Amy Stewart does it again with Lady Cop Makes Trouble! Constance Kopp, a real-life NewJersey deputy sheriff in the 1910s is both fierce and curmudgeonly. Stewart takes many plot threads from real newspaper accounts and weaves them together with fiction to make a bang-up story. Like the first Kopp Sisters book, I sped through the audio in just a few days.

This book’s main characters are Constance, Sheriff Heath, and the villain. Kopp sisters Norma and Fleurette aren’t as involved as the previous book, and I’ll admit that I missed them. Nevertheless, I loved the interplay between the Sheriff and Constance as they navigate the choppy waters of working together.

That said, the status of Constance’s job is in flux throughout the book. It’s obviously not at all typical to have a female deputy, so Constance faces plenty of resistance from the people around her. Sheriff Heath’s wife is aghast and suspicious. Other deputies think she’ll never be up to snuff. The governing body of Bergen County doesn’t want to pay her.

But Constance will have none of that. She has a wrong to right and will not stop until she’s got the villain in custody. She’s part detective and part police officer, all the while working as the lady’s matron in the Bergen County jail.

Most of the time, I admired her tenacity. But there were a few occasions where I wanted Sheriff Heath to stand up to her more strongly. Constance is positively terrible at taking orders. On the other hand, if she just sat still and waited for the criminals to come to her, there’d be no reason to read the book!

My conclusions:

Amy Stewart throws in plenty of social commentary, just as she did in Girl Waits With Gun. The most important topic of women going to work is illustrated through Constance and a minor character. Relationships between men and women are challenged. And even women’s body image becomes a topic as we hear more about Constance’s uncommon height and presence.

Between the Kopp Sisters and Maisie Dobbs, I’ve met some fabulous new women in fiction this year. I can’t wait to keep reading about them and the times in which they lived.