Anne Blankman's Famous Historical Detectives + Giveaway

Today I'm thrilled to welcome Anne Blankman back to the blog. She's here in honour of her upcoming sequel to the fabulous PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG and she's going to share some of her favourite detectives through history.

First, here's a bit about the much-anticipated sequel:

Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman.

Published: April 21, 2015.
Published by: Balzer + Bray.

Goodreads Synopsis:
The girl known as Gretchen Whitestone has a secret: She used to be part of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle. More than a year after she made an enemy of her old family friend and fled Munich, she lives with a kindly English family, posing as an ordinary German immigrant, and is preparing to graduate from high school. Her love, Daniel Cohen, is a reporter in town. For the first time in her life, Gretchen is content.

But then, Daniel gets a telegram that sends him back to Germany, and Gretchen’s world turns upside-down. And when she receives word that Daniel is wanted for murder, she has to face the danger she thought she’d escaped-and return to her homeland.

Gretchen must do everything she can to avoid capture and recognition, even though saving Daniel will mean consorting with her former friends, the Nazi elite. And as they work to clear Daniel’s name, Gretchen and Daniel discover a deadly conspiracy stretching from the slums of Berlin to the Reichstag itself. Can they dig up the explosive truth and get out in time-or will Hitler discover them first?

And now, welcome, Anne!

Anne’s Top 5 Detectives throughout History

I couldn’t dig too far back in time to find my choices—detectives are a fairly modern concept. As recently as the 1700s, London was policed by night watchmen, and the idea of a large, controlled police force was still in the future. Even today, thanks to new forensic discoveries and breakthroughs in the field of psychology, police work continues to evolve, and today I’m excited to present my top five favorites for real-life visionary detectives—people who strove to find the most advanced techniques for putting criminals away. One of them even shows up in my forthcoming book, Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke, the sequel to last year’s Prisoner of Night and Fog!

Without further ado, here they are, in reverse order:

5. Robert Peel. Okay, technically Sir Peel wasn’t a detective, but as Britain’s Home Secretary he began organizing the London police force in 1829 and worked on establishing a penal system that rehabilitated criminals, rather than simply punishing them. Under his watch, prisons were reformed, and death penalties for minor offenses were abolished. This is definitely a lawman who was ahead of his time.

4. Kate Warne. The first female detective in U.S. history was born around
1830. After being widowed, she decided to go into police work to support herself, and joined the legendary Pinkerton private detective agency. She worked on a number of important cases, which included espionage and embezzlement, and managed the Pinkerton D.C. office during the Civil War. Now that was a trailblazer I wouldn’t mind following.

3. Alphonse Bertillon. The next time you hear about a case being
solved through fingerprint evidence, you can thank this Frenchman. The police officer discovered that if you took 14 measurements of any human body—including height, foot, hand, nose and ear size, and so forth—the odds were 286 million to one that any two people would share the same results. This identification system based on human measurements paved the way for fingerprinting. Bertillon also invented the mug shot, and no doubt earned the hatred of hundreds of criminals.

2. Theodore Roosevelt. Yup, you read that right. The 26th Americancouldn’t do?
President was also the New York City Police Commissioner in the 1890s. His sweeping reforms cleaned up what was then considered the most corrupt police force in the country. Roosevelt implemented regular inspections of firearms and appointed police recruits based solely on their physical and mental abilities, not their political affiliations. He also had telephones installed in police stations. Seriously, was there anything this rancher/Assistant Secretary of the Navy/New York Governor/U.S. Vice President/and U.S. President

1. Ernst Gennat. One of the most famous detectives in German history, Gennat served as the chief superintendent of the Berlin police force’s homicide division. This cool-headed man had a brilliant, nimble mind and investigated some of the most notorious crimes in 1920s Germany. He created the world’s first “crime car,” which was akin to a mobile crime lab and contained the tools he needed to inspect crime scenes on the spot. The next time you use the phrase “serial murderer,” you can thank Gennat—he originated the term in a 1931 paper he wrote on Peter Kürten, the so-called Vampire of Düsseldorf. In all, Gennat solved 298 murders. And in an era when your career often depended on your involvement with the Nazi Party, Gennat managed to advance through the ranks without ever joining the Nazis. Definitely a towering genius who has my respect and admiration.

Thanks so much for having me, Jess!

Thank you, Anne! I always love finding new historical fun facts and you had so many in here I don't even know what I want to read more about first! Needless to say, I am very excited to "meet" one of them (Gennat, I'm guessing) in Conspiracy

Preorder Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke:
Amazon US // Amazon Canada // Barnes & Noble // Chapters Indigo // Indiebound // The Book Depository

Anne has very kindly offered up an ARC of CONSPIRACY OF BLOOD AND SMOKE to one lucky US/Canada resident. Just enter via the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

Some Rules (aka the not so fun but important part):
~ This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada only (void where prohibited).
~ No P.O. boxes.
~ Must be 13 or older to enter.
~ Winner will be chosen randomly and contacted. The winner has 48 hours to respond, otherwise they forfeit their prize and I will choose another winner, who must abide by the same rules.
~ Anne will be shipping the prize, thus you must be comfortable with providing me your address to pass along to her.
~ Anne and I are not responsible for lost or damaged packages.
No cheating! In this case, I have the right to disqualify entries as I see fit.
~ By entering the giveaway, you are agreeing to these rules.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I have a copy of this that I still need to read, but I'm excited to! The list of detectives was actually really cool, I really liked that there was a woman in there and Ernst sounds awesome. Thanks for sharing this post Jess!

  2. I'm ready to start reading Prisoner for the third time so I am primed and ready for Conspiracy! Anne's historical accuracy and awesome details made Prisoner amazing. I am so proud of her.

  3. Oooh I looooooove PoNaF, and am so excited for CoBaS! And yes. I had to read the name "Theodore Roosevelt" several times. I think my favorite from all the detectives listed would have to be Kate Warne, because she did such dangerous work at a rime when women were confined to the home. Thank you :)

  4. Kate Warne definitely caught my eye!! The first female detective.....intriguing!! I absolutely loved Prisoner of Night and Fog and cannot wait to read this one!!!

  5. The cover is so amazing. Can't wait to read.

  6. This was so interesting. Thank you. I hadn't heard of some of these detectives before.

  7. I'm currently reading the first book and am enjoying it. I haven't gotten that far yet though. Gretchen just recently met Daniel. I certainly is an intriguing character. I wonder what revelation he will reveal to Gretchen about her dad.

  8. I love the first book so I'm totally read to read this.

  9. I LOVED Prisoner of Night and Fog and I can't wait for the next book. This guest post was fascinating. I'd never really thought of detectives through the ages (except for a certain fictional detective haha), but I loved learning about these five. I was pleased and surprised to see a woman on the list, too. Thanks for sharing, ladies, and thanks for the giveaway!


I'd love to hear what you think!