“Author Kari Bovee has fictionalized true characters in her lively mystery, Girl with a Gun. The story begins in St. Louis, Missouri, 1885.
Fifteen year-old Annie Oakley is the sole supporter of her mother and two younger siblings. Annie is an excellent marksman and sells game to the local markets to make ends meet. While in town one day, she competes in a shooting contest and is invited to become a part of the renowned Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show.
Annie meets her assistant, Kimi, a fictionalized teenage Indian girl whose murder begins the story. Thus begins a string of events which could not only endanger Annie, but could also ruin the Wild West Show. True characters, which the author portrays with their known characteristics, include Frank Butler, Buffalo Bill, and Sitting Bull.
As the mystery thickens, Anne’s shooting and riding skills catapult her to fame. When a scandal erupts that could bring her career to a crashing end, she enlists the assistance of a newspaper reporter who has the resources to help unravel the mystery.
I enjoyed Girl with a Gun and learning more about Annie Oakley and her strong Quaker background. I appreciated author Bovee’s attention to detail and her obviously solid research, particularly of period clothing, guns used in that era, and horse behavior. The mystery novel also touches on Annie’s later interest in women’s suffrage and in teaching women how to use guns for self-defense. ”
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