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Search tags: jon-stewart-ftw
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review 2018-08-15 02:44
Deputy Kopp faces her biggest challenges yet -- a new Sheriff and an Uncertain Future
Miss Kopp Just Won't Quit - Amy Stewart

So it's been roughly a year for Constance Kopp working as the ladies' matron for the Bergon County Jail. In that time she has investigated crimes, tracked down murderers, sought justice for women of all walks of life, and put her life on the line more than a few times. She's gained nationwide notoriety, and caused more than a few scandals at home. About now, some of those scandals are coming back and are in the forefront of local elections.

 

Because of New Jersey law, Sheriff Heath, Constance's boss and chief defender, cannot run for another term of office without taking one off -- so no matter what, after Election Day, Constance will have a new boss. Heath's former Sheriff is running for the position again, and is the expected winner. He finds the idea of a female deputy silly, and while he won't take Constance seriously, he'll probably leave her alone. His opponent is a current detective in the Prosecutor's office who has been opposing Constance's position and person since Day 1, he's essentially running a campaign against Heath (even if Heath isn't the opponent), and Constance is the easiest way to do that. Clearly, the future isn't bright for Deputy Kopp.

 

While this is going on, Constance makes a couple more headlines -- she runs down a burglar single-handedly, she jumps into a river to apprehend a potential escapee under their custody when another deputy is injured. Constance has to take a woman to an insane asylum, after her husband and doctor get a judge to commit her for a while. This isn't the first time this has happened to the woman, and it seems clear to Constance that this woman is as sane as anyone. So Constance attempts to find out what's behind this commitment so she can free this woman. She's very aware of the trouble that this could cause for herself and for Sheriff Heath, she tries to do this under the radar. Under the radar isn't something that comes naturally to her, and her results aren't stellar (but better than one would expect).

 

The story was a bit flat, honestly. A lot of things seemed to be foregone conclusions (not necessarily the way that various characters saw them working, either). The one case that she really gets herself into is really pretty tidy and doesn't take a lot of effort -- although she does take plenty of risks. So really, the novel isn't about Constance sinking her teeth into a case, into helping a woman through some sort of problem, or any of the usual things. This is primarily about Constance worrying that she'll do something to jeopardize Sheriff Heath's Congressional campaign by giving his opponents something to harp on, while contemplating her future in the jail under the upcoming term of office for either candidate. Which is fine, really -- it's just not what I've come to expect from these books -- I expected the case of the poor committed woman to take the bulk of the attention, so the problem is my own. But it comes from being conditioned by the previous books.

 

Constance's sisters have a background role in this book -- Fleurette in particular, she's around frequently, but she plays a very small role. I appreciate that she seemed to have her head on straight and wasn't the cause for trouble (inadvertently or purposely). Norma seemed to primarily be a conduit for comic relief in this novel. But it never feels right to laugh at her, she's the most practical, she's the only realist in the family -- it's her blood, sweat and tears that's kept the family going. On the other hand, her obsessive nature does lead her into some strange preoccupations.

 

This is not to say it's a bad book -- Stewart is probably incapable of writing a bad book. Miss Kopp Just Won't Quit feels very different than the others in the series (although, really, each has felt different than the others), and it left me feeling dissatisfied. Still, it was an entertaining and compelling read. The ending is likely the best the series has had thus far -- we just have to go through some meandering passages, and some dark times for our favorite Deputy before we get to it. I don't know what comes next for Constance Kopp (I'm deliberately not consulting anything to tell me, either) -- but it's going to be very interesting to see what Stewart does next.

 

Disclaimer: I received this eARC from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via NetGalley in exchange for this post -- thanks to both for this.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/08/14/miss-kopp-just-wont-quit-by-amy-stewart-deputy-kopp-faces-her-biggest-challenges-yet-a-new-sheriff-and-an-uncertain-future
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review 2018-08-09 13:52
Constance perseveres
Lady Cop Makes Trouble - Amy Stewart

Constance is moved sideways to the role of prison guard while her boss argues that she should be enabled to be a full officer but society pressures loom large.

