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Lady Cop Makes Trouble

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Lady Cop Makes Trouble (2016) Amy Stewart (Kopp Sisters)

Set in New York and New Jersey in 1915.

Constance Kopp has been working as a deputy, but since the county won’t allow her a badge and official position, she ends up relegated to prison matron.

At the start of the book, she meets with Mrs. Headison, to first female cop in New Jersey.

“Do you know that he hadn’t even considered adding a woman to his force? I had to argue my case, and you can be sure I did. Do you know why he was so reluctant? The chief told me himself that if women start going about in uniforms, armed with guns and clubs, we would turn into little men.”

But she is not what Constance wants to be.

The things they have you doing— well, I couldn’t do it, even if they did pay me.”

I stared down at her. Lettie was watching the two of us, open-mouthed.

“Don’t they pay you?”

My salary was a thousand dollars a year, the same as the other deputies.

“Ah— well, of course not,” she said, slowly, still puzzling it out. “The chief expects me to serve out of a sense of duty and honor, and not to take a salary away from a policeman.”

And that’s how things were in 1915. Like this previous book, most of the people in the story actually existed, as did the crimes, but some of the events were modified for better story-telling.

Her boss, Sherriff Heath, is a radical for the time.

(W)e’ve got no doctors, no nurses, and no druggist. We should fix them up a little while they’re here, and not just because it’s our Christian duty, but because we have an opportunity to put them on a path to clean living. Give a man a shower and a hot meal and a Bible to study and hard work to keep his hands busy— that’s how you turn a criminal into a citizen. Not by locking him in a dungeon.”

It’s another interesting story, and I do like the fact that Constance and the events were real, and that in the story her actions weren’t exaggerated (just, somewhat, her faults and weaknesses).

“It says here that Deputy Kopp has an athletic build and weighs a hundred and eighty pounds.”

“What?” Fleurette cried out.

“They printed that?” I said.

“Well, you do, don’t you?” Norma said.

“At least that. But I didn’t think they’d put it in the paper. They kept asking Sheriff Heath if I was fit for duty as a deputy, and for some reason they demanded to know my height and weight, but I never supposed—”

I get why, dramatically, the scene in the hospital that causes the trouble was added in, but I kidna feel like it does a disservice to Constance. Not that what happened couldn’t have happened to anymore, but I suppose I felt bad for–she had enough going against her without the author modifying it to give her extra mistakes.

Otherwise? Fun!

Publisher: Mariner Books
Rating: 8/10

Categories: 8/10, Female, Historical, Mystery, Non-Fiction, Police     Comments (0)    



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