Tag Archives | The Fearless Mrs. Goodwin

Isabella Goodwin, a corrupt police department, and a bank heist.

Winner of the Amazon gift card is Ginny! Congrats! And thanks everyone.

Summer is busy. I scrounge up breakfast, dash off to the lake to swim, slather some sun block on my kids, read for a bit, dash home for lunch, then back out to visit friends. Reading short stories are perfect. (Okay, I’ve read at least 6 novels so far this summer too.) (Somewhere in there I remember to do laundry.)

I purchased my second Kindle Single a couple weeks ago. I really enjoyed them.

The first one I purchased was a short story: Midnight’s Tale by George Berger. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? The author, ready to quit writing, submitted this short story and then Amazon contacted him. Since then, the story has taken off. I purchased it because I was so darn curious. I mean, seriously. A goat? I had to find out what the fuss was about.

Purchase from Amazon

I read the sample and enjoyed the irony, humor, and the writing, so I purchased it. But it wasn’t really about a goat. The goat struggled with aspects of life that many people could relate to: the desire to be loved, fear of the future. I highly recommend it. Oh and he faced a blood sacrifice too.

The second Kindle Single I bought was The Fearless Mrs. Goodwin. This short piece was narrative nonfiction. I only had to read the description of a bank heist in 1912 and the woman who cracked the case and I was all over it.

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Here’s the description from Amazon:

Manhattan, 1912. A time of greed, corruption, scandal and distrust, when the police commissioner had this advice for the citizenry: “Don’t take a criminal investigation into your own hands. Don’t poke about a dead body. Don’t investigate a robbery all on your own.”

Then the most outrageous and brutal bank heist of the young century occurred, and the city combusted in fear and anger. Wall Street brokers were carrying guns. The police looked more ineffectual by the day. Not a single man could break the case.

But perhaps a woman could. Mrs. Isabella Goodwin was a smart and resourceful police matron who had gone about as far as a woman in police work could go. The bank robbery presented a unique career opportunity.

As Elizabeth Mitchell writes in “The Fearless Mrs. Goodwin”, a true story so astounding it reads like fiction, only a woman could penetrate New York’s underworld without attracting suspicion. When Goodwin got the call from headquarters, she was ready. With glimmering eyes, the widow with four children to support disappeared into Manhattan’s underbelly. Would she return with her man? Would she make it back at all?

I loved it. Isabella Goodwin spent 7 years as a “glorified housekeeper” for the corrupt NY City police department. She worked 7 days a week in twelve hour shifts for minimal pay and horrendous conditions. Then she got called in for some undercover work. Her first big break. This could change her life.

This short piece was more than the how or the why of a bank heist. It was the story of a courageous woman who fought against the tide of her times to forge her way in life. She put herself in life threatening positions dealing with crime rings and thugs. If her cover had been blown it would’ve meant her life.

This piece also gave me a glimpse into an earlier time, a snapshot of the late 1800s and the early 1900s, which was really cool. Did this real life story spark story ideas for me? You bet your bottom dollar. (Sorry my daughter is involved in musical theater this summer. My family basically now sings to each other at the dinner table.)

What about you? Read any good short stories? Checked out the Kindle Singles? Many of them are extremely appealing. I’m pretty sure I’ll be reading more in the future. 

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