I was excited to read a story about one of America's first females in law enforcement, and I was expecting more of a tale, or collection of tales, from her career as a sheriff. Instead, the story follows Constance Kopp, and her sisters, through the harrowing events that led her to that vocation. Girl Waits with Gun is not what I was expecting, but it was fantastic! Recommended By Janelle M., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
From the New York Times
best-selling author of The Drunken Botanist
comes an enthralling novel based on the forgotten true story of one of the nation’s first female deputy sheriffs.
Constance Kopp doesn’t quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into hiding fifteen years ago. One day a belligerent and powerful silk factory owner runs down their buggy, and a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets, and threats as he unleashes his gang on their family farm. When the sheriff enlists her help in convicting the men, Constance is forced to confront her past and defend her family — and she does it in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared.
"Hardened criminals are no match for pistol-packing spinster Constance Kopp and her redoubtable sisters in this hilarious and exciting period drama by bestseller Stewart (The Drunken Botanist). This is an elegant tale of suspense, mystery, and wry humor set in 1914 in Paterson, N.J. A crash between the Kopp sisters' horse and buggy and an automobile driven by arrogant factory owner Henry Kaufman begins a disturbing cycle of menacing behavior: Kaufman refuses to pay for the buggy damage, angry and humiliated in an embarrassing confrontation with a tall, imposing, and formidable woman. Intimidation and threats of violence follow Constance's every effort to make Kaufman pay, finally resulting in her appeal to the Bergen County Sheriff to help her collect. Sheriff Robert Heath has been itching to lock up Kaufman and his thuggish pals, and sees this as an excellent opportunity to rid Paterson of the pack of criminals. The Kopp sisters live alone on a remote farm and are taunted, burglarized, and shot at by crooks of the Black Hand gang as retaliation for involving the police and causing trouble for Kaufman. But when Constance starts to pack a revolver and doesn't hesitate to shoot back, the game changes drastically. A surprising Kopp family secret, a kidnapped baby, and other twists consistently ratchet up the stakes throughout, resulting in an exhilarating yarn. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“A smart, romping adventure, featuring some of the most memorable and powerful female characters I've seen in print for a long time. I loved every page as I followed the Kopp sisters through a too-good-to-be-true (but mostly true!) tale of violence, courage, stubbornness, and resourcefulness.” Elizabeth Gilbert
"A sheer delight to read and based on actual events, this debut historical mystery packs the unexpected, the unconventional, and a serendipitous humor into every chapter. Details from the historical record are accurately portrayed by villains and good guys alike, and readers will cross their fingers for the further adventures of Constance and Sheriff Heath. For fans of the Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood, and the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes mysteries by Laurie R. King." Booklist, starred
"Stewart crafts a solid, absorbing novel based on real-life events — though they're unusual enough to seem invented. Stewart deftly tangles and then unwinds a complicated plot with nice period detail....More adventures involving gutsy Constance, quietly determined Sheriff Heath, and a lively cast of supporting characters would be most welcome." Kirkus, starred
"In her engaging first novel, Stewart (The Drunken Botanist) draws from the true story of the Kopp sisters (Constance became one of the country’s first female deputy sheriffs) and creates a welcome addition to the genre of the unconventional female sleuth. Colorful, well-drawn characters come to life on the page, and historical details are woven tightly into the narrative. The satisfying conclusion sets up an opening for future Constance Kopp novels. VERDICT: Historical fiction fans and followers of Rhys Bowen’s 'Molly Murphy' mysteries and Victoria Thompson’s 'Gaslight Mystery' series will delight in the eccentric and feisty Kopp women." Library Journal, starred
"A period thriller that rivals any other historical-based suspense novel. Stewart weaves an amazingly delightful tale, one I was hard pressed to put down. This novel should be listed for debut novel awards." Suspense Magazine
From the New York Times best-selling author of The Drunken Botanist comes an enthralling novel based on the forgotten true story of one of the nation’s first female deputy sheriffs.
About the Author
AMY STEWART is the award-winning author of six books, including the bestsellers The Drunken Botanist and Wicked Plants. She and her husband live in Eureka, California, where they own a bookstore called Eureka Books.