Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Holmes on the Range

Meet the Amlingmeyers. A pair of brothers riding the range from one grub stake to the next. Are they just obsessed cowpokes thinking about food, smokes, horses, women and more food? Nope. Old Red (Gustav) and Big Red (Otto) have other things on their mind. Like detecting. Just like that Sherlock fellow. Welcome to the world of Holmes on the Range by Steve Hockensmith.

Old Red's obsession with all things Holmes - read to him by his brother from Harper's Magazine - leads them to adventure. The slightly shady outfit they have signed up with - the Bar VR - ends up having two deaths on the premises. And the foreman really does not seem to care since everyone is supposed to be preparing for the arrival of the foreign owners of the ranch. Just who is lying to whom? And just what is going on with the ranch finances and stock? And those fancy English folks might have a hand in this mess too.

Hockensmith's characters are great fun. The story is told in Big Red's voice and he is a perfect doubting Thomas about his brother's detection skills. But he will stand by him as a loyal "Watson" and family member should. Old Red sometimes doubts himself - he is just an average uneducated cowboy - but he has studied his hero Holmes' methods.

With wonderful characters and a twisty plot, this series is off to a great start. I'm eager to read the rest. A very fun read!