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Constance Dunlap

Arthur B. Reeve

Book Overview: 

Constance Dunlap is a young woman who in Chapter 1 turns amateur criminal in order to to save her husband from disgrace and imminent arrest. When this sadly doesn't work out exactly as planned, Constance goes on to embrace a new life. More antiheroine than heroine, she uses her wits and new found talents to aid others in avoiding retribution for their crimes always one step ahead of the detective pursuing her.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .provisional government—merely coin our own money. Besides, it will not be done in this country. It will not come under your laws."

There was a magnetism about the man that fascinated her, as he stood watching the effect of his words. Instinctively she knew that it was not alone enthusiasm over his scheme that inspired his confidences.

"Though we are not counterfeiters," he went on, "we do not know what moment our opponents may set your Secret Service to destroy all our hopes. Besides, we must have money—now—to buy machinery, arms, ammunition. We must find some one," he lowered his voice, "who can persuade American bankers and merchants to take risks to gain valuable concessions in the new state."

Santos was talking rapidly and earnestly, urging his case on her.

"We are prepared," he hurried on confidentially, "to give you, Senora, half the money that you can raise for these purposes."

He p. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The 12 chapters in this novel are essentially short stories held together by the title character.

Constance becomes an amateur criminal in Chapter 1 by forging cheques. At length she has to leave town for a while. In subsequent chapters she finds herself helping people who are good at heart - like...more

This is a novel in short stories, meaning each chapter is episodic but only the first and last are at all related to each other. Constance is one of the early "bad girl" detectives, meaning she operates on the shady side of the law, and the book is surprisingly modern in some of its cases - "The...more

Essentially a collection of consequential (very) short stories. These are quite entertaining at first but don't really work as a full length book as they are rather formulaic. Much better to read the odd one now and again. The stories have been well reviewed here by others but what I do really li...more

I really enjoyed this book about a clever woman who turns forger to help her husband. This is told as a series of short stories and after the first few Constance is not an anti-hero any more. She uses her skills and interest in new-fangled inventions like fingerprints, blood pressure machines, an...more

A collection of short stories showing a normal housewife who turns into a criminal for her husband, stays criminal for a while longer because she's turned bitter, and then starts to help people she feels deserves it. I kept listening & didn't want it to end. The only negative was that the sam...more

I love love love this book. It tells about Constance, a pretty, smart, and very resourceful woman. She is sort of like a detective, but she actually helps people who are not "bad" but happen to get on the wrong side of the law.

I like the way this book is written; instead of one big story, there a...more

Nicely plotted (each chapter a different tale), intriguing heroine. Mystery/romance. Well read (with good inflections).

Really enjoyable read.