Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on September 1, 2015
Genres: Historical Fiction
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Constance Kopp has never been one to conform to expectations. At 35 years old, she is unmarried, residing in a farmhouse with her two similarly unattached sisters (Norma and Fleurette), and trying desperately to hold onto the farm as the family funds dwindle.
The Kopp sisters’ troubles are only compounded when the automobile of wealthy silk merchant Henry Kauffman collides with their buggy during a trip into town. When Constance demands restitution for the damaged buggy, Kauffman repays the sisters with months of harassment in the form of threatening letters, shoot-outs on their property, and even an abduction attempt. However, he gets more than he bargains for with Constance. She firmly holds her ground, working with the town sheriff, learning to use a revolver to protect her family, and even doing her own sleuthing to help another woman who has been wronged by the gangster.
Based on the true story of one of the first female deputy sheriffs in the US, Girl Waits With Gun is an insanely fun romp through 1914 New Jersey. Amy Stewart brings her characters to vibrant life, and readers will love getting to know gutsy Constance, practical Norma, and effervescent Fleurette. I love a good book about unconventional women, and I was thrilled that the story is interspersed with real contemporary newspaper articles about Constance’s adventures. They serve as a great reminder that many of the novel’s unforgettable events really happened.
Girl Waits With Gun has everything: A compulsively readable plot filled with action and mystery; bold, memorable characters; and fascinating historical details. (And stakeouts and carrier pigeons and mad sewing skills and and…!) If you haven’t read it yet, get thee to the library or bookstore!