Girl Waits With Gun

Girl Waits With Gun

Book - 2015
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From the New York Times best-selling author of The Drunken Botanist comes an enthralling novel based on the forgotten true story of one of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs.

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. "A smart, romping adventure, featuring some of the most memorable and powerful female characters I've seen in print for a long time. I loved every page as I followed the Kopp sisters through a too-good-to-be-true (but mostly true!) tale of violence, courage, stubbornness, and resourcefulness." -- Elizabeth Gilbert
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015.
ISBN: 9780544409910
Characteristics: 408 pages ; 24 cm


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From Library Staff

Sisters Constance, Norma and Fleurette Kopp encounter Henry Kaufman, boorish owner of a silk-dyeing factory, in a most unexpected and unpleasant way: his car runs into their horse buggy. In the process of seeking reimbursement for damages, they receive threatening letters and are harassed by him ... Read More »

From the critics

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Mar 23, 2021

A librarian recommended this title and I decided to give it a chance - thoroughly enjoyed!!

Feb 10, 2021

Not a bad first mystery in a series - a little too much filler and not enough murder investigation. I will still probably try the second book in the series because I liked the 4 Kopp sisters. Kristi & Abby Tabby

Jan 22, 2021

I would like to pick up this book asap.

Thank you, Karen Brubak

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Jan 20, 2021

A historical mystery with a female lead...and based on a real person. I particularly enjoyed the independence of the lead character.

Dec 31, 2020

This book was fast-paced, and a nice mix of plot-driven and character-driven. The storyline alternated between past and present and the first shift from present to past was startling. I found the tone of this book to be delightfully amusing, and the critic who labeled it a "witty, fast-paced romp" was right on.

Oct 08, 2020

This is the first book in a fantastic series about the first female sheriffs deputy of Bergen County, NJ in the early 1900s. The strong female characters and the historical aspects would make this perfect for teens as well as adults. Great fun!

Mar 27, 2020

The reclusive Kopp sisters have their buggy damaged by a reckless group of men in a motor car. Constance, the oldest sister, attempts to receive payment for the damages. It would have all ended there if Henry Kaufman, the wealthy owner and driver of the car, had paid up. Instead, he went on a weird campaign of intimidation, and the sisters turn to the law for assistance. In the year that follows, their home is damaged, the youngest sister is threatened with white slavery, they all learn how to shoot a gun, and Constance conducts a working partnership with the sheriff.

The sisters are running out of money and are fending off their brother's well-meaning insistence that they move in with his family. Their life is odd and reclusive, due to their mother's preferences. Many things change for them: Constance, Norma, Fleurette, Dolley the horse, and the pigeons. At the same time, the status of women is changing in the U.S. And Constance needs a job.

This is a quirky book, and is worth the time to read it.

Oct 29, 2019

I loved the Kopp sisters and the true story aspect. The trial part seemed tacked on, the ending somewhat contrived. Twists and turns made the first half of the book more interesting. The cat  hating comments were awkward, seemed out of place, and made me mad. Otherwise, a fun read. Great humor and the setting had great historical details.

Oct 04, 2019

A car slams into the wagon the Kopp sisters are riding in and their lives are changed forever in the aftermath. The facts that Amy Stewart used to build a framework for this novel are substantial. Newspaper accounts and quotes from the threatening letters sent into the Kopp home via brick and USPS give a telling account of this time period. Henry Kaufman truly was a villain and deserved to be convicted. Sheriff Heath was a gentleman and a lawman committed to justice. In God's providence, an unfortunate accident leads to a much-needed vocation for Constance Kopp. Readers who enjoy the Kopp Sisters might also want to check out the Gaslight Mystery series by Victoria Thompson featuring a late 19th century midwife.

Sep 09, 2019

Found this gem on the suggested reading shelves - merci, library staff. Superbly written with very human characters; the story is intriguing , yet amusing, and engaging. Convinced it was a very special book, I passed it on, which almost immediately got someone onto the whole series!

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Jul 31, 2017

jmli thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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Jul 31, 2017

After their buggy collides with a silk man's automobile, the Kopp sisters face threats and harassment from the party at fault.


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Jul 31, 2017

Violence: Shooting and threats against the Kopp sisters


Add a Quote
Jul 31, 2017

"'My sisters and I have no one but each other,' I said at last, 'and if anyone should take up a handgun in their defense, I will be the one to do it.'"

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