Maggie Maquire, daughter of a carnival owner, as a youth learned all the various tricks of this profession - from knife throwing to bare-back riding. When she finally settles down, in a manner of speaking, in San Francisco, she puts her skills to use by creating her own detective agency. Her first big assignment sets her off to a wild Nevada mining town on the trail of a former female Indian captive, Harriet Hogg. She is to let Harriet know that she has inherited a sizable fortune. Harriet, however, turns out to be a difficult, drink-sodden prostitute. And murders, double dealings, and pure nasty acts, force Maggie to rely on the many carnival tricks she learned as a child in order to safely reunite Harriet with her inheritance back in San Francisco.
This book contains little history, and Maggies modern sounding speech and demeanor seem out of place in the late 19th century West. Rather, read it for its wild west atmosphere and lively action scenes.
Kate Bryan is Ellen Recknor, who writes western books featuring strong heroines under other names as well. This is the first of the Maggie Maguire series.