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DENNIS McCOWN. The Goddess of War, A True Story of Passion, Betrayal and Murder in the Old West.

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DENNIS McCOWN. The Goddess of War, A True Story of Passion, Betrayal and Murder in the Old West. Sunstone Press. Softcover, 342 pages, $22.86. Kindle Edition $12.99. Amazon.com

John Wesley Hardin is the most famous gunfighter of the American Wild West.  The subject of conversations from the Mexican border to the rowdy saloons of Kansas, he was the greatest celebrity of the age.  He wrote an autobiography, but he only told what he wanted known, and few have researched beyond that.  Today, Hardin is an enigma.  Part of the mystery is his disastrous relationship with Helen Beulah Mrose, yet she has not been researched at all.  Until now. Helen Beulah’s story is the final piece of the vast jigsaw of Hardin’s life and legend.  Author Dennis McCown has delved into the mystery of Helen Beulah.  Researching from Florida to California and north to faraway Alaska,  McCown has uncovered one of the great tragedies of the Wild West.  He developed this into the story of those around John Wesley Hardin.  In the end, this is a woman’s story, not a gunfighter’s, and it’s also four biographies.  Hardin’s story is told, but so is Helen Mrose’s.  Martin Mrose and Laura Jennings are little known today, but their lives are integral to the mystery.  Written for a general audience, the story includes footnotes for those interested in knowing more, footnotes historian Leon Metz called ”the best I’ve ever seen.”