Tag Archives: wild west

Perle de Vere- Empowered Women in History - Historical Fiction Author Kari Bovee

Flash Briefing: Perle de Vere

Join host Kari Bovee, award-winning author of historical fiction as she shares stories of strong women of history combined with mysteries of the past.

>> Listen to Flash briefing HERE. <<

Shortly after her arrival in Denver at the age of fourteen or fifteen, a girl with mysterious beginnings, who called herself “Miss Martin” became known as Perle de Vere, a beautiful Perle de Verea- Empowered Women in History - Historical Fiction Author Kari Boveewoman with red-hair, a strong will, and good business sense. Her family believed she worked as a dress designer and catered to Denver’s wealthiest women. But, in fact, she catered to the city’s wealthiest men as a favorite prostitute.

During the Silver Panic of 1893, business in Denver dried up. Miss de Vere, then at 30 years old, packed her bags and moved to the booming gold camp of Cripple Creek, Colorado. She invested her savings and bought a house on Myers street. She hired several beautiful girls and started her own brothel. Her business proved to be an instant success, affording Perle fine clothing and an extravagant lifestyle. She also knew how to protect her investment and demanded her girls practice good hygiene, dress well, and have monthly medical exams.

Perle, a discerning business woman and the most successful madam of the town, didn’t cater to just anyone. Patrons of her establishment had to apply for a visit. Once their application was approved and their wealth determined, Perle allowed them to choose their girl. Evenings at Perle’s house, called the Old Homestead, often consisted of live entertainment, socializing, cards, and dancing before the girls and their clients retired upstairs. Perle often hosted lavish parties with imported foods and plenty of champagne and other spirits.

Much of Pearl’s early life is shrouded in mystery, and so is her death. In the summer of 1897, Perle hosted an extravagant party sponsored by one of her wealthiest clients and Perle de Verea- Empowered Women in History - Historical Fiction Author Kari Boveemost ardent admirerers—a millionaire from either Poverty Gulch or Denver. Imported champagne, liquor, and caviar graced Perle’s establishment, for the wildest party the town would ever see. Perle’s admirer even brought her a beaded gown imported from Paris to wear to the event.

During the evening, after much drinking and revelry, Perle and her admirer got into an argument. He stormed out of the house and Perle retired to her bedroom. Later that night, one of the girls found Perle her lying on her bed, still in her gown, her breathing labored. Unable to rouse the madam, the girl called for a doctor, but it was too late. In the early hours of the morning, Perle de Vere died. She was 27. Gossip spread that Perle’s admirer poisoned her. The coroner stated her death was due to an accidental overdose of morphine, a drug she sometimes used for insomnia. Most of the newspapers reported the same, but one reported the death as suicide.

Perle de Vere- Empowered Women in History - Historical Fiction Author Kari Bovee

Most likely, Perle died of an accidental overdose, as the coroner stated. But, with a story as rich as hers, and with a cast of the intriguing characters she possibly entertained, it’s interesting to speculate on what might have happened to Colorado’s most famous “soiled dove.”

If you like to learn about more wild women of the west, you might be interested in some of my historical mystery novels featuring gutsy, sassy, female leads like Annie Oakley. You can find my books on Amazon.

Lillian Smith- Empowered Women in History - Historical Fiction Author Kari Bovee

Flash Briefing:

Join host Kari Bovee, award-winning author of historical fiction as she shares stories of strong women of history combined with mysteries of the past.

>> Listen to Flash briefing HERE. <<

Like Annie Oakley, Lillian Smith learned to shoot a rifle when she was barely big enough to hold it. Like Annie Oakley, Lillian Smith started competing in shooting contests before the age of 15, and like Annie Oakley, Lillian Smith impressed upon Wild West Show owner Buffalo Bill Cody that she needed to be in his show, but that is where the similarities end—and the rivalry between the two women begins.

 Annie Oakley had become the darling of the Wild West Show, besting her male sharpshooting counterparts at every turn, and her place in the show was on solid footing.Lillian Smith- Empowered Women in History - Historical Fiction Author Kari Bovee Modest, in both her appearance and comportment, Annie couldn’t have been more different than this upstart teenager who used coarse language and wore flashy clothing—something Annie probably could have tolerated until Lillian started bragging that “Annie Oakley was done for” now that she had joined the show. The rivalry began. Annie even started to tell the press she was born in 1866, instead of 1860, to narrow the age gap between the two. 

The two traveled with the Wild West Show to England to perform at Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Annie was further irritated when she was criticized in the press for first shaking the hand of Alexandra, Princess of Wales, before that of her husband, Bertie, England’s future King Edward, even though Lillian did the same. When Annie was presented to Queen Victoria, a drawing in an illustrated newspaper showed Lillian being presented instead. But most vexing of all was a letter published in an American newspaper, claiming that in England, Annie was being left out in the cold. This, of course, wasn’t true. Lillian Smith- Empowered Women in History - Historical Fiction Author Kari BoveeAnnie was still getting the lion’s share of press, and on the field at Wimbledon, Oakley bested Smith hands down and got a personal congratulations from the Prince of Wales. 

