This 2015 mystery by Amy Stewart is based on a real person, the first female crime fighter, and the plot comes from a newspaper clipping. It is set in the days in America when cars are just beginning to be used instead of horses. The opening scene has a horse and buggy driven by and carrying three sisters being “attacked” by a new-fangled auto. It is a lively scene which demonstrates the “sides” of the horse vs auto debate. The auto is driven by an inebriated Henry Kaufman of Kaufman Silk Dyeing Company. It is a hit and run, and Miss Constance, the oldest of the three maidenly sisters does not intend to let him get away with it. Other sisters are Miss Norma, the homebody, and the much younger, very attractive Miss Fleurette, the only one injured (slightly) in the accident.
The Dallas Morning News describes this novel-based-on-fact as a “fresh, winning, and delightful mystery with a warm heart, impish humor, and a heroine (Miss Constance) who quietly shatters convention.” I found this description to be apt.
Sheriff Heath comes into the investigation not as a love interest, but as a man who comes to admire Miss Constance and respect her skills in the solving of the mystery that occurs in the events before and after the accident and the harassment of the three sisters by Mr. Kaufman and his thugs.
There are moments of danger, moments of humor, and moments of moral courage as both family mysteries and the current mystery are examined and solved. It is a very satisfying read.