• Girl with a Gun

  • Annie Oakley Mysteries, Book 1
  • By: Kari Bovee
  • Narrated by: Susanna Burney
  • Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Girl with a Gun  By  cover art

Girl with a Gun

By: Kari Bovee
Narrated by: Susanna Burney
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Publisher's summary

2019 Next Generation Indie Book Awards: finalist in historical fiction

2019 New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards: first place in the mystery/crime category

2019 Hillerman Award for Southwest fiction

In an exciting new historical mystery series, award-winning author Kari Bovee brings the beloved American icon Annie Oakley into the world of mystery and crime as a plucky, amateur sleuth.

Fifteen-year-old Annie Oakley is the sole supporter of her widowed mother and two younger 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, including the impending foreclosure of her family's farm.

After a stunning performance in a shooting contest against 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 her family's farm and make her dreams come true.

But after her catapult to fame, a series of crimes takes place in the Wild West Show, including the death of Annie's Indian assistant. The coroner claims the death was due to natural causes, but Annie is unconvinced. Then, her prized horse Buck - a major part of her act - is stolen, and she realizes that someone is out to get her.

With the help of a sassy, blue-blooded reporter, Annie sets out to find her horse, solve the crimes, and clear her good name, before everything she's worked for is destroyed.

©2018, 2020 Kari Bovee (P)2023 Kari Bovee

What listeners say about Girl with a Gun

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A perfect blend of fact and fiction

To think Annie was only 15 years old when she became the head of household, won a place in Buffalo Bills Wild West Show, and was forced into adult situations that tugged at my heart. I think Kari Bovee skillful mixing of fact and fiction produced an intriguing story line. Strong women who successfully cope in a man's field make a good story--- and this one is very well written. I love the audiobook, it really brought the characters to life.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great

I personally found that Girl with a Gun (An Annie Oakley Mystery) by Kari Bovee to be a well written and well narrated audio book. This was the first one I decided to listen to from the series and I have to say that it has left me excited to read/listen to more from this author and series. I especially liked Annie Oakley as she made the book for me!

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Listener received this title free

Annie Oakley, But Sleuth!

Author Kari Bovee set out to do something with the classic Annie Oakley story that's never been done before: turn it into a cozy mystery! I'm a huge fan of cozy mysteries and historical fiction, and Annie Oakley flavoured review opportunities have been flocking to my inbox lately (seriously, sometimes trends in publishing are so niche it's hard to believe they're coincidence!) so I jumped at the chance to try out this series for the tour.

The pros: Bovee is definitely a skilled storyteller and crafted a believable plot of cozy mystery level difficulty and reader stress. It was light, easy to follow, and easy to get lost in. I do love the attempt to do something different with such a well known, factually based character and I do think Bovee has succeeded in developing a unique version of Annie that will appeal to mystery and historical fiction readers alike.

The cons: None of the other characters felt developed, there are a lot of egregious historical inaccuracies that didn't seem to be there on purpose to aid the plot, and this book (and its sequels) are on the long side for the cozy mystery genre. There are plenty of mini-plot sequences that do nothing for the overall story and could have been trimmed. There's also a relationship between two side characters that involves baby-making between a grown man and a very young girl that's creepy, unnecessary, and not founded in what's historically known for the man the older character is based on.

Susanna Burney's narration was easy to listen to and well-paced. She did a good job of making characters sound distinct without exaggerating anything too much or putting on an over-the-top performance that distracts. I would gladly pick up other audiobooks with this narrator.

I was granted complimentary audiobook access to Girl with a Gun as part of my participation in a blog tour for this series with iRead Book Tours. Thank you to all involved in affording me this opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Fun New Mystery Series Featuring Annie Oakley!

Annie Oakley was one of the country’s most talented marksmen. In Girl with a Gun, we see a fifteen-year-old Phoebe Ann Mosey compete with the famous Frank Butler in a shooting competition. Phoebe loses, but Buffalo Bill sees her potential as a show woman. She joins Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and changes her name to Annie Oakley and becomes Chief Sitting Bull’s adopted daughter. Upon arrival, she learns that someone wants her gone from the show. The death of her servant, Kimi, only confirms Annie Oakley’s fears. Who in the show wants her dead?

