Saturday, December 19, 2015

Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart

I want to say this book felt like a marriage between Victorian-era sensibilities and Hercule Poirot’s muse, Miss Marple, when in fact the setting for Girl Waits with Gun is between those two periods, around 1914, in America. 

This is the story of spinster Constance Kopp, who struggles to survive on the inherited family farm with her older, stern but likably-cynical sister, and a much younger sister (not really – spoiler clue).  

When Constance and her sisters are run down in their horse-drawn buggy by a rotten industrialist’s son, and then are horribly harassed when they try to make the son take responsibility for the expenses associated with the wreck, the sisters are forced to become astute in the matters of law, criminal investigation and armed combat. Side stories include illegitimate children and the stigma and moralities that drove decisions and outcomes for those mothers and children during that era; and the unionization of workers and the stresses and crime that came out of that effort.

This is a glimpse into an era that must have looked a lot like the one in which my mother came of age, and that made it even more interesting to me. The writing is simple, but good, and the story pace keeps your attention. 

The only thing that irked me was that I thought I was reading a novelized story of the first woman deputy sheriff in America, when in fact I was reading the prequel to that story. Constance doesn’t become the first woman deputy sheriff in America until the last few pages of the book, obviously setting the stage for a sequel, and one I will read. Smart on the part of author Amy Stewart (pictured), who is destined to pen a long-running series not unlike the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. Girl Waits with Gun is a gentler member of the crime/mystery genre, for those who wish for less profanity and gore.

No comments:

Post a Comment