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Withers, Hildegarde. Hildegarde Withers was created by Stuart Palmer and appeared in thirty-six stories and fifteen novels and short story collections from 1931 to 1969, beginning with The Penguin Pool Murder.
Hildegarde Withers is a Spinster Detective. She is a "thin, angular, horse-faced" retired schoolteacher. She is snoopy, primly respectable, and extremely intelligent. She is the eternal annoyance of Inspector Oscar Piper of the N.Y.P.D., who can't seem to keep her away from his cases and can't seem to solve any of them without her help. Hildegarde is given to wearing absurd and even monstrous hats, listening to the police radio, thinking poorly of the police (who, in her defense, often act stupidly around her), and caring for her pet poodle. Later in her career she helps and is helped by John J. Malone.
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