Thursday, July 30, 2020

Folly at the Fair by Kari Bovée (Review and Giveaway!)

If you're looking for a good historical mystery series starring a feminist icon, this series will not disappoint! 

Book Details:

Book Title: Folley at the Fair (Annie Oakley Mystery #3) by Kari Bovee
Category: Adult Fiction, 322 pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
Publisher: Bosque Publishing
Release date: June 2020
Tour dates: July 13 to Aug 11, 2020
Content Rating: PG-13 for some swearing, violence, and mature themes.

Book Description:

She never misses a target. But unless she can solve this murder, she’ll become one… Chicago World’s Fair, 1893. “Little Sure Shot” Annie Oakley is exhausted from her work with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. But when a fellow performer scuffles with a man who threatens her harm, she has to keep her eyes peeled. And when the heckler is found dead under the Ferris Wheel, Annie won’t rest until she proves her defender is innocent. 

Before she can rustle up any clues, an old friend asks Annie to protect her young daughter. And as more bodies turn up around the grounds, she’s going to need all her sharpshooting skills just to stay alive. Can Annie live up to her reputation and put a bullseye on the killer? 

Folly at the Fair is the third book in the Annie Oakley Mystery historical fiction series. If you like strong heroines, Wild West adventures, and suspenseful twists and turns, then you’ll love Kari Bovée’s fast-paced whodunit.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

After reading the prequel, Shoot Like a Girl, I was eager to read Folly at the Fair. I would have liked to have read the first two books in the series, too, but each book is a stand-alone and I was able to enjoy this third book well enough without having read the previous ones. I did miss knowing how Annie met her husband Frank Butler and got involved in working with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, which was covered in the previous books.

Because this series is based on the life of Annie Oakley, an expert markswoman and sharpshooter, renowned the world over, I was immediately interested in reading it. And I was not disappointed! First off, I love that the book cover is a photo of the real Annie Oakley, and the posture she's in perfectly captures the mood of this novel. By the way, all the book covers are real photos of Annie Oakley.

In this novel, Annie and her husband have been in the show for a few years now, and Annie is showing signs of exhaustion. But then an old friend from her childhood appears and she leaves her daughter in Annie's care. This, coupled with fatigue and a beautiful woman who joins the show, bring friction to Annie and Frank's relationship. Around the same time, dead bodies start showing up on the fair grounds and Annie becomes involved in the mystery of it all, when another performer and close friend Bobby Bradley is implicated.

Between practices and stunning performances, Annie doesn't get a break. Her fame is growing, she is involved in trying to help her friends, and worried about the growing rift between her and her husband. There is not a boring moment in this novel. It is an exciting look at Annie's life as a performer while at the same time exploring her more personal life, her sadness at not having children of her own, and her courage to investigate how the murders connect to her friends. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the author's writing style that kept me turning the pages. I was able to guess who the murderer was but I was never totally sure until the end. If you're looking for a good historical mystery series starring a feminist icon, this series will not disappoint!

Disclosure: Thanks to the author for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

Buy Folly at the Fair:

When I signed up to Kari Bovée's newsletter, I received an ebook copy of the prequel novella Shoot Like a Girl, which I read before Folly at the Fair. I'm so glad I did because it gave me an introduction to Annie as a child and what led up to her becoming the woman who awed audiences with her shooting skills. 

At only 86 pages, I read this book in one sitting. It was so captivating right from the first page. I loved Annie's character, her strength and her resilience. The author builds Annie's story of a childhood that ended abruptly when her father died and she had to help her mother make ends meet. Sent to help the McCrimmons, Annie becomes enslaved to this cruel couple who abuse her and take advantage of her goodness. But this is where we see Annie's spirit, how she forms a bond with Buck, the horse who is worked to exhaustion by Mr. McCrimmons, and who gives Annie a glimmer of hope.

The ending is wonderful, making me whoop with glee at Annie's courage to take charge and save herself and Buck. I strongly recommend reading this prequel if you are interested in this series. The books are well-written and captivating. They star a heroine so likable and genuine, they are a pleasure to read.

Buy Shoot Like a Girl:

This short 4-minute video will give you an idea of how Annie became famous at the Wild West Show.


Meet the Author:

When she’s not on a horse, or walking along the beautiful cottonwood-laden acequias of Corrales, New Mexico; or basking on white sand beaches under the Big Island Hawaiian sun, Kari Bovee is escaping into the past—scheming murder and mayhem for her characters both real and imagined, and helping them to find order in the chaos of her action-packed novels. Empowered women in history, horses, unconventional characters, and real-life historical events fill the pages of Kari Bovée’s articles and historical mystery musings and manuscripts. 

An award-winning author, Bovée was honored with the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards Hillerman Award for Southwestern Fiction for her novel Girl with a Gun. The novel also received First Place in the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards in the Mystery/Crime category, and is a Finalist in the 2019 International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards and the International Chanticleer Goethe Awards, as well as the Next Generation Indie Awards. Her novel Grace in the Wings is a Finalist for the 2019 International Chanticleer Chatelaine Awards and the International Chanticleer Goethe Awards. Her novel Peccadillo at the Palace is a Finalist in the 2019 International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards and the 2019 International Goethe Awards, as well as a Finalist in the 2019 Best Book Awards Historical Fiction category. 

Bovée has worked as a technical writer for a Fortune 500 Company, has written non-fiction for magazines and newsletters, and has worked in the education field as a teacher and educational consultant. She and her husband, Kevin, spend their time between their horse property in the beautiful Land of Enchantment, New Mexico, and their condo on the sunny shores of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Connect with the author: 

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