Amy Stewart

Novelist & Nonfiction Writer
NYT Bestseller
Travels from: Portland, OR

“My phone is ringing off the hook with praise for the evening.” — Carmel Public Library Foundation

Amy Stewart is the New York Times best-selling author books including the most recent, Miss Kopp Investigates and the rest of the Kopp Sisters series, which are based on the true story of one of America’s first female deputy sheriffs and her two rambunctious sisters. The books are in development with Amazon Studios for a television series, and have sold over 1 million copies worldwide.

Amy has won a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the American Horticulture Society’s Book Award, and an International Association of Culinary Professionals Food Writing Award. In 2012, she was invited to be the first Tin House Writer-in-Residence, a partnership with Portland State University, where she corrupted young minds in the MFA program.

Amy travels the country as a highly sought-after public speaker whose spirited lectures have inspired and entertained audiences at college campuses such as Cornell and Harvard, corporate offices like Google (where she served tequila and nearly broke the Internet), conferences and book festivals, Community Reads Programs and libraries nationwide.

She lives in Portland with her husband Scott Brown, a rare book dealer. They own an independent bookstore called Eureka Books, which is so independent that it lives in California while they live in Oregon.

Prepare an Invitation for:

Miss Kopp Investigates

Mariner Books |
Novel

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.

Dear Miss Kopp

Mariner Books |
Novel

Split apart by the war effort, the indomitable Kopp sisters take on saboteurs and spies and stand up to the Army brass as they face the possibility that their life back home will never be the same.

The U.S. has finally entered World War I. Constance, the oldest of the Kopp sisters, is doing intelligence work on the home front for the Bureau of Investigation while youngest sister and aspiring actress, Fleurette, travels across the country entertaining troops with song and dance. Meanwhile, at an undisclosed location in France, Norma oversees her thwarted pigeon project for the Army Signal Corps. When her roommate, a nurse at the American field hospital, is accused of stealing essential medical supplies, the intrepid Norma is on the case to find the true culprit.

Determined to maintain their sometimes-scratchy family bonds across the miles, the far-flung sisters try to keep each other in their lives. But the world has irrevocably changed—when will the sisters be together again?

Told through letters, Dear Miss Kopp weaves the stories of real-life women a century ago, proving once again that “any novel that features the Kopp sisters is going to be a riotous, unforgettable adventure” (Bustle).

Kopp Sisters On The March

Mariner Books |
Novel

Constance Kopp and her sisters take on the military establishment at a training camp for women as the U.S. readies for war.

It’s the spring of 1917 and change is in the air. American women have done something remarkable: they’ve banded together to create military-style training camps for women who want to serve. These so-called National Service Schools prove irresistible to the Kopp sisters, who leave their farm in New Jersey to join up.

When an accident befalls the matron, Constance reluctantly agrees to oversee the camp—much to the alarm of the Kopps’ tent-mate, the real-life Beulah Binford, who is seeking refuge from her own scandalous past under the cover of a false identity. Will she be denied a second chance? And after notoriety, can a woman’s life ever be her own again?

In Kopp Sisters on the March, the women of Camp Chevy Chase face down the skepticism of the War Department, the double standards of a scornful public, and the very real perils of war. Once again, Amy Stewart has brilliantly brought a little-known moment in history to light with her fearless and funny Kopp sisters novels.

Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit

Mariner Books |
Novel

One stormy night trouble finds Deputy Sherriff Constance Kopp on a seemingly routine transport to the insane asylum, thrusting her into the spotlight during a high stakes election.

After a year on the job, New Jersey’s first female deputy sheriff has collared criminals, demanded justice for wronged women, and gained notoriety nationwide for her exploits. But on one stormy night, everything falls apart.

While transporting a woman to an insane asylum, Deputy Kopp discovers something deeply troubling about her story. Before she can investigate, another inmate bound for the asylum breaks free and tries to escape.

In both cases, Constance runs instinctively toward justice. But the fall of 1916 is a high-stakes election year, and any move she makes could jeopardize Sheriff Heath’s future—and her own. Although Constance is not on the ballot, her controversial career makes her the target of political attacks.

