha cowboys on and feed your addiction for the bizarre (and sometimes spooky) world when you download The Good, The Bad and The Ghostly

Bestselling and Award-winning authors are pleased to save you more than 75% on this fantastic boxed set! (Price if books sold separately)

* * * 

Wild, Wild Ghost by Margo Bond Collins

With everyone she loves in the grave, Ruby specializes in the dead.

Comes An Outlaw by Keta Diablo

An outlaw returns to his childhood home to find his parents and brother dead, and the lovely widow in grave danger.

Long A Ghost, and Far Away by Andrea Downing

Ghosts are restless souls, and Lizzie Adams is one of them. How many lives will she get to find the perfect love?

A Ghostly Wager by Blaire Edens

Even a skeptical detective needs a little otherworldly help.

How the Ghost Was Won by Erin Hayes

There are ghost stories. And there are ghost legends.

McKee's Ghost by Anita Philmar

The ghost living in his house might have saved him from an unhappy marriage and brought him the girl of his dreams but when his ex- fiancé returns, the same spirit turns his life upside down.

A Ride Through Time by Charlene Raddon

P.S.I. Agent Burke Jameson wants to find out if Eagle Gulch, Colorado has genuine ghosts. But he found far more than he expected, including a horse ride that could change his life forever. 

The Ghost and the Bridegroom by Patti Sherry-Crews

She's sent west to solve a case. What she finds will change her forever.



  1. Thanks for hosting us, M.J. Love the look of your blog. Blaire, it was fun working with and getting to know you. I loved your story and the branch office you set up. I too, read about Kate Warne, but not to the extent you did. A very interesting woman. I'm interested to see she's buried at Graceland near me in Chicago. I'll have to look her up. Thanks for the interesting post.

    1. I loved getting to know you, too, Patti. There's nothing like some late night emails between writers. Hugs!

  2. Mary, thanks so much for having us all. and Blaire, loved this post--how fascinating! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks for hosting us, MJ. I'll be checking in throughout the day.

  4. Great post, Blair and thanks for hosting us MJ.

  5. It's been a pleasure having you ladies! Blaire, your post was very interesting. I love little personal, historical pieces. They mean so much more to me than a list of dates!

    1. Thanks. I agree re: history. If I can find a more personal story, one that I can in some way relate to, it cements the period/event much more firmly in my mind than just a date or a list of kings.