 

When she temporarally takes charge of an apparently immobile prisoner who is in the hospital he disappears when the lights go out and she has to find him, whether she is sanctioned or not.

 

Meanwhile life continues with her sisters and there is change coming.

 

It's an interesting series reflecting real life of the era and a woman who was determined to do her own thing.

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review 2018-07-26 21:55
Goofy fluff
Anything But Minor - Kate Stewart

Thanks to Quirky Omega for the recommendation!

 

Fluffy and goofy skimming romance that was a fun little escape. He plays baseball, we get some pitches thrown to the catcher and first baseman, she's a flight instructor, we get some sexist pilots not wanting to learn from her, and a whole lot of '80s movie quotes/references with some quick cute romance. Secondary characters bring a little tiny bit of angst but this is mostly cute non-taxing escapism.

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review 2018-07-24 21:00
The Ape that Understood the Universe
The Ape That Understood the Universe: How the Mind and Culture Evolve - Steve Stewart-Williams

[I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.]

That was interesting. I always find myself on the fence when it comes to “nature vs. nurture”, to be honest, because it can be presented in very deterministic ways in which I don’t find my place anyway (a.k.a my instinct to pass on my genes is close to nil, and I’m definitely not a poster child for “maternal behaviours”). So, I was a little worried at first. But I needn’t be, because while the author is definitely on the side of nature rather than nurture when it comes to quite a few behaviours, the explanations make sense, and are actually more along the lines of the “selfish gene”, which is quite different from “survival of the fittest”.

Basically, it’s not about passing on the traits that are useful to our survival. It’s passing on -genes- , which means that if we survive long enough to do that, those genes go on as part of global “package” more suited for survival than not. Subtle difference. Like the peacock’s tail. In itself, the tail’s an impediment, and definitely isn’t what we’d deem an attribute that promotes survival in the face of predators, but having it sends a message that “look, I’m so fit that I’ve managed to survive so far -in spite of my tail-, now let me make you babies”.

Definitely interesting, and something I haven’t read much about recently, so it was a nice change. The beginning of the book, where he imagines an alien scientist observing human beings, was also a welcome shift in point of view, if only because it was amusing, and provided food for thought as well.

Some points could spark controversy, which is expected, especially when it comes to differences between men and women. That’s the kind of thing I’m usually on the fence about—in fact, whoever’s non-binary will probably find them controversial as well, since from the beginning we don’t fit the men vs. women mould. It’s clearly best to approach this scientifically, and not with any socio-psychological approach in mind, because a clash is bound to happen. Still, as mentioned previously, it does make sense, and I can’t (and won’t) say that nothing of that is true. And in the end, there -are- differences anyway. We just have to remember that sex =/= gender, and that whatever occurred in nature doesn’t mean that it’s the ultimate law either (which is a position that the author doesn’t defend anyway, so we’re all good here). If it was, all men would be serial rapists and would keep murdering their male neighbours for looking a little too pretty for the women around.

Other parts of the book deal with altruistic behaviours, culture, and memes, in other words what is passed socially and not genetically, but following similar principles: the “memes” that survive, like language, survive because one of their side-effects is to be “useful” to the group, while “destructive” memes such as becoming a martyr aren’t too widespread, due to people “practicing” them not leaving that many descendants to follow. (I had a bit more trouble to follow the latter parts, though, because I had the feeling there was some redundancy here.)

Conclusion: Overall, it was an instructive read, while being also funny and easy to follow.

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text 2018-06-20 16:46
60%
A Devil in the Details: A Jesse James Dawson Novel   [DEVIL IN THE DETAILS] [Mass Market Paperback] - By (author) K A Stewart

Ivan cursed, using words and terms I didn’t want to understand. “You and this honor of yours. Sometimes, honor must be put aside!”

“And that’s usually when you need it the most.”

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