Friday, May 27, 2011

On the Wrong Track by Steve Hockensmith

About the book: It might be 1893 and the modern world may in full-swing, but cowboy Gustav "Old Red" Amlingmeyer is an old-fashioned kind of guy: he prefers a long trail ride even when a train could get him where he’s going in one-tenth the time. His brother Otto (“Big Red”), on the other hand, wouldn't mind climbing down from his horse and onto a train once in a while if it'll give his saddle-sore rear end a rest. So when it's Old Red who insists they sign on to protect the luxurious Pacific Express, despite a generations-old Amlingmeyer family distrust of the farm-stealin', cattle-killin', money-grubbin' railroads, Big Red is flummoxed. But Old Red, tired of the cowpoke life, wants to take a stab at professional ‘detectifying’ just like his hero, Sherlock Holmes and guard jobs for the railroad are the only ones on offer.

So it is that Big Red and Old Red find themselves trapped on a thousand tons of steam-driven steel, summiting the Sierras en route to San Francisco with a crafty gang of outlaws somewhere around the next bend, a baggage car jam-packed with deadly secrets, and a vicious killer hidden somewhere amongst the colorful passengers.

On the Wrong Track, Old Red and Big Red’s much anticipated return, is filled with all of the wit, flavor, humor, and suspense that made Hockensmith’s debut, Holmes on the Range, so beloved by critics and fans alike.

My Thoughts: Loved it. This second book in the Holmes on the Range series not only had a smile on every page it gave me several laugh out loud moments as well as several *snorts*. As well as being a fun read I think Hockensmith has created a truly original mystery series. If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes you won't want to miss these, but if you have never read Sherlock Holmes it doesn't matter, the story works. The mysteries in this story kept me guessing, the humor kept me amused, and the the characters were wonderfully written. I suggest you read these in order to appreciate the growth of the main characters. I recommend this.

Rating: A

Quote: While sensible men set out to be bankers, lawyers, business tycoons, or president of the United States, my brother had what was, in his mind, a far loftier goal. He wanted to be a detective. More specifically, he wanted to be the detective: the late, great Sherlock Holmes. While no one was going to mistake a couple of dollar-a-day cowhands like ourselves for gentlemen deducifiers, through a combination of tenacity (mostly my brother's) and luck (mostly bad) we did manage to get ourselves hires as detectives ... of a sort.

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