With wit and verve, book-club favorite Amy Stewart brilliantly conjures the life and times of the real Constance Kopp to give us this “unforgettable, not-to-be messed-with heroine” (Marie Claire) under fire in Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit.

“Suspenseful . . . boasts a deeper emphasis on character, politics, and social issues. A must for Constance’s growing fan base.” —Booklist, starred review

“Stewart’s intrepid deputy sheriff is back, this time enmeshed in a 1916 local election with uncomfortable contemporary resonance . . . Constance may just have turned 40, but this tough-minded, generous-hearted believer in second chances and equal rights for women looks set for many more adventures. A welcome addition to this sui generis series, always fresh thanks to its vividly imagined characters firmly grounded in historical fact.” —Kirkus, starred review

“Stewart skillfully builds nail-biting suspense . . . The blend of practicality, forthrightness, and compassion in her first-person narration is sure to satisfy series fans and win new admirers.” —Publishers Weekly

Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt |
Novel

Constance Kopp stands up to biased “morality” laws of 1916, defending the independent young women in her prison against dubious charges when no one else will.

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.

Lady Cop Makes Trouble

Mariner Books |
Novel

A wily con man makes a daring escape from prison, endangering Constance Kopp’s new job as deputy sheriff, and the chase is on through the streets of New York for the fugitive.

After besting (and arresting) a ruthless silk factory owner and his gang of thugs in Girl Waits with Gun, Constance Kopp became one of the nation’s first deputy sheriffs. She’s proven that she can’t be deterred, evaded, or outrun. But when the wiles of a German-speaking con man threaten her position and her hopes for this new life, and endanger the honorable Sheriff Heath, Constance may not be able to make things right.     Lady Cop Makes Trouble sets Constance loose on the streets of New York City and New Jersey–tracking down victims, trailing leads, and making friends with girl reporters and lawyers at a hotel for women. Cheering her on, and goading her, are her sisters Norma and Fleurette–that is, when they aren’t training pigeons for the war effort or fanning dreams of a life on the stage.    Based on a true story, Girl Waits with Gun introduced Constance Kopp and her charming and steadfast sisters to an army of enthusiastic readers. Those readers will be thrilled by this second installment–also ripped from the headlines–in the romping, wildly readable life of a woman forging her own path, tackling crime and nefarious criminals along the way.

Girl Waits With Gun

Mariner Books |
Novel

NATIONAL BESTSELLER. The first in the Kopps Sisters Novel Series, Girl Waits with Gun is an enthralling novel based on the forgotten true story of one of the nation’s first female deputy sheriffs.
Constance Kopp doesn’t quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into hiding fifteen years ago. One day a belligerent and powerful silk factory owner runs down their buggy, and a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets, and threats as he unleashes his gang on their family farm. When the sheriff enlists her help in convicting the men, Constance is forced to confront her past and defend her family — and she does it in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared.
A New York Times Editors’ Choice
“A smart, romping adventure, featuring some of the most memorable and powerful female characters I’ve seen in print for a long time. I loved every page as I followed the Kopp sisters through a too-good-to-be-true (but mostly true!) tale of violence, courage, stubbornness, and resourcefulness.”—Elizabeth Gilbert

The Drunken Botanist

Algonquin Books |
Nonfiction

The Essential, New York Times–Bestselling Guide to Botany and Booze

“A book that makes familiar drinks seem new again . . . Through this horticultural lens, a mixed drink becomes a cornucopia of plants.”—NPR’s Morning Edition

“Amy Stewart has a way of making gardening seem exciting, even a little dangerous.” —The New York Times

Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley, tequila from agave, rum from sugarcane, bourbon from corn. Thirsty yet?  In The Drunken Botanist, Amy Stewart explores the dizzying array of herbs, flowers, trees, fruits, and fungi that humans have, through ingenuity, inspiration, and sheer desperation, contrived to transform into alcohol over the centuries.

Of all the extraordinary and obscure plants that have been fermented and distilled, a few are dangerous, some are downright bizarre, and one is as ancient as dinosaurs—but each represents a unique cultural contribution to our global drinking traditions and our history.

