Life after the war takes an unexpected turn for the Kopp sisters, but soon enough, they are putting their unique detective skills to use in new and daring ways.
Winter 1919: Norma is summoned home from France, Constance is called back from Washington, and Fleurette puts her own plans on hold as the sisters rally around their recently widowed sister-in-law and her children. How are four women going to support themselves?
A chance encounter offers Fleurette a solution: clandestine legal work for a former colleague of Constance’s. She becomes a “professional co-respondent,” posing as the “other woman” in divorce cases so that photographs can be entered as evidence to procure a divorce. While her late-night assignments are both exciting and lucrative, they put her on a collision course with her own family, who would never approve of such disreputable work. One client’s suspicious behavior leads Fleurette to uncover a much larger crime, putting her in the unlikely position of amateur detective.
In Miss Kopp Investigates, Amy Stewart once again brilliantly captures the women of this era—their ambitions for the future as well as the ties that bind—at the start of a promising new decade.
This new adventure of the Kopp sisters was engaging and easy to read as usual, but somehow, it was also a bit all over the place. Though I suppose this comes with following the real life of real people.
This series is, in fact, inspired by the real life of the three Kopp sisters. There are indeed invented episodes, but the majority of the story follows real-life events.
This story is the first entirely devoted to Fleurette, the younger of the three sisters. We get to see how she starts finding her way in life, even going against their sisters while fighting for her independence and getting in trouble, even with the law. Almost by chance, Fleurette starts to work for a detective, and she discovers that – like her older sister Constance – she has a way with mysteries and wants to see them solved.
I suppose this is the point of the story, but it is built in pieces and episodes, and until Fleurette comes to the mystery she works to solve alone – which is well into the second part of the book – I had a feeling the story was going in circles, without a true point.
It is a complex story. Many things happen at the same time because this is how life happens, and I appreciate the author’s ability to turn it into a story, yet I did feel a sense of aimlessness for most of it.
But apart from this, it was enjoyable as usual. The characters are fantastic and life-like. I really care for all of them. And I like the way it ended, with the three sisters setting up their investigative agency.Miss Kopp Investigates by @Amy_Stewart #BookReview After the Great War, life takes a new turn for the Kopp sisters, and Fleurette seems to take the lead. A great cosy mystery set in the 1920s #amreading #HistoricalMystery Click To Tweet
Miss Kopp Investigates
“Not a word, dear. Not even your name. Let Madame read the truth in your palm.”
Fleurette turned over her hand and let the woman run her fingers across it. As a child Fleurette had been fascinated with palmistry but wasn’t allowed to have a book about it, as her mother considered it heresy and her sisters thought it nonsense. Nonetheless she once cut out a diagram of the palm from a magazine with the lines and mounds indicated, and kept the scrap of paper hidden away for years, consulting it from time to time when she wondered what on earth was to become of her life.
She was, in other words, familiar enough with the general methods and principles. She was not therefore surprised when Madame Zella said, “Your heart line is like a chain, which suggests a flirtatious and capricious nature. No man had ever entirely satisfied you.”
Fleurette, forgetting for a moment, that she was meant to play a part, said, “I suppose you’re right, although I wonder if it doesn’t also mean that my heart is weak. My brother…”
Madame Zella glanced up sharply. “Nothing about your family just yet!” she hissed. “Your fate line shows a break coming soon. Have your palms hitch lately?”
They did just then, when the fortune-teller suggested it. “I do believe something’s about to change,” admitted Fleurette, “Or I hope it will, now that… Well, I suppose you don’t want me to say. My prospects have improved, that’s all.”
The fortune-teller looked up brightly. “Then we must consult the cards. This time, though, it is different. You must put your hands on the deck, so” – and she pressed a deck of cards, wropped in yet another scarf, into Fleurette’s hands – “and you must speak about your question. The cards will answer the question put to them, nothing more.”
Fleurette closed her eyes and smiled slightly. What a delicious role it was, that of the naïve young widow about to be duped by an unscrupulous fortune-teller! She could put every bit of this scene on stage just as it was.
The Thursday Quotables was originally a weekly post created by Lisa Wolf for her book blog Bookshelf Fantasy . It isn’t a weekly post anymore, not even for Lisa, but just like her, I still love to share my favourite reads on Thursdays and I still use the original template which included an excerpt.