New Novel, ‘Little Miss Sure Shot,’ Brings Annie Oakley To Life

Share Article

Jeffrey Marshall Explores Aspects Of The Popularly Misunderstood Life Of Annie Oakley

Jeffrey Marshall, a retired award-winning journalist, recently published the novel “Little Miss Sure Shot: Annie Oakley’s World,” which delves into portions of the popularly misunderstood life of Annie Oakley.

“Annie Oakley wasn’t a tomboy, but a rather prim and religious woman with a loving 50-year marriage,” says Marshall, who adds there are additional aspects to the popularly misunderstood life of Annie Oakley.

She was intent on appearing young, and when challenged by a younger woman performer, had publicists change her birth date to make herself younger. Blessed with long chestnut hair, she was horrified when her hair turned white literally overnight following a serious railroad accident.

These are among the true events and insights woven into Marshall’s historical novel, which details important parts of the popularly misunderstood life of Annie Oakley, a legendary sharpshooter. The novel looks episodically at her amazing life, but reimagines many of those events and settings through conversations, meetings with famous figures such as P.T. Barnum, Queen Victoria and Thomas Edison, and places Annie could have seen and experienced.

Much of the novel is focused on Annie’s starring role in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, which catapulted her to international fame in the late 1880s. Buffalo Bill Cody himself is an important figure in the novel – but far more central is Annie’s husband and manager of 50 years, Frank Butler. Their loving marriage was far and away the most important relationship in Annie’s life – and very unlike the depiction of their convoluted (and stylized) courtship in the musical Annie Get Your Gun.

Born poor on the Ohio frontier on the cusp of the Civil War, Annie never had a formal education but thrived on the grace of her prodigious shooting talent. Oakley’s legend lives on to this day, even though the height of her fame goes back well over a century. She maintained her amazing shooting skills even into the last years of her life, and like Amelia Earhart or Babe Didrikson Zaharias, was a woman ahead of her time – competing and making an indelible mark in a field dominated by men. The novel explores and celebrates Annie’s skill, some of the records she set, and her fortitude in recovering from a pair of serious accidents.

Marshall successfully entertains readers while shedding light on the popularly misunderstood life of Annie Oakley.

“When I began to read it I couldn’t put it I guess that's a way of saying the book about Annie Oakley’s life was simply captivating,” writes Amazon reviewer Michael P. Tower, who gave the book five stars. “I had heard of her of course, but didn't really know anything about her fascinating life journey. Mr. Marshall managed to make me imagine he was alongside her during her life and was writing this story as a personal observer. His use of words to paint pictures in my imagination is wonderfully done. It was so good I was sorry it ended.”

About Jeffrey Marshall

Jeffrey Marshall ( is a retired journalist and writer living in Scottsdale, AZ. He has been published widely in newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, New Jersey Monthly and Crain’s New York Business, and was a winner or co-winner of numerous editorial awards for magazine writing and design. He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize as part of a newspaper investigative team looking into municipal corruption in New Jersey. Marshall has an undergraduate degree in history from Princeton and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Ginny Grimsley
+1 (727) 443-7115 Ext: 207
Email >
Visit website