Nevertheless, the rivalry and the lack of support from Buffalo Bill Cody was too much for Annie to bear. She left the show at the end of the London run. Back home, Smith was ridiculed for her performance at Wimbledon, and allegations surfaced that she was cheating in her Wild West act. Finally, Cody realized Smith would never have the same showbusiness appeal as Annie. Smith left the show in 1889, and Annie came back just in time for the Columbian World’s Fair in Chicago.

In the first two novels of my Annie Oakley Mystery series, Girl with a Gun and Peccadillo at the Palace, I have fun with this rivalry between these two female sharpshooting sensations. You can find the books on Amazon.

 

 

8 Western Historical Mysteries You don't Want to Miss

8 Western Mystery Books You Don’t Want to Miss!

If you’re a fan of Western Mystery Books, this list is for you! From Darke County, Ohio to Ridgway, Colorado – there’s plenty of adventure and mystery to go around. Check out this list and see which ones you’ll be adding to your #TBR pile!

Award winning western mystery books by Kari BovéeThe Annie Oakley Mystery Series – Western Mystery books by Kari Bovee

Annie Oakley joins Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show to become an American Icon. But when a string of crimes takes place during their travels, including the murder of her Indian assistant, Annie fears someone is out to get her. With the help of a sassy, blue-blooded reporter, Annie sets out as an amateur sleuth to solve the crimes that threaten her good name.

This is the first of my Historical Mystery Books and  the Winner of the 2019 Hillerman Southwest Fiction Award

Read more about Kari Bovée’s Western Mystery books HERE…

 

Dire Wolf of the Quapaw - Western Mystery Books by Phil TrumanDire Wolf of the Quapaw by Phil Truman

He’s been hot on an outlaw’s trail for months.

But deep in Native American territory, he’s no longer sure who’s innocent and who’s a monster…

Quapaw tribal lands, new State of Oklahoma, 1910. Greenhorn Deputy U.S. Marshal Jubal Smoak knows he can either lay down the law or get stampeded. So after the gruesome murder of a young family, he relentlessly pursues the ruthless outlaw who gave him a bullet in the back. Trailing the man for months, he refuses to be put off the scent by foolish rumors of a mythical Native American monster.

 

Read more about Phil Truman’s Western Mystery Books HERE.


Western Mystery Books - The Double-A Western Detective Agency by Steve HockensmithThe Double-A Western Detective Agency by Steve Hockensmith

Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer’s dream has come true: The Sherlock Holmes-worshiping cowboy brothers are finally in business as professional detectives. But their fledgling A.A. Western Detective Agency faces a few challenges. Their partner, Col. Crowe, is almost as cantankerous and secretive as Old Red himself. The colonel’s daughter, Diana, insists on tagging along for the Amlingmeyers’ first assignment. And that assignment lands them smack dab in the middle of a range war — with Big Red and Old Red expected to shoot it out with rustlers rather than rustle up clues and solve a mystery.

 

Read more about Steve Hockensmith’s Western Mystery books here!

 

Western Mystery Books - Willow Falls by Ken PrattWillow Falls by Ken Pratt

Welcome to Willow Falls. The town young Matthew Bannister ran away from fifteen years before. Now famed U.S. Deputy Marshal Matt Bannister is coming home to reconcile with his family. He prayed he wouldn’t see his ex-best friend Tom Smith nor the only girl he ever loved, Tom’s wife, Elizabeth. However, old feuds unsettled never die and spark a powder keg of action when the desperate Moskin Gang kidnap Elizabeth and leave a murderous trail behind them. In anguish, Tom, the Willow Falls sheriff, turns to his despised old-friend to help get the woman they both love back alive, if they can.

Sometimes God’s greatest blessing is unanswered prayer.

 

Read more about Ken Pratt’s Western Mystery books here.

 

Western Mystery Books - The Sacketts by Louis L'AmourThe Sacketts – Volume 1 by Louis L’Amour

After finding six gold Roman coins buried in an English swampland, Barnabas Sackett invests in goods to trade in America. But he also has a powerful enemy with a grudge that goes back to Sackett’s father. On the eve of his departure, Sackett is attacked and thrown into the hold of a pirate ship. After managing to escape, he makes his way to the Carolina coast, where the raw, abundant land promises a bright future. However, before that dream can be realized, Sackett must first discover the secret of his father’s legacy.

 

Read more about Louis L’Amour’s Western Mystery books here.

 

8 Western Mystery Books (Historical Fiction) You Don't Want to Miss!Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson

Recovering from his harrowing experiences in Mexico, Sheriff Walt Longmire returns to Absaroka County, Wyoming, to lick his wounds and try once again to maintain justice in a place with grudges that go back generations. When a shepherd is found dead, Longmire suspects it could be suicide. But the shepherd’s connection to the Extepares, a powerful family of Basque ranchers with a history of violence, leads the sheriff into an intricate investigation of a possible murder.

