Amis’s busy sequel to 2013’s Jack the Ripper in St. Louis follows 18-year-old would-be journalist Jemmy McBustle on a trip to Sedalia, Mo., in the fall of 1898. Her hope is to get a hot story about Buffalo Bill Cody’s magnificent tent show, especially an interview with crack-shot performer Annie Oakley. Jemmy is frustrated by overzealous surveillance from her chaperone, Aunt Tilly, and by most men’s smug refusal to take her seriously. Beyond these annoyances, however, Jemmy realizes that someone is taking potshots at Buffalo Bill’s troupe, prompting her to commence a vigorous investigation that includes thwarting robberies, encouraging a timorous young wife, and searching for a missing friend—besides pursuing a dangerous lunatic. Jemmy herself is likable though easily flustered, but the historical setting and the Wild West show itself are of more interest than the helter-skelter plot. (Feb.)
Jemmy McBustle longs to become the next Nellie Bly and work as an independent newspaperwoman. Unfortunately, when you are 17 and under the supervision of a strict chaperone, adventures do not come easily. Meanwhile, Buffalo Bill's show is suffering; a bullet grazes Bill's wife and another hits Annie Oakley's horse. Annie's husband, Frank Butler, is desperate to find the culprit. Jemmy and Frank devise a plot to flush out the bad guys. VERDICT Amis (Jack the Ripper In St. Louis) draws on the historical record to bring the 1898 season of Buffalo Bill's show to life. While the dialog is a bit too arch, the historical details reflect the author's excellent research. A solid read-alike for Walter Satterthwait's Western mysteries.