This fascinating concoction of biology, chemistry, history, etymology, and mixology—with more than fifty drink recipes and a new section on how to grow your very own cocktail garden—will make you the most popular guest at any cocktail party.

Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon’s Army & Other Diabolical Insects

Algonquin Books |
Nonfiction

In this darkly comical look at the sinister side of our relationship with the natural world, Stewart has tracked down over one hundred of our worst entomological foes—creatures that infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs. From the world’s most painful hornet, to the flies that transmit deadly diseases, to millipedes that stop traffic, to the “bookworms” that devour libraries, to the Japanese beetles munching on your roses, Wicked Bugs delves into the extraordinary powers of six- and eight-legged creatures.

With wit, style, and exacting research, Stewart has uncovered the most terrifying and titillating stories of bugs gone wild. It’s an A to Z of insect enemies, interspersed with sections that explore bugs with kinky sex lives (“She’s Just Not That Into You”), creatures lurking in the cupboard (“Fear No Weevil”), insects eating your tomatoes (“Gardener’s Dirty Dozen”), and phobias that feed our (sometimes) irrational responses to bugs (“Have No Fear”).

Intricate and strangely beautiful etchings and drawings by Briony Morrow-Cribbs capture diabolical bugs of all shapes and sizes in this mixture of history, science, murder, and intrigue that begins—but doesn’t end—in your own backyard.

Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities

Algonquin Books |
Nonfiction

A tree that sheds poison daggers; a glistening red seed that stops the heart; a shrub that causes paralysis; a vine that strangles; and a leaf that triggered a war. In Wicked Plants, Stewart takes on over two hundred of Mother Nature’s most appalling creations. It’s an A to Z of plants that kill, maim, intoxicate, and otherwise offend. You’ll learn which plants to avoid (like exploding shrubs), which plants make themselves exceedingly unwelcome (like the vine that ate the South), and which ones have been killing for centuries (like the weed that killed Abraham Lincoln’s mother).

Menacing botanical illustrations and splendidly ghastly drawings create a fascinating portrait of the evildoers that may be lurking in your own backyard. Drawing on history, medicine, science, and legend, this compendium of bloodcurdling botany will entertain, alarm, and enlighten even the most intrepid gardeners and nature lovers.

Fiction Workshops and Author Event Programs

The Astonishing True Story of the Kopp Sisters

Amy Stewart’s Kopp Sisters novels, starting with Girl Waits with Gun, are based on the true story of three extraordinary women: Constance, Norma, and Fleurette Kopp. In 2012, Stewart stumbled across a 1914 newspaper article about them and went on to uncover their amazing history through genealogical archives, court records, old newspapers, and interviews with family members. From their story, she is writing a series about the Kopp sisters and their adventures in crime-fighting. Stewart will share photographs and stories about these extraordinary women and the fascinating historical background that shaped their world a hundred years ago.

Garden to Glass: Adventures in Cocktail Gardening

A one-hour lecture with slides in PowerPoint

Edible gardening doesn’t just put food on the table—it puts a drink in your hand, too. Join Amy Stewart for a talk on designing a cocktail garden that does double duty as a productive space to grow edibles, and a location for your next party. We’ll cover the most worthwhile cocktail-friendly plants to grow: Learn which variety of mint flavors authentic Cuban mojitos, discover patio-sized fruits for punches and smashes, and find out why growing your own celery for a Bloody Mary brunch is totally worthwhile. We’ll look at examples of beautifully-designed cocktail gardens and outdoor bars, and innovative ideas for extending the season indoors. You’ll also learn secrets to mixing great drinks and creating your own botanical infusions.

Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln's Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities

In her New York Times bestseller Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities, Amy Stewart takes on Mother Nature’s most appalling creations. It’s an A to Z of plants that kill, maim, intoxicate, and otherwise offend. Drawing on history, medicine, science, and legend, Stewart presents tales of bloodcurdling botany that will entertain, alarm, and enlighten even the most intrepid gardeners and nature lovers.

Find out which plant killed Abraham Lincoln’s mother, which shrub ignited a global war, and what plant has killed 90 million people. From strychnine to castor bean, from poison sumac to monkshood, from carnivorous plants to weeds that spontaneously combust, Stewart introduces an unforgettable cast of characters and tells their tales with her own wicked sense of humor.

