FICTION

Girl Waits with Gun

Houghton Harcourt. Sept. 2015. 416p. ISBN 9780544409910. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780544409613. F
COPY ISBN
OrangeReviewStarIn the summer of 1914 in rural New Jersey, the lives of Constance Kopp and her sisters take a dramatic turn. Their horse-drawn buggy is overturned in an accident with a motor car driven by local factory owner Henry Kaufman. Constance wants only an apology and the money owed to them for damages. Her determination in seeking justice puts her family in danger as the thuggish Kaufman begins a campaign of intimidation against them. Aided by the local sheriff, the Kopp sisters defend their home while Constance unravels a web of Kaufman family secrets and reckons with her own. 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. [See Prepub Alert, 3/25/15; library marketing.]

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