Thursday, June 15, 2017

REVIEW | Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart

Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart
Publication Year: 2016
Genre: Historical Mystery, Crime
Series: Kopp Sisters #2
Awards: None
Format: eBook (from Library)
Narrator: NA

SPOILERS AHOY!  This is book two in a series so some spoilery type things about book one may be revealed. 

WHY?:  This is currently my favorite ongoing historical mystery series.  So glad that the first book, Girl Waits With Gun, wasn't the last!

SYNOPSIS: At the end of the first book, after Constance had thoroughly impressed Sheriff Heath with her fortitude, cleverness and practicality, he offered her a job as a deputy on his staff.  Constance enthusiastically accepts but as this book opens, it quickly becomes obvious that things have gone awry.  Sheriff Heath is catching heat for this controversial appointment and things get worse when an important prisoner escapes, and it is seemingly Constance's fault.  What's a woman to do?  Well, track down the prisoner and bring him back into detention single-handedly of course. 

At the end of Girl Waits With Gun, things were looking up for Constance Kopp.  She'd been offered a job by the Sheriff which gave her a way to support herself and her two sisters and keep them independent.  As a bonus she discovers that she very much enjoys police work and or the first time in her life she feels like she has a purpose. Unfortunately, things pretty quickly lose their shine when Sheriff Heath's promises to get her sworn is as a Deputy don't seem to be coming to fruition.  She has mostly been relegated to being a matron for the female residents of the county jail and she longs to get out more doing real Sheriff Deputy's work.

Unfortunately the first time in a while she does get out, an important prisoner disappears, seemingly under her watch.  Though the prisoner likely would have disappeared under anyone's watch, the folks against Sheriff Heath's appointment of a lady to his staff are quick to blame it on the fact that she is a woman.  Constance must not only redeem herself in Sheriff Heath's eyes so she can get a chance to do what she loves but she must also do it to prove to his critics that he was not daft to hire a woman.  That she can do everything a male Deputy can do.  So she launches her own independent investigation, running afoul of Sheriff Heath and his wife while she does so.

As with book one, this is not really a strict mystery.  There are mysterious elements, questions that need answering but it is probably more accurate to call it a historical crime novel.  The main action in the book is a manhunt with much of the investigation centering on figuring out where the prisoner might be hiding.  Constance is creative with her independent investigating and meets some other professional women and solidifies how much her job means to her

Meanwhile, she's somewhat neglecting her family.  She is struggling particularly with young Fleurette who is so different than she and Norma and has dreams that scare Constance.  It is also stressful to be so at odds with Sheriff Heath and especially for feeling like she's let him down and is causing him hardship.  He stuck his neck out for her and there is no way she is going to let him be punished for doing that.  And it's not just his bosses that are giving him a hard time but also his unhappy wife.  I am seemingly unable not to 'ship everyone, so I really like Constance and Sheriff Heath as a team.  They are very simpatico and work really well together...much better than he and his wife do.  However, I can't really tell if Stewart is heading that way or not?  If so it is a very slow burn which is fine by me.  I like Constance and Norma's independence so don't want to diminish that by implying that Constance needs a man.  She doesn't but it would be nice for her to be loved by someone who gets and respects her.

Regardless of all of that, there are a lot of complications and conflict in the characters' relationships in this volume but not in a melodramatic way.  As with Girl Waits With Gun, it feels very down to earth and authentic.  Also like the first book, I loved it!  The best thing of all about it, is that it is based on a true story!

FINAL VERDICT:  This historical mystery series is brimming full of period authenticity and wonderful characters. I recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction and/or crime novels. 4 out of 5 stars.

Other Opinions are Available: The Washington Post | The Book Stop

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