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Birch, Minnie. Minnie Birch was created by Green Howard and appeared in fourteen stories in The 20 Story Magazine from 1935 to 1939, beginning with “Miss Birch Investigates” (The 20 Story Magazine, Jun. 1935).
Minnie Birch is a Spinster Detective. She is the schoolmistress in a small English village, “fifty one years of age, a spinster, and country born and bred.” She has little use for men, policemen, and many of the standards of detective fiction:
It’s no use trying to tell me that policemen are clever. Detectives and such, being men, are too chock-a-block full of rules and theories and their own importance to see the wood for the trees, as the saying goes. They go goggle-eyed looking for fingerprints and clues and motives and such smart-sounding things, and finish by getting all tangled up in their own cleverness. Whereas, if the stupids used even the few brains the Almighty gave them and tried to follow human nature instead of red herrings, there’d be less talk of “Perfect Crimes” and “Master Criminals.”
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