Brothers Otto and Gustav Amlingmeyer are the Holmes and Watson of the American West. On their fourth, case they investigate a series of murders involving prostitutes, one of whom was Gustav's truelove. Bill Dufris's "aw-shucks" narration somewhat blunts the gory reality of the story's Jack-the-Ripper-style killings, but his performance is in line with the setting and characters. Of course, having narrated the other three Holmes on the Range adventures, he's had lots of practice. Both men's and women's voices have an appropriate rough edge, and the action moves right along. It's difficult to take these sagebrush Sherlocks too seriously; one wonders what Conan Doyle would think.
So Old Red decides that it's time for the two of them to head off to the Texas hill country, to San Marcos, and deal with the greatest tragedy of Old Red's life. Five years ago, when Old Red was a cowpoke in San Marcos, he had a sweetheart---a fallen woman at the local house of ill repute. They had made plans, but before they made their big move, his fiancee was murdered and the case was swept under the rug by the local authorities. Now Old Red is determined to find out what really happened and to finally find a measure of justice for his beloved.
But Big Red and Old Red find themselves facing a wall of silence and in some of the worst situations of their lives: ensnared in a riot at the local cathouse, on the wrong end of a lynching party, and, perhaps worst of all, having to do the one thing you never want to do in the state of Texas: steal horses.
©2009 Steve Hockensmith; (P)2009 Tantor
"The personal stake Old Red has in catching the murderer adds an emotional dimension to the puzzle, which Edgar-finalist Hockensmith nicely leavens with witty prose and cliffhanging chapter endings." (Publishers Weekly)
I listen to two audiobooks a month. My main interest is in a well-told story, so I enjoy a lot of fiction. But I like history as well
Steve Hockensmith has three of these novels; they are delightful stories that are as humerous as they are intriguing. But the narration makes them all the more enjoyable. If you like some humor mixed in with your mystery and if you have a liking for the wild west, and if you think an illiterate cowboy with an affection for Sherlock Holmes is worth your time, you will love this book.
I really enjoy genre fiction, mostly fantasy and mysteries but enjoy discovering new authors.
This is the fourth book in the series and each one gets better. When I listened to the first book int the series, I loved the story but only liked the narrator. Four books later, I love it all. A frequent complaint about the other books is the occasional curse word. Here, Hockensmith finds a hilarous way to let the curse words fly without uttering a single vulgarity. Funny, compelling and filled with interesting characters and a well developed setting. My only warning is that if you like your mysteries very polite and clean, this series isn't that. It's not at all super gory or grusome but there is a little coarsness. Just a little.
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