Release Day Feature + Giveaway! Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart

Posted September 1, 2015 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Giveaways, Read in 2015, Release Day Feature / 35 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Release Day Feature + Giveaway! Girl Waits with Gun by Amy StewartGirl Waits with Gun on September 1st 2015
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


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.

About Amy Stewart

Amy Stewart is the author of seven books. Her latest, Girl Waits With Gun, is a novel based on a true story. She has also written six nonfiction books on the perils and pleasures of the natural world, including four New York Times bestsellers: The Drunken Botanist, Wicked Bugs, Wicked Plants, and Flower Confidential. She lives in Eureka, California, with her husband Scott Brown, who is a rare book dealer. They own a bookstore called Eureka Books. The store is housed in a classic nineteenth-century Victorian building that Amy very much hopes is haunted.

He looked up and said, in a loud, plain voice, “She’s not a regular lady.”

Indeed, Constance Kopp was quite a woman for her time. Constance Amelie Kopp was born in 1878 and as an adult was recorded as being six feet tall. Yes, Constance Kopp was a real-life woman and is credited as being one of America’s first female deputy sheriffs. Little is known of the women but what is known paints a most interesting picture. Amy Stewart gathered as much information as she could and the necessary enrichment truly brought her and the people associated with her to being. Girl Waits With a Gun starts off Constance’s story with a buggy accident involving her and her sisters, Norma and Fleurette, in 1914. The individual responsible for causing the damage and irreversibly damaging their mode of transportation, was one Henry Kaufman, a wealthy silk factory owner. Constance sends him repeated notices of the amount of damage he is responsible for, $50, and when he fails to respond to her goes to collect from him personally. This sets off a long year of harrassment from Kaufman and his associates where they suffer through having bricks thrown through their windows at night to letters threatening to kidnap their youngest sister Fleurette and sell her into white slavery. Not willing to lay down and accept this, Constance goes to the police with the hope that she can put her trust in them to put a stop to the menace in their lives.

Girl Waits With a Gun was an unexpected delight for me but was much more slower paced than I would have figured. I went into this expecting some sort of crime fiction with a historical flair being that it’s set in 1914. This was decidedly less focused on the crime itself but of Constance and of the story behind her becoming a deputy sheriff, and how it was nothing but a complete accident. This story leaned more towards  historical-fiction/cozy mystery territory but is unmistakably the smartest story of the genre I’ve read. It took me a solid week to read this and while I had to pace myself, I never lost any interest in this charming tale.

Constance-KoppConstance was a fantastic character and imaginably a remarkable individual in her own right. On Amy Stewart’s website she lists a quote from Constance where she said: “Some women prefer to stay at home and take care of the house. Let them. There are plenty who like that kind of work enough to do it. Others want something to do that will take them out among people and affairs. A woman should have the right to do any sort of work she wants to, provided she can do it.” That was the kind of woman she was, one who refused to fall into typical social expectations of the time. In her earlier years she expressed an interest in pursuing a career, as a lawyer or a nurse, but her mother inevitably discouraged that and kept her at home. The story touches briefly and only occasionally on her past when she was around eighteen years old and what truly molded her into the woman she is today. While I loved her take no crap attitude in her mature years, I really loved seeing this younger part of her that was still coming into her own and learning the ways of the world. The situations she found herself in for that time may have been irreversible and life-changing but not only was she strong-willed but she had a supportive family to back her up. She was quite an inspiring individual and I do hope we haven’t seen the last of Constance Kopp.

“…if I could give her one silent gift […] – it would be this: the realization that we have to be a part of the world we live in. We don’t scurry away when we’re in trouble, or when someone else is. We don’t run and hide.”

Thanks to the wonderful individuals over at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, I have a copy to share with one lucky reader! I’ve decided to move away from Rafflecopter again and am opting to keep it simple: leave a comment expressing your interest in this story to enter!

This giveaway is open to US and Canada residents and will end on September 15th, 2015.

Good luck!


