Catherine Louisa Pirkis was the first British woman to publish stories about a female detective. She produced numerous short stories and 14 romantic novels between 1877 and 1894. She seems to have turned to detective fiction because that was what was selling in the 1890s, after the success of the Sherlock Holmes stories. Her detective, Loveday Brooke, first appeared in a story in the Ludgate Magazine in February, 1893. The Loveday Brooke stories continued for about six months and were then compiled into a book, The Experiences of Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective, in 1894. This was Pirkis's last book, and she retired from writing that year, moving to doing charity work. Together with her husband, a naval officer, she was one of the co-founders of the National Canine Defence League.