Mistaken identity can work in your favour-when you're a cop. When Jane Hall made her first routine police call as a new member of the RCMP in the late 1970s, the woman who opened the door called to her husband, "Dear, the Girl Guides are here!"; But when she made her first arrest in North Vancouver, slapping a pair of handcuffs onto an impaired driver, she later discovered she had unknowingly captured one of the North Shore's most notorious criminals.

As she recalls in her memoir The RED Wall: A Woman in the RCMP (General Store 2008 $19.95) many male suspects weren't expecting to be outwitted by a female officer. Given that only 150 females had joined the RCMP since it began recruiting women in 1974, she was frequently able to use her gender to advantage, particularly when working as an undercover agent. She also proved especially adept at gaining confessions. The book was one of four titles shortlisted for the 2009 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction.

Hall retired from the force in 1998. Born and raised on Wolfe Island near Kingston, she now lives in Langley. 978-1-897113-68-4

[BCBW 2009] "Women" "Law"