35 responses to “Release Day Feature + Giveaway! Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart

  1. Marissa

    The first thing that grabs me about this book is the fantastic cover! The summary – a strong woman taking up the role of defender because, really, she HAS to – is also something that I always love to read. Would love a chance to get a copy of this one. Thanks!

  2. Mary Lou McAuley

    I have a distant relative, Meda McHaney, who in 1914-15 crossed the United States, by herself, in a Ford flivver (Model T) selling encyclopedias to finance her trip to the San Francisco World’s Fair. We only have a few pages of her singing poetry, “To Frisco via Ford”, but just the sheer guts and patience make me glad that we are somehow related. So, when I heard a radio review of Amy Stewart’s new book, I said, you bet I want to read this book! There are many, many stories of strong women, and it sounds like this one is on its way to the top.
    Thank you for this chance to win my copy!
    MAry Lou McAuley

  3. Jonathan Taylor

    I love historical fiction and have recently become really enthralled with this time in history thanks to several other authors. I would love to read about Constance!

  4. Lisa

    I loved the NPR interview with the author and how immersed she became in this slice of history. I’d love to read this book!

  5. Menarva Matar

    The book sounds like something I would like to read. I have just gotten into reading historical fiction books and would like to continue to find more books that fit into this genre. Not only would I be able to read an intriguing mystery book, but it also follows up on history and learn about Constance Kopp’s secret. If I am able to win this contest, it will expand my view and history and author’s from which I choose from. Thank you for giving me the chance to enter this contest.

  6. Claire

    This books sounds so interesting for it being an historical fiction novel. Usually they sound so boring to me but I’m really intrigued.

  7. Mary Ann

    Love those interesting women of history! Sounds like a book I would enjoy, and then pass along to like minded readers.

  8. Suzanne Wilson

    As a compulsive mystery reader, I would be very interested in reading Girl with a Gun by Amy Stewart. Retires teacher, somewhat bored, can’t wait to hear from you.

  9. Hello! I’m interested in reading more historical novels and also stories with female protagonists. History, because I just started working at a museum and am realizing how significant history really is; female protagonists because I want to find and support writers who develop multi-layered and diverse female characters. This novel seems to meld these two aspects together well, with bonuses of plenty of action and adventure! I’d love to read it!

  10. Susan Land

    I read the book “Nothing Daunted” about two women who leave their cushy lifestyle to teach out west in the 1900’s. Girl Waits with Gun seems to have the same feel. I love reading about women who step out of their traditional roles! Will be my book club choice this year.

  11. Stacey Baker

    I love historical fiction and this sounds like a great book! I also adore the cover and want to own a copy!!!

  12. christie

    I would love to win a copy of Girl Waits With Gun. It’s encouraging and intriguing to read about strong women in every era and all social classes. It looks like a fun entry into my favourite genre.

  13. Kayleigh Walters

    This looks like a very interesting story! Quite different from my normal read, but still something that I’d like to get my nose into.

  14. Elaina

    Girl Waits with Gun would be enthralling and a really fascinating novel. Many thanks for this great giveaway.

  15. Andrea Benning

    Casually thumbing through a weekly magazine, the eye-catching Houghton Mifflin Harcourt book jacket arrested my attention. The reviews announcing Girl Waits With Gun is based on actual incidents is the icing on the cake. Thank you for the give away.

  16. Courtney

    I read about Girl Waits With a Gun in my local Sunday newspaper and decided to hop on over to Goodreads to add it to my TBR list. This looks like a fun historical fiction novel!

  17. Dorie Schultz

    I would love to have a copy of this book. I have read a lot of reviews about it and would love a hard copy. I looked up the history of the Kopp sisters and they sound like an incredible group of women. I love the time period and women starting to emerge as strong and influential citizens. I would also share this with my four grown daughters who would love it as well.

  18. Kristen Cabrera

    Head her interview on NPR. Sounds super fascinating. Went searching around my local bookstores and none of them have it! Luckily a lot of the sales people told me I’m not the only one who’s been looking for that book.

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