Call in Pinkerton's

American Detectives at Work for Canada

by David Ricardo Williams


Soon after Allan Pinkerton established his legendary detective agency in the United States, Canadians began seeking their services. Call in Pinkerton’s is the history of the agency’s work on behalf of Canadian governments and police forces.

During the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, Pinkerton’s operatives hunted legendary train robber Bill Miner in the woods of British Columbia, infiltrated German spy rings during World War I, and helped future prime minister John A. Macdonald to fend off the Fenian raids. They tracked down the Reno Brothers in Windsor, Ontario, and investigated labour unrest in Hamilton. The agency’s detectives countered crimes all over Canada, particularly in the West and British Columbia. Pinkerton’s activities went as far north as the Yukon, where fears were growing of an imminent invasion by a force of Americans from Alaska.

Call in Pinkerton’s is the first book to chronicle the agency’s work on behalf of Canadian governments and police forces. This entertaining book provides accounts of actual Pinkerton’s investigations while detailing the day-to-day activities of a private detective at work. Call in Pinkerton’s is a fascinating read for anyone with an interest in crime and espionage.

  • Dundurn; September 1998
  • ISBN: 9781554881147
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: Call in Pinkerton's
  • Author: David Ricardo Williams
  • Imprint: Dundurn

In The Press

In light of current security measures being taken by Canada and the U.S., this is a fascinating account of undercover operations here 100 years ago.

About The Author

Since 1949, David Ricardo Williams has lived in Duncan, B.C. where he practiced law for over thirty-five years. He has written extensively about lawyers, judges, and the courts. Among his literary awards are the University of British Columbia Medal for Canadian Biography, awarded for his book Sir Mathew Baillie Begbie: The Man for a New Country; the British Columbia Book Prize for non-fiction for his biography of Sir Lyman Duff; and the award of the Crime Writers of Canada for the best book of true crime published in 1993 for With Malice Aforethought. This book is Williams' thirteenth published work.