Grace Culver

Created by Roswell Brown
Pseudonym of Jean Francis Webb

 One of the first female private eyes from the pulps, young, attractive, red-haired GRACE “REDSIE” CULVER was a secretary for Big Tim, who ran the Noonan Detective Agency. But don’t let that fool you–Grace was a “fast action girl,” Big Tim’s “aider-and-abetter,” and she was usually involved in cases right up to her pretty neck.

Her stories, by Roswell Brown, appearred in the backpages of The Shadow Magazine. According to the grabline of her first adventure, “Gangster guns killed Grace Culver’s father, but they could not kill the detective spirit which was a part of the Culver blood.” She also seemed to have a weakness for double chocolate sodas

She wasn’t exactly hard-boiled, but she was smart, competent, brave and independent. And she seemed to be unaware of fellow young operative and agency second-in-command Jerry Riker’s mad crush on her.

Yes, somehow the men seem to come rescue her near the end of most of her stories, a trope that more than a few of the supposedly more “liberated” female eyes still seemed to follow years later, but at least by the time Jerry and Tim rush in to the rescue, Grace had usually cracked the case, and she managed to do it without wardrobe malfunctions.

Nobody’s bimbo, then, and an important figure in the development of female private eyes.


Roswell Brown was actually the Shadow Magazine house pen name of of Jean Francis Webb, who contributed plenty of stories in a variety of genres under his own name. He also wrote for several radio shows, including Chick Carter, Boy Detective.


  • “Scoop!” (August 1, 1934, The Shadow Magazine)
  • “Dumb Blonde” (September 1, 1934, The Shadow Magazine)
  • “War Paint” (October 1, 1934, The Shadow Magazine)
  • “The Bigger They Are” (November 1, 1934, The Shadow Magazine)
  • “Double Chocolate” (December 1, 1934, The Shadow Magazine)
  • “Millions to Burn” (January 1, 1935, The Shadow Magazine)
  • “Red is For Fox” (March 1, 1935, The Shadow Magazine)
  • “Kitchen Trap” (June 1, 1935, The Shadow Magazine)
  • “Thin Air” (August 1, 1935, The Shadow Magazine)
  • “Bombproof Baby” (October 15, 1935, The Shadow Magazine)
  • “Crime in the Air ” (January 15, 1936, The Shadow Magazine)
  • “Hit the Baby!” (February 15, 1936, The Shadow Magazine)
  • “Phantom Pirate” (March 15, 1936, The Shadow Magazine)
  • “Sign of the Devil Dog” (June 15, 1936, The Shadow Magazine)
  • “The Tatooed Twin ” (August 15, 1936, The Shadow Magazine)
  • “Tunnel of Terror ” (November 1, 1936, The Shadow Magazine)
  • “Fur Will Fly ” (December 1, 1936, The Shadow Magazine)
  • “Appearance Money” (February 15, 1937, The Shadow Magazine)
  • “Torch Song” (March 15, 1937, The Shadow Magazine)
  • “Return Address” (July 15, 1937, The Shadow Magazine)


  • Dangerous Dames
    A timeline of some of the significant female eyes, and the date of their first appearance.

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Special thanks to Lurch for his great help with this page.

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