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ISBN: 978-1-942428-44-2

Available at







298 pages
$14.97 in softcover
$4.97 in ebook


Dakota Trails

A Will Rogers Silver Medallion Award winner!

by Robert McKee


She was smart, she was beautiful, with no more than a nodding acquaintance with the truth.
But was she worth dying for?

There were plenty of things hardened ex-cavalryman Neil Bancroft would rather do than hire out to escort the conniving Katie Burke across the prairies of Wyoming and into the rough mining towns of Dakota. It was clear the woman was poison, but he needed the money.
      In 1881 things were settling down with the Sioux, but Neil knew the dangers from the bands of young braves who sneaked off the reservation looking for adventure. He figured it shouldn't take more than a few days to get from Fort Fetterman to Custer City, where he could be rid of her.
      He soon realized, though, there were things he hadn't allowed for, like being shot, nearly getting hanged, encountering thieves and murderers—not to mention falling in love.
      Dakota Trails is a fast-paced, thrilling, and sometimes comic tale that delivers the reader into the heart of the American West. It captures with intimate detail the hardships and pleasures of day-to-day life in a harsh, untamed, yet beautiful land.

Bryan Dumas, Historical Novel Society
“Robert McKee weaves a thrilling Western that keeps the reader guessing, and the pace drives readers through to the end before they know it. Iím not personally partial to the Western genre, but I could not put this book down. Neil and Katie are dynamic and fun characters, and along the way the people they encounter truly bring the Wild West alive in a historically accurate way. Dakota Trails is a wonderful blend of Western, mystery, and romance.”

Western Writers Association Magazine, RoundUp
Dakota Trails has as its protagonist a real person from history, Neil Bancroft, who was one of the survivors of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Bancroft is an interesting historical figure because he did not show up to receive his Medal of Honor for bravery during that fight. In this novel . . . Neil Bancroft hits the trail with an intriguing woman named Katie Burke, who has gold to recover in the Dakota Territory . . . Dakota Trails is a lively story full of action and suspense, historical detail, and a strong sense of place . . . original characters, sharp dialogue, and a clear writing style. We may look forward to more good western/historical novels by this author.”

W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear, New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors of People of the Songtrail
“Gold is where you find it. With his debut Dakota Trails Robert McKee has not only spun gold into a delightful tale, but beguiles us with his talent as an author. McKee's history is immaculately researched—from the land, the people and places, McKee knows his business. This is Western historical in the vein of A.B. Guthrie, Richard Wheeler, Elmer Kelton, and Loren Estleman. And while both Neil Bancroft and Katie Burke might be obsessed with their own preoccupation for the shiny stuff, the true gold is in their finely drawn characters. A truly charming story by an impressive new talent in the genre. This one's a shoe-in for the Golden Spur Award for Novel of the West.”

John D. Nesbitt, Spur Award-winning author of Dark Prairie and Justice at Redwillow
Dakota Trails is a lively story full of action and suspense, with a thread of mystery, a good balance of historical detail, and a strong sense of place. This novel has original, memorable characters, a clear writing style, sharp dialogue, and wry Western humor.”




Award-winning author Robert McKee draws inspiration for his writing from his own diverse history, including four years in the military and employment as a radio announcer, disc jockey, copy writer, court reporter, and municipal court judge. After school in Texas, Bob settled in Wyoming, where he has lived for thirty years.
      McKee's short fiction has appeared in more than twenty commercial and literary publications around the country. He is also a recipient of the Wyoming Art Council's Literary Fellowship Award, as well as a three-time first-place winner of Wyoming Writers, Inc.'s adult fiction contest, and a two-time first-place winner of the National Writers Association's short fiction contest. One of his stories was selected for inclusion in the prestigious annual publication Best American Mystery Stories.
      “The western,” says McKee, “is a uniquely American literary genre. Both its history and its mythology appeal to me as a writer. Plus,” he adds, “who can resist a good shoot-'em-up adventure?”
      When not at his computer writing, Bob can be found rummaging through antique stores in search of vintage fountain pens or roaming the back roads of Wyoming and Colorado with his wife and two children.

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