The Poacher’s Daughter

Written by Michael Zimmer
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

In 1885, Rose Edwards becomes a widow. Montana vigilantes hang her husband at her farm for an alleged theft, then proceed to burn her cabin to the ground. Destitute, she joins up with Wiley Collins and Shorty Tibbs in a horse-stealing venture. She then enters a two-year odyssey of hiding from the law, battling a land-grabbing neighbor who wants her land, while trying to discover a new life as a widow. She earns the nickname “Rose of Yellowstone” because she has killed men to survive, and soon becomes a wanted woman.

Michael Zimmer has written twelve previous novels and is one of my favorite western writers. He is not afraid to take subject matter that may be unusual for a western, such as this book where the protagonist is a strong woman, rather than the romantic interest of the protagonist. The Poacher’s Daughter shows how life-changing events help the main character develop. Her on-again, off-again relationship with her fellow outlaws and her father are well-developed and tell how a young woman could become a reluctant hero. The storyline is exceptional and well-thought-out, providing readers with a fun novel that will have them hoping the main character, Rose Edwards, will succeed against difficult and life-threatening obstacles in a land controlled by men. Highly recommended.