Review by Booklist Review
As a female deputy sheriff in 1916, Constance Kopp's livelihood defies convention, so she's particularly alarmed by Hackensack's sharp increase in morality charges against young women who've flouted their parents' authority. In timid Edna Heustis' case, Constance's investigation reveals that her young inmate actually left home to contribute to the WWI effort, and the judge dismisses Edna's charges. Sixteen-year-old Minnie Davis' case, however, proves more challenging. She and her boyfriend used a forged marriage certificate to cohabitate, and Minnie's family demands that she serve a reformatory sentence. As Constance tries to help Minnie, her own daughter, Fleurette (raised for 18 years as Constance's sister), runs away with a traveling vaudeville act. Fully aware of the irony, Constance straddles both sides of the morality laws as she struggles to keep her no-nonsense sister, Norma, from using the law to bring Fleurette back. Constance is a blunt, idealistic narrator whose descriptions of the period's injustices against women, especially in the dehumanizing state reformatory system, are a gripping contrast to Hackensack's polite society. Perfect for book groups.--Tran, Christine Copyright 2017 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Stewart's third novel in her clever and original Kopp Sisters series (after Girl Waits with Gun and Lady Cop Makes Trouble) continues the thorny adventures of Constance Kopp, New Jersey's first female deputy sheriff. The earlier books featured Constance establishing herself as an effective law enforcement officer in a male-dominated profession, determined she can do whatever a male deputy can do. Here, however, there is little crime-fighting and less suspense, as Stewart focuses instead on the very real social, economic, and legal restrictions on women in 1916, and on the prickly relationships between Constance and her two sisters, Norma and Fleurette. Constance and Norma are middle-aged spinsters; Fleurette is 18 and dreams of a stage career as a singer and dancer. When Fleurette runs off to join the vaudeville troupe May Ward and Her Eight Dresden Dolls, Norma fears Fleurette might be held against her will in bad conditions. Meanwhile, Constance must supervise the female prisoners in the county jail, protect young girls from overzealous prosecution for the moral crime of waywardness, and apologize for a colossal and hilarious show business misunderstanding. Though the least action-packed of the three novels, this latest volume is by far the funniest. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
In this third installment featuring the Kopp sisters (Girl Waits with Gun; Lady Cop Makes Trouble), it is 1916, and Constance Kopp, a deputy sheriff in Hackensack, NJ, fields cases related to morality charges against women. Quick to accumulate and tough to disprove, these charges fill the jails with women who lack the resources to defend themselves. The first woman suspected of waywardness is Edna Heustis, whom Deputy Kopp cleverly advocates for. Her second case involves Minnie Davis, whose morality charges aren't as easy to investigate, or dismiss. As Constance works these cases, her home life is disrupted when sister Fleurette auditions for May Ward's touring dance troupe, which regularly faces its own morality scandals. Newspaper reporter Carrie Hart, a friend of the Kopp sisters, chronicles these adventures with sympathetic wit and humor. The cases here are based on the experiences of real women, a technique that Stewart has employed in previous volumes. Collectively, the story lines intersect to create an intriguing window into women's rights and the social mores that women challenged on the eve of World War I. VERDICT A lovely addition for series fans and aficionados of historical fiction. [See Prepub Alert, 3/27/17.]-Tina Panik, Avon Free P.L., CT © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
With a growing number of young women being arrested on morality charges, and no one to defend them, it's up to Under Sheriff Constance Koppbased on a real-life female deputyto ask the tough questions.In 1916 Bergen County, New Jersey, the papers are still aflutter over the recently hired Under Sheriff in charge of the women's section at the Hackensack jail (Lady Cop Makes Trouble, 2016, etc.). So much so that Constance is receiving a steady stream of marriage proposals, which her sister Norma answers with steely reserve and a welcome hint of sarcasm. People can't take in her new badge without commenting, so imagine the attention Constance draws when she goes beyond the call of duty to help 18-year-old Edna Heustis, recently arrested on a charge of waywardness filed by her own mother when she left home to work at a factory making parts for the war. Detective John Courter, representing the prosecutor's office, insists that the girl be sent to a reformatory until she's 21, but luckily for Constance, his single-mindedness leaves him unprepared for her defense of Edna's good character, which she proves in front of a judge after having conducted her own investigation. But there are more girls where Edna came from, including Minnie Davis, who may be harder to prove innocent. Through Constance's diligent investigative work, Stewart details each girl's back story while powerfully representing her longing for the opportunity to lead a purposeful life. Constance's own beliefs come into question, though, when her younger sister, Fleurettesecretly her illegitimate daughterdesires a life on stage and secures a chance to impress Broadway actress May Ward. Constance's ability to hold her own in male-dominated investigations and courtrooms, as well as her determination to present the facts, makes her a welcome "vision of an entirely different kind of woman," hopefully with more tales to come. Lively and admirable female characters emboldened by their circumstances, impeccably realized and given new life by Stewart. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.