The Hidden Hand (1888) is an exuberant action comedy, featuring fearless Capitola Black, a self-styled female Don Quixote, and the prototype of innumerable adventure heroines.Cap was totally my type of heroine. She was fearless and headstrong, but also smart and cared about people. It was refreshing reading a Victorian novel with a heroine like Cap. No matter how many heart attacks she almost gave her guardian, Cap was always out on some sort of adventure. With a big imagination, Cap never let her size or gender hold her back. Whether it was trying to capture a bandit or tricking a dastardly villain or challenging someone to a duel, she never thought she couldn't do it.
Rescued from life on the streets in New York by a southern plantation owner, with his own reasons for befriending her, Capitola is too active and adventurous to settle for the life of a southern belle. Besides, the neighbourhood is infested with evil-doers—Black Donald, the notorious bandit, and Gabriel Le Noir, the owner of the plantation adjoining—combine to make her life full of excitement and peril.
Serialized three times by popular demand before appearing in book form,The Hidden Hand exudes irresistible high spirits and cheer, and still retains the capacity to surprise and delight that enchanted its first readers.
The Hidden Hand was also hilarious. It had several laugh out loud moments, all of which occurred around the free-spirited Cap. The end of the book happened sort of fast and it had a typical happily ever after, but other than that, I loved it!