Lady Cop Makes Trouble (Hardcover)

By Amy Stewart

Houghton Mifflin, 9780544409941, 320pp.

Publication Date: September 6, 2016

September 2016 Indie Next List

“Stewart's follow-up to Girl Waits With Gun is equally fascinating. Based on the life of Constance Kopp, the first female deputy sheriff in New Jersey, this tale takes readers from rural New Jersey to the mean streets of New York City in 1915. With grit, smarts, and utter determination, Constance tracks a convict who escaped her custody. Despite the astounding restrictions on a woman's life in the early 20th century, Constance takes every risk to capture her suspect. Complemented by the historical notes that Stewart provides, Lady Cop is both informative and loads of fun.”
— Kathi Kirby (E), Powell's Books, Inc, Portland, OR
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Description

The best-selling author of Girl Waits with Gun returns with another adventure featuring the fascinating, feisty, and unforgettable Kopp sisters.

After besting (and arresting) a ruthless silk factory owner and his gang of thugs in Girl Waits with Gun, Constance Kopp became one of the nation's first deputy sheriffs. She's proven that she can't be deterred, evaded, or outrun. But when the wiles of a German-speaking con man threaten her position and her hopes for this new life, and endanger the honorable Sheriff Heath, Constance may not be able to make things right. Lady Cop Makes Trouble sets Constance loose on the streets of New York City and New Jersey--tracking down victims, trailing leads, and making friends with girl reporters and lawyers at a hotel for women. Cheering her on, and goading her, are her sisters Norma and Fleurette--that is, when they aren't training pigeons for the war effort or fanning dreams of a life on the stage. Based on a true story, Girl Waits with Gun introduced Constance Kopp and her charming and steadfast sisters to an army of enthusiastic readers. Those readers will be thrilled by this second installment--also ripped from the headlines--in the romping, wildly readable life of a woman forging her own path, tackling crime and nefarious criminals along the way.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

  1. In addition to her deputy sheriff duties, Constance serves Paterson as the jail matron. How do the expectations and requirements of this aspect of her job compare to those of her work as a deputy? How does each position speak to Constance’s strengths and weaknesses.
  2. In an era where women have limited options, discuss how characters like Providencia Monafo, Mrs. Heath, Aunt Adele, and Constance deal with fears and disappointments; how do they each choose to cope?
  3. “Deputies follow the orders given to them by the sheriff,” says Sheriff Heath (p240). Those who don’t, he asserts, are called “outlaws.” Do you think Constance is an outlaw according to this definition?What power do titles and labels really have—can one still embody a role without “officially” owning its label?
  4. Sheriff Heath goes to great pains to keep Constance’s name out of the papers and keep her from public shame over losing von Matthesius. Do you think it’s reckless of her to pursue the man despite the Sheriff’s direct orders to the contrary? What would you have done in her place? What other “rules” does Constance break (or bend) in her life?
  5. When they catch Reinhold, the messenger boy, he exclaims, “Rudy told me to watch for police, but he didn’t say nothing about a lady.” (p234) Many characters focus on women not being able to do what a man can do, but what about the reverse? Identify the advantages, both illustrated in this novel and in general, of having a female law enforcement officer.
  6. Much changes once Constance captures von Matthesius. Describe the changes between her and her family. How might things have ended if Constance had not caught von Matthesius? How would his escape influence how you viewed Constance’s actions throughout the novel?
  7. “The first line came with such tenderness that it seemed as if it was meant for each one of us,” Constance thinks of the Christmas carol lyrics shared in the novel’s ending. Discuss how they apply to Constance and her fellow lawmen. Why do you think the author chose to end the novel with this poignant moment?
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