 

Read more about Craig Johnson’s Western Mystery books here.

 

8 Western Mystery Books (Historical Fiction) You Don't Want to Miss! Divided Sky by Jeff Carson

One man is dead and another is missing down south near Ridgway, Colorado. When the local law enforcement reaches out to Chief Detective David Wolf’s department, his task is to check on former-sheriff Harold “Hal” Burton. Because a person of interest in the case has also gone missing–Burton’s estranged nephew, Jesse.

Out of loyalty to his old boss, Wolf is sucked into the case, and it soon becomes clear there is more going on than meets the eye. And as for disturbing clues, there are plenty to meet the eye when they arrive in Ridgway.

Read more about Jeff Carson’s Western Mystery books here.

 

8 Western Mystery Books (Historical Fiction) You Don't Want to Miss! The Dark Mystery of the High Mountains by Austin Grayson

Young Maggie Abernathy is widowed when her husband succumbs to madness and fever after months in their seemingly useless gold mine. When Maggie turns to the men of the local town for help, she attracts attention, both wanted and unwanted. In the meantime, strange events in the mineshaft suggest otherworldly forces. Will Maggie put an end to the disasters and expanding insanity, or will she have to make the same sacrifice her late husband did?

West has grown up in an orphanage and has gone through many hardships. He falls for Maggie, but his own enemies put her life at higher risk. Along with the earthquakes and madness which spreads like wildfire, he also has to empower himself against those enemies. No matter how hard his mission is, he stands by Maggie’s side and does everything possible to protect her. Will he help her to solve the mystery in the mountain or will the whole town be doomed to a dreadful fate?

Read more about Austin Grayson’ Western Mystery books here.

 

Is there anything else you’d have added to the list? Drop me a note in the comments below!

8 Western Historical Mysteries You don't Want to Miss

Award winning historical fiction book by Kari Bovée

Review of the Week – 12/11/2019

Jim Says:

HIstorical Fiction Books sleuth award winning kari bovee“A great light and fun read that will take you to the old West’s most noteworthy wild west show and meet its most famous historical figures. A whodunit mystery, Girl with a Gun doubles as historical fiction – the word fiction is emphasized. Not everything that happens in Kari Bovée’s debut novel actually happened as Annie Mosey from Ohio transitioned to “Little Miss Sure Shot” in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Readers looking for a factual account should peruse the non-fiction and biography shelves.

For those who simply want to be entertained, and get a sense of life in 1885, then stand by for a good time as bodies keep dropping, a horse gets poisoned, and attempts are made on Annie Oakley’s life. Of the three major themes in mysteries, the reader will find them all in Girl with a Gun. There are multiple instances of characters seeking revenge; characters doing bad things while they attempt to obtain something that does not belong to them; and characters wanting to stop something that is happening that they do not like. Enough intertwining of facts with fiction, of plot weaving, and characters not being all they appear to make even Agatha Christi blush.

Author Kari Bovée manages to introduce some very important, and unexpected, serious themes into Girl with a Gun. We are faced right away with the choices available to women in 1885 – marriage, the whorehouse, or an uncertain life alone. Indeed, woman’s place in society is a major refrain as Annie doesn’t even get to choose her new name when she enters the show. Abuse of women and strong prejudices against Indians illuminate the dark underside of 1885 American society.

The strong bond between horse and human is today less understood by modern society but figures as a strong motivator in the plot. And like today, everyone has secrets – some of those matter to the outcome of the mystery and others are complications and red herrings tantalizingly introduced throughout the pages in excellent fashion.

Girl with a Gun will give the reader an inside view of the historic wild west show. We see jealousies, manipulation, rivalries, and choices to be made when the main attractions in the show come to understand they are just employees under the thumb of the owner. The reader learns quite a bit about horsemanship, shooting, showmanship, costumes and dress. Regardless of how the author adjusts the real world to tell her story, the life and times of Annie Oakley are vividly brought to life in a way that cannot be replicated by histories. Annie is depicted as a woman ahead of her times – brave, adventurous, willing to shoulder responsibility, and full of life. She is loyal to a fault. Readers will have no problem identifying with Annie and recognizing that her decisions, like their own, are sometimes made for all the wrong reasons. Supporting characters in the story are larger than life as are the real-world figures they represent.

Girl with a Gun is a major prize winner that bears your investigation. The book is very readable with a nice pace and short chapters. The major events of the story take place during April 1885 with the denouement occurring a few months later. There are some great lines worth remembering such as: “And as far as being friendly goes, I’m friendly, all right – just ask the boys.” Read the book. You will not be disappointed. Just ask the boys.”

Buy on Amazon

Girl with a Gun (An Annie Oakley Mystery #1)