Little Miss Sure Shot by Jeffrey Marshall

Little Miss Sure Shot by Jeffrey Marshall
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical
Length: Short Story (124 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

Little Miss Sure Shot is a fictionalized account of the life of Annie Oakley, drawing heavily on the real timelines and events of her life. However, the book is not a biography – it invents situations, people she meets, and a myriad of conversations. Moreover, while the book is presented chronologically, apart from the prologue, it skips certain periods and attempts to focus on those that are especially vital, such as the early years Annie spent with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, including the tours through Europe.

A special feature of the novel is the framing of Annie’s loving marriage to fellow sharpshooter Frank Butler, whom she married at sixteen and remained married to for 50 years until her death. Frank was far more than just her husband – he was her manager (he gave up his own shooting for that role) and her constant companion.

The novel closes with an epilogue in Frank’s voice, presenting an overview of their lives together and the circumstances of her death in 1926.

Annie Oakley is almost a legend in western history. This author’s account of her lets you get to know her personally. You learn of her humble beginning where she learned to use the rifle to keep meat on the table for her family, about her well-loved husband, and about her travel life as she toured with shows to both show off her skill and support herself. It’s a fascinating story.

It’s even more enjoyable because the author lets her talk. She never had a formal education so while she could shoot well, she couldn’t read. She did learn how later in life. She’d worked a seamstress once, so she could make her own costumes. And when she married Frank Butler she’d found the love of her life. If only we all could be so lucky.

Mr. Marshall accurately portrays that era and mines the history that remains of Annie’s Oakley. She was born at a time of change in the world and she adapted. They travelled all over the world. She wasn’t fond of Venice because of all the water. Little facts like that made it fun to read.

This could have been a very dry historical read, but Mr. Marshall infused his characters with personalities and opinions and made the story alive. Annie and her husband Frank made a mean team. They made enough to live comfortably and her shooting skills were admired by all. In Europe, women weren’t supposed to be shooters. After she shot, she had their admiration.

I knew quite a bit about Annie before I read this book, but I learned several things along the way: How she didn’t like Venice, how she was unsecure when another young woman joined the show, and when her hair turned white. Mr. Marshall did a very nice job compiling the facts and presenting them in book. If you’ve ever wanted to read a good book about a competitive female shooter, here you are.


  1. Thank you for taking the time to read and review the book. I’m grateful for your thoughtful response to my narrative about Annie, especially since you already knew quite a bit about her. I’m going to post this in my network.

    Jeffrey Marshall

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