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On the Wrong Track (Holmes On the Range Mystery #2)

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  679 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
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 whileif it'll give his s
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 8th 2008 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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On the Wrong Track is the second in the series following drovers Otto (Big Red) and Gustav (Old Red) Amlingmeyer, brothers and readers of Sherlock Holmes in the Old West.

Despite the fact that they make him toss his cookies, Gustav convinces his younger brother Otto to sign on with the Southern Pacific Railroad as undercover detectives. What follows is the train ride from Hell, as it becomes evident that one of the riders is a ruthless killer!

Like the first book in the series (Holmes on the Range
Cathy Cole
Feb 15, 2012 Cathy Cole rated it it was amazing
First Line: Few things dampen a man's appreciation for natural splendor more quickly than the sound of another man's retching.

The man who's retching? Gustav "Old Red" Amlingmeyer. The man who has to listen to him? His brother, Otto "Big Red" Amlingmeyer. Something more is disagreeing with Old Red than the fact that he's traveling on a train. In fact, he has his brother completely mystified. You see, Old Red has the deep distrust of railroads that just about everyone does who's been raised on a f
I enjoyed this audio book so much that I am searching my local libraries to find the rest of the series. If you enjoy westerns or mysteries you will enjoy this book. If you enjoy both categories you are in for a treat. Add humor to the storyline and it takes this 4 star rating to five stars which I do not give freely. I recommend this book to reader of all ages. There is some death and a few choice words that place it in the PG range, but it is a great story that all readers/listeners will enjoy ...more
David Monroe
Cowboys Otto “Big Red” Amlingmeyer and his brother Gustav “Old Red” are back and they're tired. Tired of saddle sores and long trail rides. Old Red insists they sign on to protect the luxurious new Pacific Express, despite a generations-old Amlingmeyer family distrust of the farm-stealin', cattle-killin', money-grubbin' railroads. Old Red knows that little brother, Big Red wants to take a stab at professional ‘detectifying’ just like his hero, Sherlock Holmes so they quickly find themselves hire ...more
Dail Kyle
it was different sort of read... like reading a series of short stories with the same characters...delightful and entertaining.... recommend this as a read...
Gina Williams
Mar 31, 2012 Gina Williams rated it really liked it
Shelves: series, mystery, 2012
Enjoyed the second book in the Amlingmeyer brothers series and found myself wiping tears out of my eyes at one point I was laughing so hard.

The Amlingmeyer brothers, Gustav and Otto find themselves in the employ of the S.P. railroad as rail guards and soon put their deducifying skills to the test when heads begin to roll. In the spirit of Sherlock Holmes, the brother's set off on another wild west adventure while chasing their dreams of becoming detectives.

Colorful characters and a lighter loo
May 29, 2013 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a hoot! The author, with tongue firmly planted in cheek (just look at the subtitle), writes a good yarn that holds your interest and stretches believability just enough to be fun. A nod to the narrator, William Dufris, who handles multiple voices well, including the females. His reading might be jarring to those unaccustomed to the B western style of old Hollywood but stick with it. It's supposed to be humorous and a bit goofy. Recommended for anyone who wants to enjoy a lighthearted romp i ...more
'Holmes' style sleuthing loaded with pistol packing humor. A quirky and original western whodunit that would have been delightfully enjoyable if not for a plethora of expletives. I don't mind a bit of coarse language here and there, but this book is riddled with damnation. As in, every other page someone's dragging the Lord's name through the mud. After one-hundred pages, it became tiresome trying to skip over it all; not to mention, disappointing. I just had to shut the book and move on.......

It had "Holmes" in the title - so I was a sucker for it !
The first of this series was - "Holmes on the Range"
and it was not exactly what I was expecting, but it was a hoot and although I cringed at the rather 'low' humor - couldn't help but laugh and enjoy the goofy brother and the references to Holmes, fresh twist on cowboy life and the mystery to be solved.
I'll be checking the rest of the series out of the library.
(Will apply this to the others I've read, also).
Read in 2011.
Apr 07, 2014 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, I listened to this on the weekend. It wasn't my first choice for my long drive, but I did like the first in the series well enough to give book two a shot.

I'm so glad I did.

I should probably let everyone know that in my late teens and early twenties, I was in love with the Western genre. My grandmother was helping me collect every Louis L'Amour or Zane Grey she came across and I loved reading every one of them. I had a particular fondness for L'Amour's Sackett series.

Steve Hockensmith has cr
Jul 20, 2015 Andie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This book has been rather difficult for me to read. I've tried to pick it up a couple of times, and it has been very difficult for me to get into. I thought the beginning was slow and hokey and I really didn't like the writing style. It picked up once the main characters got on the train and hit the mystery of the novel... but then it kind of stayed at the same level of fascination for me for the rest of the book.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend this to a lot of people. If you're really into wester
Apr 16, 2014 Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gustav "Old Red" Amlingmeyer and his brother Otto ("Big Red") are hired to protect the Pacific Express train on its trip over the mountains to San Francisco. One problem is that Big Red is terrified of train travel and speed in general. Of course, Old Red wants to try professional 'detectifying' just like his hero, Sherlock Holmes. They meet up with a lot of diverse characters along the way and soon find themselves the target of train robbing gangs, mysterious women and a lot of others. This was ...more
Dec 01, 2007 Trish rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
The second tale of the Amlingmeyer brothers, Old Red and Big Red. This time, the cowboy detectives have taken their first step toward professional deducifyin'--they've landed jobs as railroad detectives, of a sort. Lately, the Southern Pacific Railroad has been plagued by the Give 'Em Hell Boys. But Gustav and Otto aren't supposed to track down the bandits; they're supposed to keep an eye out for an inside man whose in cahoots with the robbers.

