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A friend told me I should check out Girl Waits With a Gun by Amy Stewart after hearing about it on NPR and I am so glad she did.

Girl Waits with a Gun centers around Constance 23719378Kopp and her two sisters, Norma and Fluerette, in 1914. Based on newspaper accounts of a trial in Paterson NJ, Stewart does a remarkable job bringing the Kopp sisters to life and describing the community and culture of the time — which was great fun for someone who previously lived in that part of Northern New Jersey.

Constance doesn’t fit the mold of women of her day, towering over most men and being fiercely independent. When she and her sisters have a accident (their horse and buggy, his car) with the unsavory Harry Kaufman, Constance is not going to let him get away with not paying for their repairs. Little does she know that Harry Kaufman and his buddies are despicable characters who won’t pay easily and start to harass the sisters.

As Constance works to protect her sisters, she learns more about Harry Kauffman’s sinister dealings and becomes further involved in making things right, she also discovers she makes a pretty good private investigator. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, so I will leave it at that.

At times, I worried that the story was going to drag out, but then Stewart smartly and seamlessly introduced another aspect that make the book move interestingly toward it’s end.

I think this is a great book for book clubs and anyone who enjoys really well done historical fiction and strong female characters.