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 put his Holmes-inspired detective talents to work and 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.
Award-winning narrator William Dufris gives a virtuoso performance on this enormously entertaining tale of Gustave "Old Red" Amlingmeyer, a Montana cowboy who dreams of being a western Sherlock Holmes. When mysterious murders occur on the ranch where he and his brother are working, Old Red sees his chance and immediately sets out to sniff out the culprit. The story is told in first person by the would-be detective's kid brother, Otto ("Big Red"), and with an authentic western drawl Dufris slips into the role as comfortably as an old pair of cowboy boots, conveying Big Red's amiability and frequent befuddlement as he struggles to keep up with his older brother's "deducifyin' ". Dufris creates believable, distinctive voices for a large and colorful cast-among them the gravel-voiced ranch foreman, a Cockney cowboy, a pompous English duke and his ladylike daughter and a Swedish cook-and does it so well that a listener might well believe he's listening to a full troupe of actors. A truly gifted narrator, memorable characters and a tale full of adventure and humor-what more could an audiobook fan ask for? Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's Minotaur hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 7). (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.