Dundee’s first policewoman inspired local award-winning author Chris Longmuir’s new crime novel.
Chris’s muse for the book, ‘The Death Game’, was Jean Forsyth Thomson, Dundee’s first policewoman who worked in the city from 1919 to 1921.
The novel follows protagonist Kirsty Campbell, former Suffragette and a policewoman in Britain’s newly formed women’s police service, who returns to her home town of Dundee to become the city’s first policewoman.
Chris said: “Kirsty Campbell is not modelled on Mrs Thomson and is a completely fictitious character.
“Her struggle for acceptance in the all male police force is not easy, and she fights for recognition.
“But Kirsty is not easily intimidated and, despite police attempts to curtail her activities, she defies her superior officer to pursue an investigation into a murder which is linked to missing orphan girls.
“Kirsty is an unusual character with a fascinating history and background. She has demons of her own to fight, as well as becoming involved in a deadly game of sacrifice and death.”
The author added: “I became fascinated by Mrs Thomson when I was researching for an article on the early women’s police services.
“Some of the material I uncovered was astonishing and I am sure is not generally known. For example, the first policewomen were recruited from the suffragette organisations when they gave up protesting at the start of the First World War, and many of these women had been in prison prior to their acceptance as policewomen.
“Scotland was slow to follow London’s lead and the first documented policewoman in Dundee was Mrs Thomson who served with the city police between 1919 and 1921.
“However, very little is known about Mrs Thompson, and despite extensive research she seems to vanish from the records after 1921.”
Chris Longmuir is an award winning writer. She won both the SAW (Scottish Association of Writers) Pitlochry Award and the Dundee International Book Prize for her first published book ‘Dead Wood’, which is book two in her Dundee Crime Series.
‘The Death Game’ is available at Henry Hogg Booksellers on Montrose High Street.