Sunday, August 21, 2016
Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart
Published September 2015 by Houghton Mifflin Publishing
Source: my copy purchased for my Nook
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.
I've seriously wanted to read this book since it came out just because I love that cover. I downloaded it a few months ago but decided it was time to read it when I downloaded the next book in the series, which will be published next month (Lady Cop Makes Trouble).
The Kopp sisters are all great fun - Constance who has no interest in traditional feminine roles, Norma who'd prefer to hide away from the world, and Fleurette who yearns to let the world she imagines become reality. The sisters have been living in isolation for more than 15 years but Henry Kaufman destroys their buggy with his automobile, Constance will not let it go. When her letters requesting damages go unheeded, she marches into his office, demanding he respond. His response lands him pushed up against a wall by the much taller Constance, embarrassing him in front of his less than respectable friends. Their threatening response leads Constance to call in the sheriff and his deputies as they try to catch Kaufman and his crew.
Girl Waits With Gun is filled with interesting characters, brings the time and place to life, and has, for much of the book, a tension that makes the book fly along. Unfortunately, about two-thirds of the way through the book, that tension all but disappears and a secondary story line takes center stage. That secondary story line, that of one of Kaufman's female employees whose child by him disappears, offers Constance the chance to stretch her wings and appears to be the springboard for the next book. It's an interesting enough story line, I just wish it hadn't overwhelmed the primary plot. The book is solidly based on fact and it may have been that, in sticking with the known facts of the case, Stewart was left with a gap and without a real climax to the battle between Kaufman and the Kopp sisters.
Still, I enjoyed the book and it's characters enough that I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. I hope that Norma's love of newspapers and their headlines carries over, that Fleurette continues to push the sisters to let her out more into the world, and that Constance's relationship with the Sheriff continues to develop.