Fifteen-year-old Annie Oakley is the sole supporter of her widowed mother and two siblings. An expert markswoman and independent spirit, she hunts game to sell to the local mercantile to make ends meet instead of accepting a marriage proposal that could solve all her problems.
After a stunning performance in a shooting contest against the handsome and famous sharpshooter Frank Butler, Annie is offered a position in the renowned Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Finally, she has a chance to save the nearly foreclosed family farm and make her dreams come true. But then her Indian assistant is found dead in her tent, and Annie is dubious when the local coroner claims the death was due to natural causes. When another innocent is murdered, Annie begins to fear the deaths are related to her. And to make matters worse, her prized horse, Buck, a major part of her act, is stolen.
Annie soon discovers that the solution to her problems lies buried in a padlocked Civil War trunk belonging to the show’s manager, Derence LeFleur. And so, with the help of a sassy, blue-blooded reporter, Annie sets out to find her horse, solve the murders, and clear her name.
I am going to say right off the bat that I was pleasantly surprised by Girl with a Gun: An Annie Oakley Mystery by Kari Bovee. I thought the premise sounded really good, but I still wasn’t sure what to expect. This book exceeded my expectations and was so fun to read.
Girl with a Gun focuses on 15 year-old Annie Mosey who is the sole provider for her mother and 2 younger brothers. The book begins by Annie going to a competition where the prize is $200 if you can outshoot the great sharpshooter Frank Butler. After everyone has been impressed by her shooting abilities, she is offered a job with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show under the stage name Annie Oakley that she gladly accepts so she can send the money home to her family. Annie goes on the road with them and quickly finds herself in the middle of a murder and many other mysterious happenings.
I loved seeing names I recognized (besides Annie) like Buffalo Bill and Chief Sitting Bull. Even though the book is fiction and I know it’s not full of facts, I still found it fascinating even just reading about these people in a fictional sense.
I think the major thing people have issues with when reading Girl with a Gun is that there isn’t a lot of characterization. Things might seem a bit abrupt, and relationships not all that believable because of this. This book doesn’t GO DEEP is one good way to put it. I didn’t have any issues with this myself, and just thought of it as a very fun read. I would say it’s on the lighter side, but there are some emotional moments and some heavy subject matters that gave it lots of substance.
Final Thought: If you are looking for something fun to read that’s a bit different from your normal thriller/mystery then I definitely recommend this book. Just don’t go into it expecting lots of characterization and depth because you aren’t going to find it here; I went in with an open mind and I liked it just fine. It’s also a very quick read even though it comes in at over 300 pages. If there are more books to this series I will definitely be reading them as well!
Girl with a Gun in 3-ish words: Unique, Inventive, Fun
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5 solid Wild West stars!
This book is out now and I definitely recommend checking it out!
Special thanks to BookSparks and SparkPress for providing me with an advanced reader’s edition of this book. All opinions are my own.