With her photographer and her persnickety chaperone, journalist Jemima “Jemmy” McBustle travels to Sedalia, Missouri, to cover Buffalo Bill?s Wild West andCongress of Rough Riders of the World. Disaster stalks the mammoth show. Bill’s wife narrowly escapes a bullet. A bullet grazes Annie Oakley’s horse and a performer riding next to her. Annie’s husband Frank Butler grows frantic in his quest to find the source of danger. He suspects Annie’s sharpshooting rivalsPawnee Bill, Colonel Bogardus and Lillian Smith. Jemmy jumps in with a daring plan to ferret out the culprits. The search takes Jemmy far afield? from the Pettis County Sheriff?s Office to seedy ragtime saloons to the greatest show on earth. All roads lead to an explosive ending in Sedalia for the Wild West’s actual farthest east performance ending the 1898 season on Friday, September 23,1898.
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.