Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart

Cover to Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart

In 1914, Constance Kopp and her sisters were in a horse-drawn cart that was hit by an automobile driven by the son of a wealthy factory owner. When he refuses to pay damages, Constance decides to … make him pay. His efforts to get Constance to stand down include harassment, intimidation, and very real threats of violence. But nothing he does will make Constance give up her quest for what she is rightfully owed.

When the sheriff’s office gets involved, Constance refuses to sit on the sidelines. She (and her sisters) arm themselves and are prepared to take on anyone who means them harm.

This historical mystery has a lot of warmth and humor. The characters are fully realized, interesting, and you want to know what happens next.

Constance was a real person. She was born in New Jersey, one of four children.  She was six feet tall, an excellent shot, and had no interest in cooking, cleaning, or sewing—any “domestic art”—nor did she have any inclination or desire to get married.  

Sheriff Robert Heath of Bergen County, New Jersey, appointed her “undersheriff,”  or, his second in command. She was the first woman to hold such a position in the United States.

This review was published in Sightlines, CRRL's Assistive Services newsletter.