I find this new historical mystery series in which Annie Oakley is an amateur detective to be very intriguing. I am delighted to say that this interesting premise does not disappoint. Annie Oakley is a remarkable heroine. She is a woman that loves shooting and her family. She is a very caring woman and cares about her friends and family. Annie’s goal throughout the audiobook is to support her struggling family back home. Annie is also very observant because she notices tiny details that others do not notice. Thus, I find her to be a fun protagonist.

Overall, this is a simple, cozy mystery. The mystery is very predictable, and it is obvious who the killer is from the beginning. Nevertheless, I enjoyed listening to how Annie solves the mystery and catches the villain. The best feature in the audiobook was the setting. It’s lush setting made the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show come alive. All the characters were very realistic, and I loved the romance between Annie Oakley and Frank Butler! Girl with a Gun is very fast-paced and will keep you invested in the story until the end! I am so delighted with this audiobook that it leaves me wanting more! I am excited to listen to the sequel! Mrs. Bovee is an author that I am eager to look out for! I recommend Girl With a Gun for fans of mysteries that feature real life historical figures like The Jane Austen Mysteries, The Brontë Series Mysteries, and The Agatha Christie Mysteries!
(Note: I received a copy of this audiobook as part of a blog tour. All opinions expressed are my own.)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it!!!

Kari Bovee has brought to life a female legend from the "Wild West." I couldn't put it down.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book and great narration!

Loved the book, enjoyed the narration and even learned a few things about the Wild West!

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Fancy Shooting, History and Mystery Combined!

I'm firmly of the belief that books should be available to everyone, and that reading isn't just something done with the eyes. I love audiobooks, they free up my hands while filling my ears and mind with new worlds and people. This week's audiobook tour is about a series that was originally released in ebook and paperback, but has only just been recorded in audio. Kari Bovee's Annie Oakley Mystery series is a treat for the ears and it's all due to the incredible work of both the author and Susanna Burney, the narrator. Susanna has taken an already interesting book and breathed life and humanity into characters that have been long since relegated to names in our history books.

Girl with a Gun is the first book in the Annie Oakley Mystery series, where the author blends real historical figures and events with head-scratching whodunits.  Annie Oakley is 15 years old and has the weight of the world already on her shoulders, her family has been struggling financially since her father's death, and a steady paycheck for performing as a sharpshooter in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show is a godsend.  It's not all sunshine though, she has coworkers who have various degrees of jealousy to manage, her horse is terrified of the barn, and the constant struggle of Annie's Quaker upbringing against the worldliness of show business. I will say that I liked Annie's relationship with Chief Sitting Bull best, and the odd, slightly stilted way that she grows accustomed to her adoption by the venerable elder. I love how very human the author writes her characters. They all have admirable qualities but also have flaws and the idiosyncrasies that make living in tight quarters interesting.

I don't want to go too deep into the plot, the blurb does a great job of laying out the broad strokes. I will say that the reader is kept guessing right up to the very end, and that even the most unlikable person has reasons for their behavior that aren't readily understood from the outside.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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A lot of fun!

The author fictionalized Annie as an amateur detective putting her in murder scenes she never faced in real life. While full of facts, Kari mention’s in her author’s notes that she messes with the timeline to fit the stories.
If you like historical novels, cozy mysteries, or wild west stories, I think you will like them.

I was lassoed and tied to the story as Annie found her assistant dead. The plot thickens as she digs deeper for facts. She seems to be the target and faces many incidents along with her beloved horse.

My biggest reason for not giving it a five is that I’m a stickler for timelines. But I appreciate the author being upfront about it at the start of the book, and the storyline was a lot of fun. Also, the narration was excellent, leaving me feeling like I was amidst the characters.

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  • Overall