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The Pinkerton Casebook
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True Crime
Publication Date
06 September 2007
Available for Sale
Birlinn Limited

The Pinkerton Casebook

by Allan Pinkerton and Bruce Durie - Find out more about the author

Allan Pinkerton is famous as the founder of the detective agency that still bears his name. What is less well known is that he was a prolific author who can lay claim to being one of the originators of the 'private eye' genre. Even the phrase 'private eye' can find its roots in the agency's trademark: a large, all-seeing eye with the slogan 'We Never Sleep.'In "The Pinkerton Casebook", Victorian crime expert Bruce Durie has gathered together the best of Pinkerton's writings, including accounts of how he foiled an attempt on the life of President Abraham Lincoln, his infiltration of the notorious Molly Maguires gang, and his dogged pursuit of Frank and Jesse James.Pinkerton was born in Glasgow in 1819. Involved as a young man in radical politics, he was forced to emigrate to America in 1842. "The Pinkerton Casebook" contains his account of his very first case, which came about when he stumbled upon a gang of counterfeiters in a small, rural settlement of Scottish immigrants in Dundee, Illinois.The books Pinkerton published in his lifetime were hugely popular, influencing and inspiring authors such as Arthur Conan Doyle and Mark Twain. Dashiell Hammett worked as a Pinkerton agent before he became a writer in the detective genre himself.

Bruce Durie has had a long career as a medical and science writer, with many articles in publications as diverse as the New Scientist and the Guardian. He is also a playwright and novelist. His previous books include Medicine, which was short-listed for the first COPUS Prize, and Dick Donovan: The Glasgow Detective (also published by Mercat Press).