Girl Wait With Gun by Amy Stewart
Source: This book was given to me by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Formats: Ebook, Hardcover
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery
Synopsis: From the New York Times best-selling author of The Drunken Botanist comes an enthralling debut 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.
My Review: Some facts are stranger than fiction, and Girl Waits With a Gun proves just that. This novel tells the unbelievable but true tale of Constance Kopp, who was one of America’s first female deputy sheriffs. One day, Mr. Kaufman, a silk factory owner, runs down the Kopp sisters' buggy and refuses to pay fifty dollars for the damage. Constance and her sisters are determined to make Mr. Kaufman pay for it. However, the dispute over the damage soon turns into a feud. Mr. Kaufman has his own gang, and he has chosen the Kopp sisters as his target. In order to protect her family and to bring Mr. Kaufman to justice, Constance turns to the police. Little does she know that these events soon lead to her becoming the first female deputy sheriff.
This story is told from Constance’s perspective. It is Constance’s voice that makes this story fresh, lively, and witty. Constance is a tough and likable heroine. She is headstrong, brave, persistent, and determined. She is also very practical because she makes smart decisions. She is not afraid to stand up for what is right. I also love her relationship with her sisters. They are each other’s support especially when they are facing tough times. It is Constance’s love for her sisters that help make Constance strong.
Overall, this book is about family. The message of this book is to do what is right. For while these sisters did have flaws, they ultimately did the right thing. While the story started out slow, it eventually picked up halfway through the novel. This book is a lighthearted mystery that is filled with action, suspense, and humor. I found Constance Kopp’s tale so fascinating and intriguing that it is hard to believe that it was actually a true story. I enjoyed this story, and I hope that the author will write more stories about her in the future. And with a name like Kopp, she has the perfect surname for law enforcement! I recommend this novel to anyone interested in historical fiction, mystery, and anyone who wants to learn about one of America’s first deputy sheriffs. Girl Waits With a Gun will also appeal to fans of the Jacqueline Winspear, Kerry Greenwood, and Deanna Raybourn.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
“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 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, author of Eat, Pray, Love
“How could you not fall in love with a book about one of the first female deputy sheriffs and her sisters–especially when it’s written by the enthralling Amy Stewart? Full of long-held secrets, kicked-up dust, simmering danger, and oh yes, that gun—this gritty romp illuminates one of history’s strongest women with a hold-your-breath panache.”—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You
“Girl Waits With Gun makes excellent use of history to put a fresh spin on classic cop-and-crook types. Amy Stewart’s true-life protagonist is a ‘rough and tumble’ version of the early 20th century’s New Woman. She is witty, sharply-drawn, and suffers no fools!”—Suzanne Rindell, author of The Other Typist
“Yowza! Amy Stewart’s debut boasts pomaded gangsters, pistol-packin’ dames, kidnappings, shots in the dark, and everything from Girls Gone Wrong to carrier pigeons finding their way home. You might want to stay up all night reading, you might want to lie down on your fainting couch with a cool cloth on your forehead. Either way, you’ll have the time of your life.” —Robert Goolrick, New York Times bestselling author of A Reliable Wife
“Girl Waits with Gun is fresh, funny and utterly compelling– and Constance Kopp and her sisters are not just great investigators, but completely original women. It was a blast from start to finish and I can’t wait to see what Deputy Kopp gets up to next.”— Lisa Lutz, author of The Spellman Files, How to Start a Fire, and others
“Amy Stewart has crafted the best kind of historical novel; she uncovers an intriguing, all-but-forgotten historical nugget and spins it into a wildly entertaining tale with an engaging, tough-minded heroine. Girl Waits With Gun hits the bulls-eye.”—Daniel Stashower, author of The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War
“Amy Stewart’s debut novel Girl Waits With Gun is an irresistible and thoroughly enjoyable book, a suspenseful historical mystery spiced with marvelous characters, wit, and humor. Is it too soon to beg for a sequel?” —Jennifer Chiaverini, author of Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule
“Engaging, lively, and substantive, Girl Waits with Gun is a perfect mystery, and the Kopp sisters are my new best friends. Amy Stewart writes about crime as well as she writes about plants and poisons. I loved this book, and will be first in line for the next installment.”—Sara Gran, author of Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy Stewart is the author of seven books. Her latest, Girl Waits With Gun, is a novel based on a true story. She has also written six nonfiction books on the perils and pleasures of the natural world, including four New York Times bestsellers: The Drunken Botanist, Wicked Bugs, Wicked Plants, and Flower Confidential. She lives in Eureka, California, with her husband Scott Brown, who is a rare book dealer. They own a bookstore called Eureka Books. The store is housed in a classic nineteenth-century Victorian building that Amy very much hopes is haunted. Stewart has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and many other newspapers and magazines, and has appeared frequently on National Public Radio, CBS Sunday Morning, and--just once--on TLC's Cake Boss. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the American Horticulture Society's Book Award, and an International Association of Culinary Professionals Food Writing Award. For more information visit Amy Stewart's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.