STEVE HOCKENSMITH – Holmes on the Range. Nominated for Best Private Eye First Novel of the Year, 2007.

St. Martin’s, hardcover, February 2006. Trade paperback, February 2007.

   Book description:

Holmes on the Range

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 employ his Holmes-inspired “deducifyin” skills, puts his ranch work squarely on the back burner, and sets out to 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.

   About the Author:

Excerpted from the author’s Web site : “Though the town elders of Louisville, Ky., have yet to acknowledge it with so much as a single commemorative plaque, Steve Hockensmith was born in the Derby City on August 17, 1968. […] Hockensmith is also the creator of mystery-solving cowboys Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer. The Amlingmeyer brothers first appeared in Ellery Queen in the story ‘Dear Mr. Holmes,’ which was voted the fifth most-popular story of 2003 by the magazine’s readers. The Sherlock Holmes-worshipping drovers have returned to Ellery Queen‘s pages three times since then. […] Though he considers himself a Midwesterner at heart, Hockensmith currently lives in California’s Bay Area.”

   Review excerpts:

Publishers Weekly: “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). […] 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.”

Booklist: “The Amlingmeyers have graced the pages of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and their initial book-length case is every bit as memorable. At times, they may remind readers of Joe Lansdale’s Hap Collins and Leonard Pine with their smart mouths, penchant for trouble, and unflagging loyalty to each other. This is a great reworking of the Holmes conceit, and one suspects Hockensmith will have a steady readership as long as the Amlingmeyers are on the case.”

   Recently published:

On the Wrong Track: A Holmes on the Range Mystery. St. Martin’s, hardcover, March 2007. Trade paperback: January 2008.