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.My Impressions:
This is one of the most innovative detective stories I've read in a long time. Portraying strong women as protagonists in a decidedly non-feminist setting made for some interesting situations. I kept seeing early silent film reels running through my mind with Al Capone style gangsters, tin lizzies, fainting flappers, and stereotypical "Little House on the Prairie" homemakers. But......these women were far from stereotypes. They were strong (and headstrong), competent, organized, innovative and at times able to be quite stubborn in their quest for justice.
Several reviewers commented that they were able to guess the outcome from the "spoiler" printed on the book's cover. Since I read this as an e-galley, I didn't pay attention to the cover, and it was only at the end that I realized the story is based on a true but long forgotten adventure. That said, I won't add anything else to spoil the fun. I will say though that I look forward to more adventures of the Kopp sisters.
Title: Girl Waits with Gun
Author: Amy Stewart
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2015), Edition: 1st, 416 pages
Genre: Historical fiction
Subject: Women in law enforcement
Setting: New Jersey
Source: Public Library electronic overload
Why did I read this book now? It's being considered for the Maine Readers' Choice Award and I'm on the selection committee.