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An Annie Oakley Mystery #2

Peccadillo at the Palace

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It’s 1887, and Annie and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show are invited to Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebration in London, England. But their long journey across the Atlantic takes a turn for the worst when the queen’s royal servant ends up dead and Annie’s husband, Frank Butler, falls suspiciously ill. Annie soon discovers that the two events are connected―and may possibly be precursors to an assassination attempt on the queen.

In London, it becomes clear there is rampant unrest in the queen’s kingdom―the Irish Fenian Brotherhood, as well as embittered English subjects, are teeming in the streets. But amid the chaos, even while she prepares for the show, Annie is determined to find the truth. With the help of a friend and reporter, Emma Wilson, the renowned poet Oscar Wilde, and the famous socialite Lillie Langtry, Annie sets out to hunt down the queen’s enemies―and find out why they want to kill England’s most beloved monarch.

256 pages, Paperback

First published May 7, 2019

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About the author

Kari Bovee

13 books505 followers
Winner of the 2019 Hillerman Southwest Fiction Award.

Empowered women in history, horses, unconventional characters, and real-life historical events fill the pages of award-winning writer Kari Bovee's historical mystery musings and manuscripts.

Born in northern New Mexico, Kari developed a love of reading, writing, and history early in life. Her most treasured Christmas gift as a young child was a toy typewriter. After graduating with a B.A. in English Literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing, Kari found work as a technical writer at a Fortune 500 tech company. But, her love of story-telling never waned. While staying at home with two young children, Kari wrote her first novel and hasn't stopped. She and her husband live happily in rural Corrales, New Mexico with their horses, dogs, and cats.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 23 of 23 reviews
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,053 reviews30k followers
April 1, 2019

Oh, this is fun! Annie and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show are headed across the ocean to attend Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebration. It’s not without incident as someone is murdered. That someone is a servant of the queen, and at the same time, Annie’s husband falls.

Annie believes both of these happenings could be related to an assassination attempt on the queen.

There is unrest in London with many groups disloyal to the Queen. Annie becomes an amateur sleuth, with the help of a reporter, Emma, and none other than Oscar Wilde.

This is a fun historical mystery. I found it entertaining and compelling. I also think fans of cozy mysteries will enjoy this charming book.

I received a complimentary copy. All opinions my own.
Profile Image for Nicola Hancock.
385 reviews3 followers
February 4, 2022
Annie Oakley is back yet again and we are set in August 1857. This one starts so seriously which was a shock to the system but intriguing as you wonder what has surely happened between the ending of the last and the start of this. Although quite brutal it’s historical element that this happened makes you think, I was shocked at how emotional the beginning to this was. I was so glad when the journey to London began. It was hard listening to how distressed buck was. I couldn’t believe how intense it gets even just an hour in. It’s mad to think Annie is still only 18. I loved that Annie’s sister was part of this book too and how protective Annie was.

I was so curious at the mystery of the murder and the attempted murder. Lily is still as mischievous as ever and I’m still not sure if I like her very much. This was completely different in the ways it touched on politics and class. The build up of questioning throughout really prompts you to want to solve the mystery before Annie. I loved the out of the box thinking too. As much as I enjoyed the adventure on the ship I was glad once they arrived in London. I loved the references to the princess of Wales too, being from Wales of course.

I wasn’t expecting the twist in this one at all. But I loved the adventure to set things right. I could never imagine the tables turning and the Queen being at risk of being targeted. The puzzle kept growing but at the same time the pieces came together the last couple of hours were extremely intense to listen to. I’m so happy for Annie and Frank. The only thing I really missed in this one was the epic shooting of the shows. I missed that from the last book.

