Lady Cop Makes Trouble – Amy Stewart (2016, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, New York)
If you remember me burbling with excitement over the first book in this series, Girl Waits With Gun, then it probably won’t come as any surprise that I liked Lady Cop Makes Trouble even more. This fictionalized story of the unconventional Constance Kopp, who in real life was one of the first female police officers in the United States, picks up where the first novel leaves off, with the newly-deputized Constance doing her best to help keep Bergen County safe from unsavoury elements (when she’s not looking after her quirky family, that is). All hell breaks loose when Constance makes a mistake while keeping custody of a high-profile criminal and she knows she must take drastic action or risk losing her job and harming the livelihood of her boss, Sheriff Heath. This book is less constrained by real events as the first book was, which may or may not matter to readers (it didn’t, to me – storytelling is storytelling and this is a fine example of what you can do with the spark of historical fact if you totally run with it). Careful, detailed character development and moments of poignant emotion and humour make this a real gem.
Amy Stewart – Girl Waits With Gun (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Boston, 2015)
Go look this one up at your local library or the nearest bookstore. Amy Stewart’s Girl Waits With Gun. I’ll be here until you get back.
Okay, do you have a copy in your hands? This is why you have to read it NOW: Stewart takes the true story of historical figure of Constance Kopp, one of America’s first female crime fighters, and runs with it, producing a brilliantly creative, fun, and beautifully written (fictionalized) tale of a woman who doesn’t quite fit into the time she lives in, yet makes the best of her situation to get herself and her sisters out of a serious muddle, as well as help others less fortunate. In this first book of the series (yay! It’s a series!), Constance and her sisters inadvertently attract the sinister attention of Henry Kaufman, a powerful factory owner – and things are complicated when it is discovered that Kaufman is involved in many more criminal acts. Terrified for her family’s safety, Constance reluctantly seeks the help of the police, and together with kindly, overworked Sheriff Heath, this fierce, driven woman goes to war. Some books you savour, some you devour – this definitely fit into the latter category for me. I could barely get anything else done while I was reading it, I was so invested in Constance’s story. Perfect pacing, careful research, and just the right amount of heartwarming humour further solidified it for me – I can’t recommend Girl Waits With Gun enough.