Stewart offsets the series’ sentimentality with her dogged attention to the specific — and often sordid — details of Constance’s work life ... Stewart starkly dramatizes what the loss of Constance’s paycheck would do. As the steady wage earner among her sisters, Constance keeps food on the table ... Throughout the novel, Constance confronts nightmare images of female dependency ... takes readers on a lively chase through a lost world. It’s a colorful and inventive adventure tale that also contains a serious message at its core about the importance of meaningful work to women’s identities and, in some cases, survival.
...[a] charming and illuminating mystery series ... Stewart’s generous helpings of period detail occasionally distract from the story but who can complain about the appearance of minor characters such as the local Rutherford, N.J., doctor whose sign out front reads 'W.C. Williams, M.D' ... Whether Constance is tackling a criminal 'in what had to be the most undignified position a woman had ever been seen in on the streets of Brooklyn' or pouring punch in a theater lobby for Fleurette’s Christmas pageant, her days and nights come vividly to life.
Constance would be a kick even if she were purely fictional. She’s almost 6 feet tall, strong and stoic to a fault, a classic Sam Spade detective who doesn’t quite understand why the rest of the world won’t treat her as such ... Unfortunately, this brings us to the downside of relying heavily on a true story as the basis of a thriller: Reality can’t plot for shit. As Constance tracks her prey from her rural county prison to New York City and back again, the story starts to get a little less gripping ... Still, based on character and atmosphere alone, Lady Cop Makes Trouble is a keeper.