Profile Image for Ann Creel.
Author 14 books425 followers
May 15, 2019
Such an inspiring and spunky character and a great story put together into one great read. Loved it and highly recommend.
Profile Image for Kelsey.
96 reviews
October 15, 2019
2.5 stars. I appreciate and acknowledge what the author was trying to do with this story, but I guess I just found it rather dull. I wanted there to be more historical fiction with the tuff between Ireland and England, but that was never the case.
Profile Image for Susan.
1,744 reviews35 followers
January 31, 2022
This is book 2 in the series and works OK as a stand alone, tho the previous books are a lot of fun.
A little more than half this story happens on the ocean as the Wild Buffalo Bill Show heads to London to entertain the royal family. Yes, they did indeed take some buffalo. Buck, Annie’s beloved horse, really doesn’t like sea travel. But he’s not the only one. Several people are feeling poorly. Is it just sea sickness or is there something more sinister going on?
The accidents and illnesses and deaths start happening pretty quick. The mystery is a-foot! Annie is on it though. After all, ship travel is rather boring. A mystery makes for a good distraction. Frank comes down ill and Annie has to admit to herself that she’s not feeling quite herself either. But there’s some differences in the symptoms. An on-board doctor recommends rest but Annie is restless.
Anyhoo, by they time they dock, there’s a dead person, a few sick, and a murderer in hand… or not? Annie has more questions and those questions lead to admitting that her first guess was wrong. But the show must go on and there is immediately lots of stuff to get set up. Once we’re off the ship, the second half of the book moves along at a quicker pace.
The show stars get introduced to some of the royal family and are shown their rooms at the palace. It’s a far cry from where and how Annie grew up on the small town farm in Ohio. Annie’s younger sister, Holda, is also very excited about this. In fact, Holda is a bubbly, adventurous person compared to the more restrained Annie. Holda and Annie bump heads for most of the book but eventually they work things out. I was surprised that Holda and Lily Smith get along so well as Lily has always given Annie a hard time and often does her best to one-up her during the performances.
My one little quibble is that the forensic analysis for the crimes happens super fast in this story. Like just how do you identify a clear liquid in a sealed glass container? More over, how do you ID it as snake venom from a very specific type of snake? While I liked Annie’s use of fingerprints, I also felt that she needed a bigger sample size to truly claim that these prints are for that person and therefore that person is the guilty one. But I think Annie learned this too, the hard way. Looking back on it, book 1 had this same little problem (that of unbelievably swift & accurate forensics), but I so enjoyed the story I overlooked it. Here tho, the ID of the venom seemed above and beyond what was possible for the time and location.
Anyways, back to the palace. There’s so many rules, so many ways to offend people, and yet more illness and death. Seems like Annie has her hands full with not just the performances but also with catching a killer. I really enjoyed the second half of the book. It was a lot of fun having the blunt and brash Americans inadvertently (or sometimes on purpose – squinting at you Lily!) insulting the very proper English. Plus there’s more info about the Irish Fenian Brotherhood. All around, it was another good addition to the series. 4.5/5 stars.
The Narration: Susanna Burney continues to do a great job at playing Annie. I liked how she managed the often-exasperated voice when Annie was dealing with her sister. Also Annie has some mood swings in this book and Burney was great at portraying those shifts. Burney’s male voices sound masculine and I liked her light accents for the Irish and the man from India. The proper British accents were nicely done too. There was this one minor character that sounded a bit like Harley Quinn and that sounded a little out of place…. but that could jut be me. The pacing was good and there were no tech issues with the recording. 4.5/5 stars.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own.
Profile Image for Jaime K.
Author 1 book43 followers
December 24, 2020
It's two years after the events of the 1st book, and the Wild West Show is on its way to the American Exhibition in London. On their way, quite a few mishaps occur on the boat. Her sister Hulda is with them as a costume designer, but the 13-year-old befriends Lillie and...yeah. Unlike Annie at that age, Hulda was much more sheltered and thus more naive than her sister.
Buck gets a panic attack and leaps overboard. Frank and the Queen's escort Bhakta are pushed overboard...and Bhakta dies. Annie is determined to find who killed Bhakta and who seems to still maybe be poisoning Frank.

She finds a fingerprint of a woman on a vial that contains snake venom.
A Dr. Adams is acting super shifty.
Bhakta's associate Mr. Patel seems a little off too.
A woman named Tessen makes her way into Annie's graces and even helps care for Buck.

Annie thinks she knows who the murderer is, but even someone like me who rarely reads mysteries knows it's too convenient at times.

Emma is also on the trip with them and influences Annie to be on the detective route. Annie's been feeling nauseous too though, but it's obvious to me as to why.
It bothers me that Annie doesn't tell Frank everything about her health for some time, but I am just an open book with my husband.

They find out that Bhakta may have been killed because of his association with Queen Victoria, and political tension going on. The Ladies Irish Land League & the male counterpart (overall the Fenian League, if I understand correctly) work to establish Ireland's freedom from England. The Irish are starving. There is also an Irish Protestant group that feels like Irish Catholics are taking over no thanks to the Queen's help.

Hulda acts like she does because she wants to live up to her sister's name but also have a name of her own and not be "Annie's sister."
Annie slights the prince and greets the princess Alexandra first because of how the prince flaunts his mistress in front of everyone. I love Annie's progressive mindset of a marriage being of equal partners.

