Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions Summary and Reviews

Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions

A Kopp Sisters Novel

by Amy Stewart

Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions by Amy Stewart X
Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions by Amy Stewart
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2017
    384 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

The best-selling author of Girl Waits with Gun and Lady Cop Makes Trouble continues her extraordinary journey into the real lives of the forgotten but fabulous Kopp sisters.

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. 

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Constance is a blunt, idealistic narrator whose descriptions of the period's injustices against women, especially in the dehumanizing state reformatory system, are a gripping contrast to Hackensack's polite society. Perfect for book groups." - Booklist

"Though the least action-packed of the three novels, this latest volume is by far the funniest." - Publishers Weekly

"A lovely addition for series fans and aficionados of historical fiction." - Library Journal

"Lively and admirable female characters emboldened by their circumstances, impeccably realized and given new life by Stewart." - Kirkus

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Reader Reviews

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Cloggie Downunder

Excellent historical crime fiction
Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions is the third book in the Kopp Sisters series by NYT best-selling American author, Amy Stewart. As Deputy Sheriff and Matron of Hackensack jail, Constance Kopp deals with several so-called morality cases where young girls, often runaways, are arrested for Waywardness or Illegal Cohabitation. Detective Courter and Paterson’s only female police officer, Mrs Belle Headison, are of the opinion that these girls need to be sent to the reformatory until they attain 21, while Constance and Sheriff Heath believe they can be rehabilitated with the right support, in such cases where the arrest is not actually on entirely frivolous grounds.

Edna Heustis is one such young lady whom Constance manages to have released with a clever defence, and then finds herself informally appointed, through a casual remark from the presiding judge, as a probation officer of sorts. But not all the cases are quite so innocent and Constance learns some facts of life that may see an unfortunate girl in regrettable circumstances. Minnie Davis looks headed for the Reformatory but, when Constance sees that place first hand, she is determined to prevent it.

Meanwhile, young Fleurette is champing at the bit for more freedom, her current wish being a place in May Ward’s popular vaudeville troupe. What Fleurette wants has Constance re-examining her own beliefs on appropriate behaviour for a young lady. Norma’s distrust of strangers reaches new heights and sees her taking unprecedented action, with some unexpected consequences. In trying to realise her fondest desire, Fleurette learns that the reality is not only disappointing but also rather tedious.

In this instalment, Constance: finally gets her Deputy’s badge; can’t escape the voracious press and their highly inaccurate reporting; is consequently plagued by letters offering marriage, clever rejections to all of which are produced with great alacrity by Norma; and is dismayed to hear that the coming elections will furnish her with a new Sheriff, possibly the man who is currently the bane of her life, Detective Courter.

Stewart’s Historical Notes and Sources are interesting and informative, revealing that Constance Kopp and her sisters were real people, much as described, as are quite a few of the other characters. Many of the events that form the plot also occurred, if not always when stated. Stewart takes the known historical facts and fleshes them out into a marvellous tale.

Stewart effortlessly portrays the characteristics of everyday life of the early twentieth century and clearly demonstrates how different life was over a hundred years ago, including the utter dependence and powerlessness of women at this time in history. The letters proposing marriage, and the replies drafted by Norma provide some wry humour, as does the dialogue. Excellent historical crime fiction that will have readers seeking out the fourth book, Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit.

Sandi W.

warm and spirited
3.5 stars

The Kopp Sisters series is going to end all too soon for me, I am sure. Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions is the third book of the series and one I thoroughly enjoyed. Based on the real life of Constance Kopp, this fictional series is informative of the time, humorous in it's tone and both warm and spirited in it's story line.

Moving back in time to when the female was still owned and an object of the time, this series recalls the beginning of the female detective. Well ahead of her time, force to always defend herself, Constance Kopp was the first female detective in Hackensack New Jersey. Well liked by the Chief of Police, but not his wife, Kopp did her job well. She was an advocate for the female 'criminal' - knowing that females were harassed, and jailed, for petty incidents that men did on a daily basis. Standing up for the female population, that she tended in her section of the jail, was first and of foremost importance to Constance.

However this book dealt more with Constance's own family. Being the oldest of 3 sisters, at least in appearance, Constance goes very easy on the youngest, Fleurette, who wants to be a vaudeville singer and dancer. Disappearing in the night Flaurette becomes the thorn in the side of her sisters and Constance is forced to track her down, against her better judgement.

Amy Steward has a great series going. Her characters are well developed, her research is impeccable, and her story line is warm, humorous and lively.

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Author Information

Amy Stewart Author Biography

Photo: Terrence McNally

Amy Stewart is the award-winning author of seven books, including her acclaimed Miss Kopp series and the bestsellers The Drunken Botanist and Wicked Plants. She and her husband own a bookstore called Eureka Books in Eureka, California. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

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