During the late 1930s, when Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin were getting themselves established as Rex Stout's primary fictional detectives, Stout tried his hand at a few books featuring other heroes. There was Tecumseh Fox, for example, who operated completely apart from anyone in the Wolfe books. Even Inspector Cramer got his own book with "Red Threads."
But only once in that period did Rex Stout write a mystery featuring a female detective - Dol Bonner, who would later appear in a couple of the Wolfe books when Wolfe needed a female detective to help him gather evidence. Dol Bonner is the heroine of "The Hand in the Glove," which originally appeared in 1937.
The complicated plot has to do with Dol Bonner's investigation of a phony spiritualist who is leeching money from a rich man's wife. The rich man soon turns up murdered, with Bonner finding the body herself. As the victim was hanged and tied to a tree with thin wire, Bonner deduces that the killer must have worn gloves to protect his or her hands - and she manages to find where those gloves are hidden, after a police search fails to turn them up. Eventually, after another murder, she forces a confession from the killer.
Frankly, it's not one of my favorites. When it came to his detectives, Stout was much better with his guys than his dolls or his Dol (short for "Theodolinda," by the way). She's intended to be a tough private eye, but has some trouble controlling her emotional reactions to some of the plot twists, including a last-minute fainting spell. While much of the third-party narration follows her movements, there are a couple of other points of view that could confuse the reader somewhat. Inspector Cramer also makes a brief appearance, to help the local police, as do a couple of other official investigators.
"The Hand in the Glove" has been newly re-released in an e-book format for Amazon Kindle, although the book itself is out of print. In 1992, "The Hand in the Glove" was turned into a made-for-TV movie on NBC, called "Lady Against the Odds." Rex Stout fans in the New York City area should note that next Monday, the Wolfean group known as the Wolfe Pack will be discussing the book and screening the TV movie at one of the group's regular book discussion evenings. There's no charge (you order and pay for your own dinner and drinks), and the discussions are usually fun and lively. There's more information about where, when and how at the link.