At one point, Annie relays her fears to Frank about maybe being fired from the show and having to care for her family. He calms her down and offers a lot of options and advice, which really shows how much he loves and supports her.
Profile Image for Lauralee.
Author 2 books18 followers
January 19, 2022
Peccadillo at the Palace is the sequel to Girl With a Gun. Annie Oakley is invited to perform for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. On her voyage to England, her escort is murdered. Annie learns of Frank Butler’s origins and believes that her husband may be the next victim. While she tries to uncover who may be behind the murder, she also learns that there is an assassination plot against the Queen. Will Annie be able to stop the assassination attempt and find the murderer?

Annie Oakley has grown more confident from Girl With the Gun. She is more daring and assertive. I adore her friendship with Emma, the female journalist. She is feisty and is Annie’s partner in solving the mysteries. I love how she played Watson to Annie Oakley’s Sherlock Holmes! They make a great pairing, and I hope that she will help Annie Oakley solve more crimes in the next novel! I also find Annie’s complicated relationship with her sister, Hulda, to be very interesting. The reader understands why Hulda rebels against Annie. She is often overshadowed and has to deal with having a famous sister. I also find Annie’s romance with Frank to be very endearing. Frank loves and wants to protect Annie. Therefore, I find how these characters have shaped Annie as a detective to be the best aspect of the audiobook!

Overall, this novel is about political intrigue, sisterhood, and friendship. I find the setting of Victorian England to be very fascinating. There were many famous cameos in the story like Oscar Wilde, Lillie Langtry, and Queen Victoria! I adore how Annie Oakley interacted with these famous people. The weakest link in the audiobook was that it was easy to know the murderer as soon as the character is mentioned. Still, this was a very enjoyable audiobook, and I look forward to listening to Folly at the Fair! I recommend this for fans of Lady Sherlock Holmes, A Curious Beginning, and Murder on Black Swan Lake!
(Note: I received an audiobook as part of a blog tour. All opinions expressed are my own.)
Profile Image for Elizabeth Gray.
88 reviews
February 5, 2022
Peccadillo at the Palace is the second book in Kari Bovee’s Annie Oakley Mysteries, and the myriad complicated issues that arise as the Wild West Show travels to England are anything but minor, trivial sins! Narrated by the talented Susanna Burney, the large cast is brought to life, each with their individual voice and inflection.

Annie has her hands full in this book! There is the mysterious death of their Royal escort that coincides with her husband Frank’s becoming ill with an intestinal ailment that stubbornly lingers despite medical care, Annie’s own occasional illness that may or may not be a precursor to pregnancy, threats to the Queen, and the stress of negotiating her relationship with her younger sister. Joined by the intrepid reporter Emma, Annie plays detective interviewing her fellow ship companions and using found materials to dust for fingerprints . As Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee approaches, Annie’s stresses reach a boiling point.

As an older sister to a fractious younger sister, I found the constant push/pull of Annie and Hulda’s relationship to be a slight distraction from the plot and the change in Annie’s character from the previous book to be jarring. However! I know all to well that a younger sibling can bring out the absolute worst in oneself, and applaud the author for their realism in portraying the relationship.

I will admit that since the time period covered by this book isn’t one I’ve studied, the revelation of the killer was an absolute surprise!
Profile Image for Jessica.
499 reviews1 follower
February 4, 2022
The adventures of Annie Oakley continue

The excitement of me continues to learn more of Annie Oakley's adventure, her husband and Buck continue to England. I cannot imagine how tiring their voyage to England was. The suspense started the moment they were on board the vessel. My heart never stops pumping so fast and so is my adrenaline.

This series is so addicting. It keeps going better and better. As usual, this book is not different from other series and is hard to put down. If you love to read strong woman characters, horses, and sharpshooters, this book is a must-read. England is on my bucket list, reading about the palace makes me more excited to step my feet in this country that is run by a royal.

This book is not only full of adventures but also suspense. It blows your mind how some people are after something. Annie's quest to find the culprit and solve the mystery is unbelievably brilliant.
Profile Image for Ann.
215 reviews
November 8, 2019
Annie Oakley Mysteries #2.
I won this book from Kari's Swag Giveaway on Facebook. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review it.
Annie and the crew are on their way to England to see and perform for Queen Victoria. While on the ship, one of the Queen's servants was murdered and Frank's life was threatened also. Annie sets out to find the murderer. Lots of twists and turns in the story. It kept my interest from beginning to end, I did not want to put it down. I have found a new series to read! Thanks Kari!
I look forward to more of the series.
25 reviews
December 8, 2019
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book of the series and was excited for this read. The first book was a better book in creativity and building plot lines. This one was unfortunately, rather dull with little substance. The author overused foreshadowing which made the read very trite. There was more time spent on a particular aspect of the foreshadowing that if removed other characters could have been developed more or a deeper plot used.

