The Double-A Western Detective Agency: A Holmes on the Range Mystery (Holmes on the Range Mysteries)
Steve Hockensmith, author
Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer’s dream has come true: The Sherlock Holmes-worshiping cowboy brothers are finally in business as professional detectives. But their fledgling A.A. Western Detective Agency faces a few challenges. Their partner, Col. Crowe, is almost as cantankerous and secretive as Old Red himself. The colonel’s daughter, Diana, insists on tagging along for the Amlingmeyers’ first assignment. And that assignment lands them smack dab in the middle of a range war — with Big Red and Old Red expected to shoot it out with rustlers rather than rustle up clues and solve a mystery.When the violence claims an unexpected victim, however, the Amlingmeyers are called upon to holster their guns (for a moment) and use their “Holmesifying” skills to track down the killer. But someone else is tracking them...someone who seems to set one ambush after another for the brothers. Will the Double-A Western Detective Agency’s first case also be its last?
Set in 1894, Edgar-finalist Hockensmith’s sixth mystery featuring Otto and Gustav Amlingmeyer (after 2011’s World’s Greatest Sleuth!) triumphantly combines homage, humor, and fair-play. With the cash prize from “a sleuthing contest” they won at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the Amlingmeyer brothers have set up their own business, the A.A. Western Detective Agency, in Utah. Otto is eager to tackle a case in Idaho that involves, in words typical of one of Dr. Watson’s unpublished cases, “a ghostly puma, the map to a lost silver mine, a damsel in distress and a drowned man found dead in his bed dressed as a nun.” But as that client can’t pay anything, the brothers’ business partner, Col. C. Kermit Crowe, insists that they accept a more prosaic request from someone who can, a rancher plagued by cattle thieves in the New Mexico territory. Accompanied by Crowe’s fetching and capable daughter, Diana, Otto and Gustav soon find themselves in the middle of a bitter feud and a murder investigation. Sherlockians will hope for a shorter hiatus between books in this superior series. (BookLife)