Sherlock Holmes-worshiping cowboys Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer have starred in five Holmes on the Range novels, rustling up award nominations and fans aplenty as they cracked mysteries using the methods of their English hero. How did these Old West drifters first discover Holmes, though? What were they doing before their novel adventures began? And how did their early, awkward stabs at "deducifying" turn out? These seven short stories provide the answers.
In Dear Mr. Holmes, Old Red first gets the itch to turn detective - and just in time, too, because a killer's stalking him and his brother along a Kansas cattle trail. In Gustav Amlingmeyer, Holmes of the Range, Old Red's attempt to settle down and open his own "cafay" goes haywire when one of the customers gets a side order of arsenic with his steak and potatoes. In Wolves in Winter, Big Red and Old Red go up against deadly predators of both the two- and four-legged variety. And the adventure continues in four more stories (most of them originally published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine).
Critics have called Steve Hockensmith's Holmes on the Range tales "hilarious" (Entertainment Weekly), "quirky and original" (The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), "clever" (The New York Times), "wonderfully entertaining" (Booklist) and "a hoot" (The Washington Post). There's only one way to find out if you agree. Start listening to Dear Mr. Holmes today!
©2011 Steve Hockensmith (P)2013 Steve Hockensmith
I decided to download this because the premise of cowboys emulating Sherlock Holmes just appealed to me. The stories are told with a gentle humour and the lead characters are quite endearing. The deducifying nicely put together.
I gave this full marks on all fronts.
The only negative - I can't find any more of these stories on Audible just yet.
Most of these stories pre-date the novel Holmes on the Range. The last several occur after "On the Wrong Track", and one after "The Black Dove". These last stories should be read after those novels because there are spoilers in the stories.
The the spirit of the AC Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories, the focus is on the deduction. The stories get to the deducifying quickly, so that's delightful.
The narrator is not the same one as the one that reads the novels, but he uses a similar style, and is very enjoyable to listen to.
The audiobook also leads off with an introduction from Steve Hockensmith. He explains why he started writing Big and Old Red. That's interesting too.
This is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to.
"Thoroughly enjoyable collection of stories"
Steve H- has once again delivered some fine tales about our favorite red-headed cowpuncher detectives, and cleverly interwoven the stories between the action found in the previously published novels.
The narrator did a reasonably good job, but he just wasn't William Dufris.
"A fun, western yarn"
Little bites of delight. That's what this collection of short stories is. If you are unfamiliar with the series, this a bad place to start, but to those who are already fans of the cattle rustling, mystery solving Amlingmyer brothers, this is essential. It fills in the gaps in between books and describes the beginning of it all. In short, the main characters are two cow boys in the American old west who love Sherlock Holmes and go about 'deducifying" when the need arises. They are very funny and vivid but the language can get a little rough. I don't mind that because it is never excessive and the author steps around the really bad curse words is super funny ways. The reader is different from the regular guy and some of the many voices can sound a bit similar. That's a small complaint though. I recommend this series highly.
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