Synopses & Reviews
“Inspired…dazzles with colorful language, vivid images, and hilarious asides. Sherlock Holmes in a Stetson turns out to be a dandy idea.” - Boston Globe, on Holmes on the Range
“…a delightful, hilarious, action-packed tale…” - Mystery Scene on On the Wrong Track
“A great reworking of the Holmes conceit…Hockensmith will have a steady readership as long as the Amlingmeyers are on the case.” - Booklist (starred review) on Holmes on the Range
“[Big Reds] foot-in-a-bucket narration will keep the reader snorting with laughter...Hockensmith has been nominated for the Edgar Award, and if he keeps writing like this, he'll win one soon.” - Library Journal (starred review) on The Black Dove
“Uproarious…As this fast-moving express hurtles toward a spectacular ending, Gustav searches for ways to apply Holmes's crime-solving genius to the comic bedlam." - Publishers Weekly (starred review) on On the Wrong Track“Well written, fast-paced and filled with historical atmosphere…Highly recommended.” - Mystery News on Holmes on the Range
"In Edgar-finalist Hockensmith's rollicking third mystery to feature Old Red and Big Red Amlingmeyer (after 2007's On the Wrong Track), the Sherlock Holmes loving cowboy brothers do some 'detectifying' in 1893 San Francisco, 'the world's wickedest city.' After their disastrous tour of duty as railway policemen, the Amlingmeyers join forces with the alluring Diane Corvus, another veteran of the railroad. Together, they investigate the death of Dr. Chan, whose luggage was thrown from the same train that the brothers patrolled and who was possibly done in by Chinese 'highbinders,' or hatchet men. Working with local law enforcement and Chinatown's 'Napoleon of Crime,' Old Red and Big Red follow a twisted trail that leads from cabbage vendors to whorehouses. Despite a jam-packed plot, Hockensmith takes longer to reach full speed than in previous outings. Still, readers will delight in the hilarious climactic 'Mandarin standoff' between Chinatown's underworld and Frisco's hapless police force." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In the summer of 1893, Gustav “Old Red” Amlingmeyer and his brother Otto (a.k.a. “Big Red”) find themselves down and out in San Francisco. Though cowpokes by training, the brothers are devotees of the late, great Sherlock Holmes and his trademark method of “deducifying.” But when they set out to land jobs as professional detectives, they land themselves in hot water, instead.
First their friend Dr. Chan mysteriously takes a potshot at them, fatally wounding Big Reds new hat. Then a secretive young woman from their past pops up and convinces them that Chans in trouble -- and theyre just the men to get him out of it. Unfortunately, theyre too late: By the time they track Chan down again, hes dead. The police call it a suicide. Old Red calls that a lie. When he and his brother set out to prove it, they put themselves on a collision course with shady S.F.P.D. cops, brutal Barbary Coast hoodlums and the deadly Chinatown tongs. Before long, all sides are in a race to uncover the secret that could rock the city. And their only clue to whats actually going on is the enigmatic, exotic and extremely difficult to find “Black Dove.”
About the Author
Steve Hockensmith is the author of the novels Holmes on the Range and On the Wrong Track, as well as numerous short stories. His first novel featuring Big Red and Old Red, Holmes on the Range, was a finalist for the Edgar, the Anthony, the Shamus and the Dilys Award. He lives in Alameda, California.