Have Your Ticket Punched by Frank James

Five Star: Cengage. (Jemmy McBustle, Bk. 3). May 2019. 325p. ISBN 9781432851927. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781432851934. M
In November 1898, Jemmy McBustle should have been part of St. Louis society. However, following her father's death in a tornado, her mother runs a boarding house while Jemmy works as a reporter for the St. Louis Illuminator. The 18-year-old is at the theater to write a review of Uncle Tom's Cabin when the boxer who handles the dogs in the chase scene dies onstage. Eager to make a name for herself, Jemmy forces her way into places where a young woman isn't welcome, including the gym. She's determined to ask questions, though, even if she's a little too pushy. While the atmosphere is enhanced by historical detail, including the presence of outlaw Frank James as a ticket taker, Jemmy comes off as immature and inexperienced in this slow-paced story.
VERDICT St. Louis comes to life in this sequel to Mayhem at Buffalo Bill's Wild West. However, Jemmy is too young, makes too many mistake s as an amateur sleuth, and isn't even sure she wants to be a reporter. Readers looking for historical mysteries featuring young women striving to make it in the newspaper world may want to try Alyssa Maxwell's "Emma Cross" stories set in the same time period.

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