I discovered Amy Stewart’s Kopp Sisters series a few years ago when I was looking for a book set in my home state to fill a prompt in a reading challenge. The books are based on the real-life story of Constance Kopp, the first female deputy in the state of New Jersey. Not only do the books take place in my home state, I’m very familiar with all of the locations mentioned – my husband lived in the same town as the Kopps, and I went to high school in the city where the jail is located. Of course they lived in the early 1900s and things were a lot different back then, with farms and factories that no longer exist.
In addition to Constance, the series includes her sisters, Norma, who is stalwart and steady, and Fleurette, the prettiest and youngest of the 3 who has an affinity for the theater. The first four books focus on Constance, starting with her appointment as deputy, as she works on cases involving young women and works to keep Sheriff Heath in office, then books 5 and 6 switch to their efforts during the war.
In the most recent book, Miss Kopp Investigates, Fleurette takes center stage. Frances, the Kopps’ brother, has died, leaving his widow, two children, and a massive amount of debt. Fleurette agrees to work for a local lawyer in a position her sisters wouldn’t approve of, and finds herself involved in a scheme that may be beyond her abilities.
I really like the direction the books are going in, and it’s clear there will be more books. Each book contains a note at the end explaining how much of the story is based on actual people and events related to the Kopps, as found in newspaper articles and discussion with family members, and Stewart has plenty of material to draw on for the sisters. Fleurette has grown up and is a wonderful character and I’m glad to see she will remain central to the story.
If you like historical fiction based on real people and events, strong female characters who don’t let men boss them around, and a glimpse into life in the early 20th century, check out the Kopp Sisters books. I do recommend starting with the first, Girl Waits With Gun, and reading them in order, to fully appreciate and enjoy the latest installment.