Review by Booklist Review
*Starred Review* It seems Constance Kopp's career as the first woman deputy sheriff in Bergen County, New Jersey, might end on any page of Stewart's fourth entry in this historical mystery series, which features, as always, Kopp's deeds of daring and tenacity in the face of social prejudice. Stewart again portrays the uncomfortable conditions experienced by women in America in the WWI era, including sketches of women detained on morality charges in the Hackensack jail. The particularly compelling main case here about a woman committed to an insane asylum by her husband under false pretenses furthers this theme and forms the heart of the story. The press relentlessly stalks Constance and Sheriff Heath (now running for Congress), casting aspersions to promote Heath's political rivals. As the sheriff says, A man who does nothing but cast out hate and blame couldn't possibly be elected to office. Balancing these weighty topics are a dry-witted tone and amusing vignettes involving Constance's sister, Norma, and her carrier pigeons, and the naive efforts of Constance's daughter, Fleurette, who believes she is Constance's sister, at finding wartime entertainment. Constance herself a tall, plain woman with a man's job continues to drive the series with a no-nonsense personality that evokes a mix of Laurie R. King's Mary Russell and Lawrence H. Levy's Mary Handley. This entry is more suspenseful than its predecessors and boasts a deeper emphasis on character, politics, and social issues. A must for Constance's growing fan base.--Jen Baker Copyright 2018 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Deputy Constance Kopp, of Bergen County, N.J., comes under scrutiny during the brutal 1916 election season in bestseller Stewart's fraught fourth Kopp Sisters novel (after 2017's Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions). While her mentor and boss, Sheriff Robert Heath, runs for Congress, the real-life Constance prepares for a successor less supportive of the "lady deputy." Her extracurricular investigation into the case of Anna Kayser, a seemingly sane woman whose husband and doctor conspired to send her to a mental institution, unexpectedly threatens to affect the election. Stewart draws on newspaper accounts from the era for the vicious rhetoric aimed at Constance, whose audacity at working in a male-dominated profession provides political fodder for her boss's opponents. Although the Kayser story eventually loses steam, Stewart skillfully builds nail-biting suspense around the election results and Constance's subsequent employment prospects. The blend of practicality, forthrightness, and compassion in her first-person narration is sure to satisfy series fans and win new admirers. Author tour. Agent: Michelle Tessler, Tessler Literary Agency. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Stewart's intrepid deputy sheriff is back (Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions, 2017, etc.), this time enmeshed in a 1916 local election with uncomfortable contemporary resonance.Sheriff Heath, Constance Kopp's liberal-minded mentor and defender at the Hackensack County Jail, is reluctantly running for Congress because he's term-limited by New Jersey law. Odious John Courter, running to succeed Heath, attacks his record at every opportunity, including most particularly the "Troublesome Lady Policeman Who Frees Lunatics from Asylum." The "lunatic" is Anna Kayser, committed by her husband for the fourth time on what seem to Deputy Kopp very flimsy grounds. Indeed, she soon learns that Mr. Kayser has his wife put away every time he wants to play house with a new girlfriend. Constance gets Anna a lawyer, one of the many feisty women with whom Stewart's unabashedly feminist series is populated, and justice might even triumph in this case. The main plot concerns the increasingly ugly election, and Constance probably won't be the only one who flinches when Sheriff Heath optimistically tells her, "A man who does nothing but cast out hate and blame couldn't possibly be elected to office." As before, Stewart bases much of the story on actual events (carefully documented in endnotes), with generous fictional embroidery to elaborate the stories of Constance's Popular Science-loving sister, Norma, currently working to convince the Army it needs carrier pigeons, and their putative baby sister (actually Constance's illegitimate daughter), Fleurette, who has aspirations as a performer but at the moment is a seamstress for a Fort Lee movie studio. The looming threat of World War I adds to the dark tone, but the military training camp at Plattsburg offers all three Kopp women a fresh start after the dispiriting election results. Constance may just have turned 40, but this tough-minded, generous-hearted believer in second chances and equal rights for women looks set for many more adventures.A welcome addition to this sui generis series, always fresh thanks to its vividly imagined characters firmly grounded in historical fact. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.