People are rarely all they seem. This rule certainly applies to Miss Maud West, London’s Lady Detective.
The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective: Secrets and Lies in the Golden Age of Crime by Susannah Stapleton is a biography about Maud West. You might not have heard of her, but after this book, you will never forget her.
Maud was a detective from 1905 to 1939. This was a very interesting time in British history. Maud herself is also an interesting person in her own right. I’m not just talking about her catching blackmailers, donning disguises and catching crooks in the London fog. Although that is pretty cool too.
Stapleton wrote this book from her research into the life of the woman who seems larger than life after stumbling on her by chance. Even after the book’s publication, I couldn’t find much information online her. Even her Wikipedia page is barren.
I think this is a crying shame, more people need to know about Maud if you ask me.
After all, this woman started in a rather unfortunate position right out of the gate. Only to build herself a career in a time when women working was seen as borderline scandalous, let alone women working in Maud’s line of work.
She worked in local politics for a bit and was even involved in the infamous divorce case of Lord Inverclyde.
Now, I know that sometimes biographies can sometimes be on the dull side, this isn’t the case here. Stapleton’s relaxed yet informative writing style make this a pleasant and at times humorous read.
Despite the name, the book isn’t all about Maud. Stapleton also talks about what it was like back then. About other interesting folks such as other female detectives and the cases that they took on. In part, it is also about the research she did bring Maud’s story to the light of day.
If you are looking for a book about one incredible woman, then might I humbly suggest The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective: Secrets and Lies in the Golden Age of Crime. Again, folk need to hear her story.
Frankly, it is the most inspirational tale I have read in a while. If you are a fellow lover of history, then you have to read it.