Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Lady Cop Makes Trouble (A Kopp Sisters Novel) by Amy Stewart

I like Constance Kopp.  This is the second novel in the Kopp Sisters series, and I must confess I enjoyed it more than Girl Waits With Gun , which I reviewed last year.  

A short time has passed since the action in Girl Waits With Gun , and Constance is a deputy with the sheriff's department of Hackensack, New Jersey.  She's the first female deputy in New Jersey and loves her job.  But there are people who aren't happy with a female deputy, and Sheriff Heath is constantly under pressure to make Constance the matron of the female prisoners at the jail.  Life for a female law officer is difficult in 1915. 

Constance and Sheriff Heath are called to help guard a prisoner at the local sanitarium during a horrible rain storm and in the midst of a terrible train accident that leaves the sanitarium in a chaotic state.  Constance is told to stand outside the door of Dr. Baron von Matthesius, a odd little man who speaks to Constance in German and was put in jail on charges of indecent medical practices.  He's a crafty man, and before Constance can grasp the situation, he slips away and disappears.  

And thus begins the trouble for Constance and Sheriff Heath.  Determined to keep Constance's name out of the press, Sheriff Heath won't tell anyone a woman was guarding the prisoner who escaped.  The sheriff is under pressure to find the escapee because he himself can be tossed in jail and lose his job.  So Constance decides the only thing she can do is to track down Dr. Baron von Matthesius and recapture him herself.  Constance is now a deputy turned detective, and she has her hands full.  

Constance's sisters Norma and Fleurette are part of the story, but not quite as much as in the first novel.  It's good to see how each of them are carving out their place in a family of three women, in a society that expects women to get married and raise a family.  Constance's relationship with Sheriff Heath is evolving through the second novel, and I can't wait to see what happens next.  

 This isn't really a mystery (if it is, it's a very light one) but more of an entertaining historical novel.  And of course it is all the more fascinating because there was an actual Constance Kopp, who was the first female deputy in New Jersey.  She's a lady with smarts, moxie, and a commanding presence:  at nearly 6 feet tall, and 180 pounds, she isn't afraid to tackle a criminal to bring him to justice.  

Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the advanced copy.  This is a fun read for anyone who likes to read about female trailblazers, early 20th century crime, and a bit of the criminal element.  There is no horrible violence, or crime scenes to make this objectionable to anyone.  

Rating:  7/10 for a sequel that keeps the action moving, and creates all sorts of possible story lines for future novels featuring Constance Kopp.  

Available in hardcover and e-book.

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