Review by Booklist Review
Adrift after being fired as deputy sheriff in Bergen County, New Jersey, Constance Kopp joins her sisters Norma and Fleurette at the newly established National Service School for women at Camp Chevy Chase, Maryland, in 1917. When the camp matron breaks her leg, Constance is persuaded to take over, and, liking nothing more than being in charge, she begins to tailor classes to resemble men's training, including marksmanship and hand-to-hand combat for a select few. While many of the campers are young women from wealthy Manhattan families, one doesn't fit that mold: Beulah Binford, a national symbol of moral degeneracy, views the camp as her last resort after being sacked as both an officer at a New York factory and the mistress of the factory's owner. Claiming to be Roxanne Collins of Park Avenue, she trains lackadaisically and keeps her anonymity until provoked, in an incident that rocks the camp. As the U.S. enters WWI, Constance takes command to show what women can do. Told in Stewart's nimble, witty prose, this fifth in the popular series is based largely on fact and offers a paean to patriotism and the role women have played in war, even a century ago. Devoted fans will be pleased with the tantalizing hint Stewart provides about what lies ahead for Constance.--Michele Leber Copyright 2019 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Set in the spring of 1917, Stewart's enjoyable fifth Kopp Sisters novel (after 2018's Miss Kopp Just Won't Quit) finds the three Kopp sisters ready to do their bit as the U.S. prepares to enter WWI. They head off to the National Service School in Maryland, a camp to teach women ways to help the war effort. Constance, the eldest, is at loose ends after losing her job as sheriff's deputy in Paterson, N.J. Middle sister Norma thinks the army will need her homing pigeons to carry messages from the battlefield. Fleurette, the youngest, plans to entertain the troops. All the volunteers have their own reasons for being there, but one in particular, the notorious real-life Beulah Binford, is hoping to finally put her past behind her. Flashbacks reveal Beulah's role in a murder scandal. When Constance is recruited to run the camp, she quickly decides the girls should know more about preparedness than rolling bandages. Convincing characters behave in ways true to their era. Stewart does a wonderful job of illuminating a fascinating period in American history. Author tour. Agent: Michelle Tessler, Tessler Literary. (Sept.)
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Review by Library Journal Review
This fifth installment of the Kopp Sisters series (after Miss Kopp Just Won't Quit) opens with real-life Beulah Binford trying to escape her scandalous past and its ensuing newspaper headlines by enrolling in the National Service School, a training camp in New Jersey for young women who want to help with war duties. The Kopp sisters, led by Norma and her pigeons, arrive at the same time that Beulah does, and both parties quickly realize that their camp's purpose is more decorative than functional. After an accident catapults Constance into the role of camp matron, the routines at the camp improve, and the sisters each begin to find a new purpose as they learn new skills. Just as Beulah is adjusting to her new life, Fleurette, the youngest Kopp sister, arranges a visit from a vaudeville troupe to entertain the women. The troupe's arrival means Beulah's secrets are no longer safe, which forces her and Constance to become unlikely allies against the gendered double standards of 1917. VERDICT A thrilling mix of history and feminism, this new "Kopp" story contains the same captivating storytelling as the first one, with plenty of nuggets for series fans. [See Prepub Alert, 3/4/19.]--Tina Panik, Avon Free P.L., CT
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
After losing her dream job as Bergen County deputy sheriff, Constance Kopp regroups at a Maryland Army camp for women on the eve of World War I.In the fifth installment of her feisty, fact-based series (Miss Kopp Just Won't Quit, 2018, etc.), Stewart throws an additional real-life figure into the fictional mix: Beulah Binford, fleeing a notorious past in Richmond and thinking that training to support the troops will be her ticket to a new life in Franceif only no one recognizes her. What precisely Beulah is trying to hide is the only sort-of mystery here, and her memories leading up to that revelation form a substantial part of the novel. Though her story is fairly interesting, it does give Stewart less room for the Kopp sisters. That may be just as well, since Norma's efforts to persuade the Army of the value of carrier pigeons is neither as interesting nor as funny as Stewart seems to think, and Fleurette's stage-struck self-absorption is a slightly shopworn trait, though it is fun to see Beulah taking tart notice of it. Constance, who reluctantly assumes command of the camp after an injury sidelines her predecessor, dismisses the training deemed suitable for ladies as "a game" and secretly instructs a small group of equally determined women in the use of real guns. But she's still brooding over her vanished opportunity in law enforcement, and a bit of a bore about it too, until Beulah proves the worth of her insertion into the series by forcefully (but not unsympathetically) urging Constance to make her own opportunities. A slam-bang finale mostly compensates for the fuzzy focus of this installment: Constance's unorthodox training is triumphantly justified, and Norma wins a high-ranking ally for her pigeons. Plenty of loose ends are dangled for future volumes as Constance and Beulah both make peace with their pasts and plans to move forward.A bit messy, but perhaps required to recalibrate this deservedly popular series for future volumes. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.