Sad to say this is 1 star for me.
Profile Image for Misty.
499 reviews247 followers
April 7, 2022
PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE (An Annie Oakley Mystery) by Kari Bovee was right away different from the other books in the series as it was a case of a royal murder as this time the victim was a royal escort. I enjoyed the change of pace this brought to the series especially with how things just keep piling up for Annie Oakley with a sick husband and an assassination attempt on the queen. I think this one is my favorite in the series, but I still have one more book to go!

Profile Image for Jt Furbay.
97 reviews29 followers
July 12, 2021
I really enjoyed this book with all it's twists and turns and surprising suspense. The main character is Annie Oakley and her husband is involved also. A lot of it happens on their way to England by ship where they are to perform in Buffalo Bill Cody's wild west show and before the queen. Her husband fall ill and people they think they can trust turn out to be against them. Lots of action!
86 reviews1 follower
January 29, 2022
PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE was a very enjoyable audio book that was the perfect choice for my road trip. I found that the narration quality was extremely high and that the narrator did a simply wonderful job of pulling me into the story and into Annie Oakley's life and work. It was an amazing listen that has me excited for the next audiobook in the series!!
Profile Image for Katie Thompson.
354 reviews1 follower
June 12, 2019
Fascinating Historical Mystery

Truly fascinating. Annie Oakley is a fantastic character, spunky and clever and yet humble. The mystery was great, and the emotional ending was beautifully done. Also, dude, Oscar Wilde makes an appearance.
195 reviews1 follower
March 26, 2021
Enjoyable History

The author's use of a mystery to teach us some history is great. Annie's fame and talent can not change the public's attitude toward women's place in the world. Yet, she still manages to be our hero.
5,270 reviews
January 25, 2022
Kari Bovee does it again in her second installment from her An Annie Oakley Mystery series, Peccadillo at the Palace. I have had the pleasure of reading and enjoying previous books from this series and was excited to have the opportunity to read this one. I was far from disappointed. It was great catching up with Annie Oakley and the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. This time readers are sent across the ocean to London in 1887. Annie and Frank are now married and get caught up in another “who did it” mystery on their travels. I had to keep reading to find out more about the enemies of Queen Victoria. There was a lot going on throughout the book. There was history, danger, adventure, mystery, and suspense. There were a lot of twists and turns that I did not know which way it was all going to go.

I am giving Peccadillo at the Palace a very well deserved five plus stars. I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy reading historical mystery and books based on real people from our American past. Since, this is part of a series, I would suggest reading the first book, Shoot Like a Girl. However, readers can still read this one as a stand alone. I look forward to the next book from An Annie Oakley Mystery series, Folly at the Fair.

I received a digital copy of Peccadillo at the Palace from the publisher, but was not required to write a positive review. This review is one hundred percent my own honest opinion.
Profile Image for Nicole.
55 reviews10 followers
May 7, 2019
I enjoyed reading this book. Very interesting storyline.
Profile Image for John.
395 reviews8 followers
January 17, 2021
A great story, again. Very interesting characters, and a plot that is a slow-burn, rather than action packed. If you enjoy historical mystery, don’t miss this one.
Profile Image for Kaylynn Johnsen.
1,263 reviews7 followers
January 23, 2020
I met Karie Bovee at a writing conference. She was an entertaining panelist. I was intrigued by her Annie Oakley series. I bought the first in the series right there at the conference. I devoured it. It was so much fun.

I ordered the second and sadly it was a bit lower in my stack of books. It took me a bit to get to it. It was worth the wait. Kari's research is amazing. I learned new things about England's anti-colonialist past. I had never heard of the Fenians before and I learned new things about the Indian Mutiny of 1857.

It was a very exciting time and Kari describes it in vivid detail. It is a gripping story.

A couple of my favorite quotes: "He seemed uncomfortable in the refined setting like a giraffe at high tea." page 71
"Very well, I will retire to my chambers," she said in an affected voice. "I will play solitaire with a much more worthy opponent." page 285

I hope the next novel will take place at the Paris Expo. Looking forward to it.
September 12, 2019
fun + quick read with charming characters & an engaging story. though not notably mind-blowing, nonetheless a thoroughly enjoyable cozy mystery indeed!



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