While we know Alice Stebbins Wells was the first woman police officer with arrest powers in the U.S., Constance Kopp (yes that’s her real name) was one of the nation’s first deputy sheriffs, and is the protagonist behind bestselling author Amy Stewart’s books, “Girl Waits With Gun,” and the recently released “Lady Cop Makes Trouble.”
Amy came to learn of Constance’s incredible story while researching another book. She found a New York Times article from 1915 about a man named Henry Kaufman, who ran his car into a horse-drawn carriage driven by three sisters – Constance, Norma, and Fleurette Kopp. The sisters and Kaufman got into a conflict over payment for the damages and it escalated from there. The Kopp sisters were tormented by Kaufman and his cronies for more than a year. It was then that Constance worked with the sheriff to put a stop to the harassment. After the Sheriff saw Constance in action, he appointed her as one of the nation’s first female deputies.
Inspired by the way Constance stood up to Kaufman to get him to pay back the money he owed her, Amy continued to search for more information on Constance’s background and how one of the first female sheriffs in America came to be.
“Once I compiled a short stack of newspaper clippings, I thought, ‘Well, surely somebody has written a book about the Kopp sisters. At least a little local history book, or a children’s book, or something,” Amy says on her website. “I was amazed to find out that nothing had been written about them at all. There was no book, no Wikipedia page – nothing. They’d been completely forgotten about.”
Well not any more! Amy’s historical fiction books share the real-life adventures and fascinating story of a pioneering woman and her sisters who defied expectations and paved their own way. “I just really fell in love with them,” said Amy. “I actually felt a very powerful obligation to them to tell this story.”
About the Books
After besting (and arresting) a ruthless silk factory owner and his gang of thugs in Girl Waits with Gun, Constance Kopp became one of the nation’s first deputy sheriffs. She’s proven that she can’t be deterred, evaded, or outrun. But when the wiles of a German-speaking con man threaten her position and her hopes for this new life, and endanger the honorable Sheriff Heath, Constance may not be able to make things right.
Lady Cop Makes Trouble sets Constance loose on the streets of New York City and New Jersey–tracking down victims, trailing leads, and making friends with girl reporters and lawyers at a hotel for women. Cheering her on, and goading her, are her sisters Norma and Fleurette–that is, when they aren’t training pigeons for the war effort or fanning dreams of a life on the stage. Available on Amazon.
Images via Amy Stewart