Shunted from his entrepreneurial ambitions to profit from the boomtowns of the frontier, Wyatt Earp returns to law enforcement. In Wichita, Kansas the town leaders become disenchanted with his hardline methods, and so he moves to a place where an iron-rule is needed - Dodge City. With him comes Mattie Blaylock, a runaway prostitute, who, like Wyatt, is searching for a chance at a better life. As marshal in Dodge, Wyatt establishes a reputation as a peace officer, but he knows that police work will never deliver what he wants. After joining the Black Hills gold rush and then serving a stint as railroad detective in Texas, he returns to Kansas, only to pin on the badge again and inadvertently forge his path into history.
"In 1896, Ed Colburn, who had been a Dodge City attorney during that town's turbulent early years, remembered Wyatt Earp: 'While there (Dodge City), I saw Wyatt Earp do things you wouldn't undertake for a million dollars, and yet he did it every day just as a street car conductor rings up fares or a banker receives deposits.' In Born to the Badge Mark Warren follows Earp through the Kansas cow-towns where he first makes a name for himself. They still talk about Wyatt Earp in Wichita and Dodge City. After reading this book, you'll understand why. ~ Jeff Morey, Historical Consultant for the movie "Tombstone."
"Mark Warren is the first writer to illuminate the Earp story from the inside. Adobe Moon and Born to the Badge show you why Wyatt Earp became a legend and what that legend was born out of. ~Allen Barra, author of Inventing Wyatt Earp, his Life and Many Legends.
"Historian Mark Warren's second volume in his trilogy on the life and times of Wyatt Earp is an excellent story of Earp's adventures and misadventures in Kansas, the Dakotas, and Texas. The dialogue is virtually true to life and gives the feeling the author must have been present when the words were originally spoken. This volume has been anticipated and meets all
expectations. Whether one is new to the story of Wyatt Earp or a seasoned historian of the Wild West, there is something here for everyone who loves stories of adventure, law and order, and life on the western frontier of the 1870s. A most worthwhile contribution to the story of "Wyatt Earp, Wyatt Earp, Brave, Courageous, and Bold!" ~ Roy B. Young, author and Western historian, Wild West History Association
"Not every writer understands that the most important line in any book is the hook - that opening sentence which grabs your attention and makes you eager to read on. Born to the Badge opens with the following line: 'Wichita, Kansas, was hell in the making...' and there I went - engrossed for hours...Warren is able to convey scenes with a cinematic clarity. In this way, I can see the store room lit by the warm glow of a single lantern; and the prairie crossing at night, guided solely by the stars above and the subtle shapes of the land smudged on a distant horizon" ~Peta Stevalli, New Zealand Booklovers
"Warren's novel paints a vivid picture of the lawlessness of the American Frontier...Although this book is a fictionalized account, its dedication to facts will keep history buffs satisfied, and its colorful similes will put a smile on any genre-fiction lover's face." ~ Booklist
Born to the Badge was honored as a “2019 Spur Award Finalist."