Author of the Month Kate Hannigan

Meet the world's first female detective, Kate Warne, and her spunky niece, Nell, in Kate Hannigan's latest novel The Detective's Assistant.

On the eve of the Civil War, the Pinkerton Detective Agency hired the first female detective, Kate Warne. A master of disguise, Kate went on to solve several mysteries and thwart an assassination attempt on president-elect Abraham Lincoln.

Questions and Activities

  • Did you know that Kate Warne, Allan Pinkerton and Timothy Webster were real people and are buried in Graceland Cemetery here is Chicago?
  • What were some of the most famous cases handled by the Pinkerton National Detective Agency?
  • Try your own detective skills by acting out a play of The Baltimore Plot.
  • Nell and Jemma use codes and ciphers in their letters. Try your hand at creating a cipher and see if your friends can crack the code.
  • The Pinkerton National Detective Agency was the first Secret Service agency in the United States. What is the Secret Service?
  • Nell has to use a lot of disguises in her detective work. Can you create a disguise to fool your friends and family?
  • Explore more about what it takes to be a spy with the International Spy Museums' KidSpy Zone.
  • If you really enjoyed The Detective's Assistant, try Kate Hannigan's other novel, Cupcake Cousins.

Learn more about this month's Author of the Month in our Q&A with Hannigan about her writing process.

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