cover image World's Greatest Sleuth! A Holmes on the Range Mystery

World's Greatest Sleuth! A Holmes on the Range Mystery

Steve Hockensmith, Minotaur, $24.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-312-37943-8

In Hockensmith's clever, slapstick-infused fifth Holmes on the Range mystery (after 2009's The Crack in the Lens), Gustav ("Old Red") and Otto ("Big Red") Amlingmeyer travel to Chicago to take part in a "mystery cracking competition" at the 1893 Columbian Exposition. There the "dee-tective" brothers go up against a number of world famous crime solvers, all of whom hope to succeed recently departed Sherlock Holmes as the greatest living sleuth. After considerable chaos, Frenchman Eugene Valmont wins the first round by finding a golden egg hidden by Holmes fanatic Armstrong B. Curtis, Esq. Judging the contest is the esteemed William Pinkerton, heir to the famed detective bureau, who, to the surprise of the Amlingmeyer boys, will not be competing, preferring to "keep his precious agency above the fray." And a fray it becomes after a dead body turns up face down in a large cheese and our heroes chase around "the White City" for the elusive murderer. (Jan.)