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Holmes on the Range

Cover of Holmes on the Range

Holmes on the Range

Holmes on the Range Mystery Series, Book 1
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1893 is a tough year in Montana, and any job is a good job. When Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer sign on as ranch hands at the secretive Bar-VR cattle spread, they're not expecting much more than hard work, bad pay, and a comfortable campfire around which they can enjoy their favorite pastime: scouring Harper's Weekly for stories about the famous Sherlock Holmes. When another ranch hand turns up in an outhouse with a bullet in his brain, Old Red sees the perfect opportunity to put his Holmes-inspired detective talents to work and solve the case. Big Red, like it or not (and mostly he does not), is along for the wild ride in this clever, compelling, and completely one-of-a-kind mystery.

1893 is a tough year in Montana, and any job is a good job. When Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer sign on as ranch hands at the secretive Bar-VR cattle spread, they're not expecting much more than hard work, bad pay, and a comfortable campfire around which they can enjoy their favorite pastime: scouring Harper's Weekly for stories about the famous Sherlock Holmes. When another ranch hand turns up in an outhouse with a bullet in his brain, Old Red sees the perfect opportunity to put his Holmes-inspired detective talents to work and solve the case. Big Red, like it or not (and mostly he does not), is along for the wild ride in this clever, compelling, and completely one-of-a-kind mystery.

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  • AudioFile Magazine The great detective Sherlock Holmes finds a lost American cousin in this rollicking entertainment. Narrator William Dufris shuffles accents and characters like a deck of cards. His portrayal of the Amlingmeyer brothers, Gustave, a "Holmes wannabe," and his younger sibling, Otto, a "Doctor Watson stand-in," is emotional and affecting. Few narrators could genuinely pull off a Swedish cook, a pompous English duke and his prissy daughter, and a cowboy with a Cockney accent, sometimes in the same scene. No listener's imagination could come up with a better experience than hearing this title. Let's hope there are more adventures with the Amlingmeyer brothers, inspired by Holmes and Watson. R.O. (c) AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from November 7, 2005
    Sherlockians, western fans and mystery lovers who enjoy their whodunits leavened with humor should all be delighted by Hockensmith's captivating debut, which features Montana cowboys and brothers Gustav and Otto Amlingmeyer (better known as Old Red and Big Red, respectively). One night in 1892, Old Red becomes smitten with Sherlock Holmes on hearing his brother read "The Red-Headed League" around the campfire during a cattle drive. Determined to follow in his hero's footsteps, Old Red gets the chance to apply the master's methods after some unsavory characters hire the pair to work at a ranch, whose general manager is soon found dead after a stampede. Another man turns up dead, apparently a suicide, just before the British aristocrats who own the ranch arrive to inspect their property. The melding of genres will remind some of the late Bill DeAndrea's western Nero Wolfe pastiches, while the skillful plotting and characterization augur well for the sequel. Hockensmith writes a monthly column for Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine
    . Author tour.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 10, 2006
    Award-winning narrator William Dufris gives a virtuoso performance on this enormously entertaining tale of Gustave "Old Red" Amlingmeyer, a Montana cowboy who dreams of being a western Sherlock Holmes. When mysterious murders occur on the ranch where he and his brother are working, Old Red sees his chance and immediately sets out to sniff out the culprit. The story is told in first person by the would-be detective's kid brother, Otto ("Big Red"), and with an authentic western drawl Dufris slips into the role as comfortably as an old pair of cowboy boots, conveying Big Red's amiability and frequent befuddlement as he struggles to keep up with his older brother's "deducifyin' ". Dufris creates believable, distinctive voices for a large and colorful cast—among them the gravel-voiced ranch foreman, a Cockney cowboy, a pompous English duke and his ladylike daughter and a Swedish cook—and does it so well that a listener might well believe he's listening to a full troupe of actors. A truly gifted narrator, memorable characters and a tale full of adventure and humor—what more could an audiobook fan ask for? Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's Minotaur hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 7).

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    Tantor Media
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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Holmes on the Range
Holmes on the Range
Holmes on the Range Mystery Series, Book 1
Steve Hockensmith
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