Constance Kopp stands up to biased “morality” laws of 1916, defending the independent young women in her prison against dubious charges when no one else will.
Deputy sheriff Constance Kopp is outraged to see young women brought into the Hackensack jail over dubious charges of waywardness, incorrigibility, and moral depravity. The strong-willed, patriotic Edna Heustis, who left home to work in a munitions factory, certainly doesn’t belong behind bars. And sixteen-year-old runaway Minnie Davis, with few prospects and fewer friends, shouldn’t be publicly shamed and packed off to a state-run reformatory. But such were the laws—and morals—of 1916.
Constance uses her authority as deputy sheriff, and occasionally exceeds it, to investigate and defend these women when no one else will. But it's her sister Fleurette who puts Constance's beliefs to the test and forces her to reckon with her own ideas of how a young woman should and shouldn't behave.
Against the backdrop of World War I, and drawn once again from the true story of the Kopp sisters, Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions is a spirited, page-turning story that will delight fans of historical fiction and lighthearted detective fiction alike.
Stewart's third novel in her clever and original Kopp Sisters series (after Girl Waits with Gun and Lady Cop Makes Trouble) continues the thorny adventures of Constance Kopp, New Jersey's first female deputy sheriff. The earlier books featured Constance establishing herself as an effective law enforcement officer in a male-dominated profession, determined she can do whatever a male deputy can do. Here, however, there is little crime-fighting and less suspense, as Stewart focuses instead on the very real social, economic, and legal restrictions on women in 1916, and on the prickly relationships between Constance and her two sisters, Norma and Fleurette. Constance and Norma are middle-aged spinsters; Fleurette is 18 and dreams of a stage career as a singer and dancer. When Fleurette runs off to join the vaudeville troupe May Ward and Her Eight Dresden Dolls, Norma fears Fleurette might be held against her will in bad conditions. Meanwhile, Constance must supervise the female prisoners in the county jail, protect young girls from overzealous prosecution for the moral crime of waywardness, and apologize for a colossal and hilarious show business misunderstanding. Though the least action-packed of the three novels, this latest volume is by far the funniest.