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Forget “The game’s afoot.” This time, it’s “Hee-haw, get along little doggies.” Gustav “Old Red” Amlingmeyer is an American cowboy in 1893. Herding cattle is his job, but solving crime, using the deductive methods of his idol Sherlock Holmes, is his true calling. His brother Otto, aka “Big Red,” narrates with earthy aplomb and is willing to play Watson to his big brother’s Sherlock (it’s his fault Old Red’s so obsessed, after all, since it was Big Red who read Conan Doyle’s stories around the campfire). But there’s not a lot of need for “deducifyin’ ” amongst the cattle herds—until, that is, the brothers are hired on at the Bar VR ranch alongside a quirky collection of cowboys with nicknames like Swivel-Eye and Anytime. The Bar VR is run by an unsavory group of ready-to-rumble fellers and Old Red immediately senses a mystery afoot. Then an outlaw escapes from jail and a crotchety ranch hand disappears; only Old Red suspects that the culprit is not the outlaw, and only little brother Big stands by him. A few murders later, and the cowpokes are nervous, the villains are desperate, and the buzzards are circling. Action-packed scenes of stampedes and six-gun shootouts are mixed with charming humor, rousing suspense, and plenty of Sherlockian flashes of insight on the part of Old Red, who really is as quick as they come and a true practitioner at the art of deduction. The transfer of Sherlock Holmes’ tactics, mornally applied in the stately drawing rooms of Victorian England, to the big sky country of the American Wild West, plus the natty charm of our ornery cowpokes, makes Holmes on the Range a mystery-western that is utterly irresistible. The winning twist on the Holmes canon continues in three more trail-side cases, On the Wrong Track, The Black Dove, and The Crack in the Lens.
posted Feb 5, 2010 at 12:20AM
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Otto "Big Red" Amlingmeyer
Enjoys reading stories featuring Sherlock Holmes; Gustav's sidekick.
Gustav "Old Red" Amlingmeyer
Big Red's brother; Sherlock Holmes is his role mode; wants to be the West's prime detective; no longer wants to herd cattle and be a cowboy.