Before they have had time to do much more than meet
May 12, 2013 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the first in this series featuring cowboy brothers Gustav “Old Red” and Otto “Big Red” Arlingmeyer in 2011. Since then, I’ve wanted to read more about this duo whose older half idolizes Sherlock Holmes and wants to model himself after him. It’s left to Otto to chronicle their adventures. In this instalment, they are hired by the Southern Pacific Railroad as detectives on a Utah to California trip, and run up against notorious train robbers.

The voice in this series is as breezy and refresh
Mark Baker
Mar 03, 2014 Mark Baker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2007
Cowboy detectives Old Red and Big Red find murder on board a train after they sign up with the Southern Pacific as detectives. Can Old Red figure out who the killer is? Lots of great suspense and an ending I couldn't put down. Unfortunately, the language really bothered me.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Margaret Rosen
Disappointed that this wasn't better -- the author was so close to getting it right. The idea, setting, characters and plot would have all been pretty good if the tone were consistent. I was hoping for the light-hearted fun promised in the blurbs for both of the Hockensmith books I've read, but I found the humor flat and forced. He needed to lose the Lonesome Dove-type realness (the ethnic slurs, tragic backstory and graphic descriptions of dead bodies.)
Feb 16, 2014 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-read
The second in the series. In which Otto and Gustav become railroad police/detectives. Mixes entertainment with commentary on the social mores of late nineteenth century United States.

Don't bother if you don't like dialect or westerns.
Diana Petty-stone
I'm not big on westerns but I love the one Steve Hockensmith writes. The brothers Amlinhmeyer provide a hilarious and colorful adventure as they endeavor to detectify a mystery and murder onboard a train.
Jun 26, 2014 Windy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this, the second offering in the series, to be slightly stepped up from the first. It's a lighthearted and fun read. I particularly am enjoying the continued development of the main characters. Good sophomore effort. 3 1/2 stars.
Aug 18, 2012 Christina rated it it was amazing
Book #25 for 2012

I think this is probably my favorite of the three I've read so far in this series. I had already read The Black Dove, so I did have a bit of an unfair advantage in knowing a few of the secrets that are revealed in this story. But I'm pretty proud of myself for having sussed out the killer's identity all on my own -- and pretty early on, at that.

Of course, there is much more to this story than a simple whodunit. The characters are all interesting, the historical backdrop is simpl
Dec 04, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am liking this series, and I liked this book, but this particular story felt a bit convoluted.
May 23, 2010 Christian rated it it was amazing
All of what I liked about Holmes on the Range: an entertaining dynamic between the brothers, amusing similes, an engaging narrative voice, good pace, mini-cliffhangers at the end of each chapter. Even though much of the book is set on a train there are several distinctive locations. The mystery itself and the corresponding revelation of clues are puzzling in a satisfying way. Like the second Holmes adventure (Sign of Four), there’s an exciting chase at the end and this one ups the ante on its pr ...more
May 25, 2015 Kyra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brisk well-written light entertainment.
Marilyn Thompson
Sep 03, 2014 Marilyn Thompson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun and funny with lots of twists.
Apr 12, 2010 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Old Red and Big Red ride the rails as security officers and discover mystery, murder and romance (sort of). Old Red is not quite up to his usual detectifying due to constant motion sickness and Big Red is distracted by a mysterious beauty, however, they answer all the questions in the end. This book gives us more insight into the relationship between the brothers without being gooey. As in the first book, it is Big Red's telling of the story, more than the mystery itself that makes this book so ...more
Mar 25, 2008 Rhoda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-book-club
If you haven't stumbled onto this series you need to find a copy of one of Steve's books and join in on the latest adventure of Big Red and Old Red. The two brothers are working their way across the Old West detectin' and bringing the bag guys to justice. The characters are well written and humorous. These books aren't your run of the mill mystery -the pages are filled with plenty of turns and twist to keep the reader guessing until the end of each story!
Aug 02, 2015 Janice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
Kevin Spaeth
Oct 30, 2014 Kevin Spaeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
anther great entry into the Anglingmeyer brothers adventures
Anna Piranha
Jul 06, 2008 Anna Piranha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice second novel in a series. I suppose some might find the particular style of narrative grating. It made me snicker. Plus, it's very amusing, when asked what I'm reading, to be able to answer "Oh, a Cowboy-Detective Novel!" The perpetrator was not telegraphed too early on.

I am pleased to see that the second novel does not assume that the first has been read. I hate when subsequent novels in a series have spoilers for the earlier ones.
Tim Hicks
Jun 14, 2012 Tim Hicks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good mystery, great characters, an easy writing style spiced with the occasional glitteringly funny turn of phrase.
Character development, even.

Minor quibble: I wish I had read this in its true order of #2 in the series. I had already devoured two later ones, so I already knew a few too many things about this one - none of them really important.

I'll definitely read the rest of this series and probably anything else from Hockensmith.
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Goodreads Librari...: wrong date 2 17 Nov 04, 2014 09:57PM  
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Steve Hockensmith is the author of the New York Times bestseller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls and several other novels, including the Edgar Award finalist Holmes on the Range. He lives in Alameda, California.
More about Steve Hockensmith...

Other Books in the Series

Holmes On the Range Mystery (6 books)
  • Holmes on the Range
  • The Black Dove
  • The Crack in the Lens
  • World's Greatest Sleuth!
  • Dear Mr. Holmes: Seven Holmes On The Range Mysteries

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