Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Monday, November 19, 2012

On the Right Track with Holmes on the Range

Better Late Than Never Department: I just finished reading On the Wrong Track, the second installment in the "Holmes on the Range" series of mysteries by Steve Hockensmith. Now I have to read the first and all the others. I'm  hooked.

If you're not familiar with the series, here's the gimmick: Otto "Big Red" Amlingmeyer and his brother Gustav "Old Red" are American cowboys in the early 1890s. Although illiterate, Big Red has become captivated by the adventures of the (apparently) recently deceased Sherlock Holmes. His goal is to become a detective in the footsteps of his hero.

In On the Wrong Track, the brothers go to work as railroad detectives for the Southern Pacific Railroad, guarding the luxury Pacific Express. As the title of the book suggests, there are a few glitches along the way.

There's enough homage to Holmes in this tale to satisfy most fans of the Baker Street sage, but this adventure has a lot more than that. The plot is full of surprises and suspense. All of the characters are interesting, from the fetching Miss Caveo to Burl Lockhart, a dime novel hero gone to seed. And the writing is just plain hilarious.

But the highlight of the book, for me, is the narrative voice: Big Red, acting as his brother's Watson (as well as the one who reads the Holmes stories to him over and over again), sure knows how to spin a yarn.

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