This 45-minute talk is accompanied by dazzling photographs, historical images, copper engravings, and other visuals as illustrations.

Sketching In Your Own Backyard or Around the World

In addition to writing bestselling books like The Drunken Botanist and Wicked Plants, Amy Stewart has been painting and drawing for twenty years. In that time she’s filled countless sketchbooks with scenes from her own garden and her travels. Join Amy for a delightfully-illustrated talk about the pleasures of keeping a sketchbook, including a discussion of materials, techniques, and a video demonstration, followed by a Q&A.

Flower Confidential — Behind the Scenes and Around the World in the Global Flower Market

A one-hour discussion and slide show.

Amy Stewart traveled around the world to learn more about the extraordinary business of flowers. At laboratories, greenhouses, airports, warehouses, and flower shops, she discovered a remarkable intersection of nature and technology, of sentiment and commerce. She told the story in her bestselling book, Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers.

What has been gained, and what has been lost, in the quest for the perfect flower? Does it matter if roses have lost their scent? How do we respond to a lily that has been bred for the convenience of the grower, not the desires of the customer? Are we better off with 209 varieties of daisies to choose from? In a global marketplace, is there such a thing as a socially responsible flower?

Join Stewart for an exploration of the individuals, the corporations, and the technology dedicated to the pursuit of the perfect flower. You’ll never look at a rose the same way again.

Wicked Bugs: The Louse that Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects

Join Amy Stewart for a darkly comical look at the sinister side of our relationship with the insect world. In this talk based on her New York Times bestseller, you’ll meet creatures that infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs. From the world’s most painful hornet, to the flies that transmit deadly diseases, to millipedes that stop traffic, to the “bookworms” that devour libraries, to the Japanese beetles munching on your roses, Wicked Bugs delves into the extraordinary power of six and eight-legged creatures. It’s a mixture of history, science, murder, and intrigue that begins–but doesn’t end–in your own backyard.

This 45-minute talk is accompanied by dazzling photographs, historical images, copper engravings, and other visuals as illustrations. In addition, Amy may bring actual specimens with her– but don’t worry–they don’t bite!

I Am Not Throwing Away My Plot

You’ve got a story to tell–but HOW are you going tell it? In this fun and fast-paced workshop, Amy Stewart encourages writers to go on a speed date with several different approaches to plot. You’ll get to try out at least half a dozen techniques for analyzing and outlining your story, including new twists on tried-and-true methods, and some wholly original approaches that Stewart has developed herself. (And yes, one of them is inspired by the hit musical Hamilton!) This class works well for both fiction and nonfiction writers, and can be taught in as little as three hours or as much as two days.

A Natural Murder: Using Poisonous Plants and Venomous Bugs To Create the Perfect Crime

A one-hour workshop with slides. Designed as a workshop for mystery writers, but garden clubs and botanical gardens are also encouraged to partner with local mystery writers’ groups, mystery bookstores, or mystery book clubs to host a joint event.

Murder mysteries might be called “whodunnits,” but the “how” is every bit as important as the “who.” Mystery writers are always in search of a new way to kill off a character. Is there a poisonous seed that can be baked into a cupcake? A bitter herb that could be slipped into a cocktail? What about a stinging caterpillar with no known antivenin, or a beetle that provides the perfect alibi? The natural world is full of poisons, misleading clues, and dastardly characters.

Based on her sold-out workshop for mystery writers at the Tucson Festival of Books, Amy Stewart has assembled a treasure trove of dreadful poisons and venomous stings from her books Wicked Plants and Wicked Bugs. She’ll also share true crime stories from the natural world—from a serial killer who used the seeds of a tropical tree on his victims, to the world’s most inept murderess, to a new twist on the ever-popular vampire story. It’s an unforgettable and wickedly hilarious talk that will appeal to mystery writers and their fans!

Amy’s Paintings

Upcoming Events

Amy’s Writing Classes

Amy’s Blog

Honors, Awards & Recognition

NYT Bestseller
Indie Next List
National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship
IndieBound Bestseller
AHS Book Award
Library Reads Favorite

Media Kit

By clicking the link below your will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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