Monday, March 05, 2007

On the Wrong Track -- Steve Hockensmith

Gustav and Otto (or Old Red and Big Red, if you prefer) Amlingmeyer are back. That should be all you need to know to send you looking for Steve Hockensmith's new novel, the official publication date of which is today. In spite of the setting (the 1890s), this book is, of course a western. It's a historical mystery, this time with a railroad setting.* It's got a lot of great stuff for mystery fans, including robbery, murder, hoboes, and even an actual detective (who drinks a lot). Hilarity and deductifyin' ensue.

Fans of the first book in this series (
Holmes on the Range) will recall that Gustav is the one who believes that Sherlock Holmes is a real person, and, inspired by his example, attempts to apply his methods in the Old West setting. Fans will also recall that one of the best things about the novel is Otto's first-person narration. If you're not a fan, you should be, because this is a series that's going to be around. You'll want to be sure to get in on the ground floor.

And one more thing. As Joe Bob Briggs would say, "Heads roll." Check it out.

*Once upon a time there was a series of westerns about a railroad detective agency, the main operative being a guy being named Stone. The author of the books was one "William Grant," and each book in the series was a mystery novel dealing with railroads in the Old West. The books were, unfortunately, marketed as westerns and sank without a trace. However, if you're a mystery fan and would like to read something along those lines, I recommend one called
The Colorado Special.


Steve Hockensmith said...

Glad you liked the book, Bill! Never had heard of William Grant's books before. A whole *series* of Wesstern/mystery/train adventures? Yowza. Just goes to show: Never think you have an absolutely original idea, because there's no doubt someone else did it first!


Unknown said...

Well, the Grant series is about railroads, and of course the books lack the great humor of yours. So there's a huge difference. Still, it is a mystery series. Grant's a house name, by the way.