Fortune, Mary (fl. 1866–1910)

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Fortune, Mary (fl. 1866–1910)

Australian mystery writer. Name variations: (pseudonyms) W.W., Waif Wander. Wrote between 1866 and 1910; m. Joseph Fortune; m. Percy Rollo Brett, 1858.

Arrived in Australia from Canada and moved to remote goldfield; the 1st woman in Australia to write detective fiction, began with stories in the Australian Journal, eventually publishing over 500; pioneered police procedural in fiction; wrote series The Detective's Album which was published for more than 40 years; other serialized works include The Secrets of Balbrooke (1866), The Detective's Album: Tales of the Australian Police (1871), Navvie's Tales: Retold by the Boss (1874–75), and Twenty Six Years Ago, or the Diggings from '55 (1882–83).

See also Lucy Sussex, ed., The Fortunes of Mary Fortune (Spinifex, 1989).