Probably the first full-length novel with a woman detective as its heroine, The Law and the Lady (1875) is a fascinating example of Collins' later fiction. Valeria Valerie Woodville's first act as a married woman is to sign her name incorrectly in the marriage register; this slip is followed by a gradual disclosure of secrets about her husband's earlier life, each of which leads to another set of questions and enigmas. Developing many of the techniques at work in The Moonstone in bizarre and unexpected ways, and employing both Gothic and fantastic elements, The Law and the Lady adds a significant dimension to the history of the detective novel.
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