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The Black Dove (Holmes On the Range Mystery #3)

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3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  593 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
In the summer of 1893, Gustav "Old Red" Amlingmeyer and his brother Otto (a.k.a. "Big Red") find themselves down and out in San Francisco. Though cowpokes by training, the brothers are devotees of the late, great Sherlock Holmes and his trademark method of "deducifying." But when they set out to land jobs as professional detectives, they land themselves in hot water, inste ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 12th 2009 by Minotaur Books (first published February 19th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 905)
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Donna
I think I would have enjoyed his more if I hadn't done the audio. The narrator was a little too theatrical for my tastes. It was a little over the top. The characters seemed stereotyped in the worst way. I think they would have come across as charming if I had turned the pages instead. But I will say, I liked the story. It rolled along. So 3 stars.
Ariel
Downloaded and listened to this through Overdrive for my local library. This title looked interesting and I had no idea that I was listening to book 3 of the series! Whoops! I plan on going back and finding the first two, listening/reading to them and then moving forward.

This was HILARIOUS. There were definitely times that I caught myself chuckling out loud to something Otto would say or some other characters one-liner. I felt the humor was appropriate and never over the top. The story itself w
...more
Janet S
Jan 10, 2013 Janet S rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Killer find. I'm reading anything this guy writes. I started here, in the middle of a series, but the book stood alone just fine. Uniquely humorous.
Mark
May 23, 2008 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This the third in a series, but you can easily start with this book without having read the others first. The Black Dove is a detective novel set in early 1890’s San Francisco. Its main protagonists are a pair of constantly bickering brothers, the Almingmeyers. Otto, better known as “Big Red,” is the educated one. Gustav, “Old Red” (because he’s older than Otter rather than old in any real sense), is an illiterate cowboy. After a flood swept away the family farm--and the entire family save for O ...more
Patrick
The basic premise of the book is this: There are two cowpokes, who are fans of the Sherlock Holmes stories. They are so engrossed that they are attempting to become the Holmes & Watson of the old west. The story is set in the San Francisco of 1893. The two become involved in a bloody mystery in Chinatown. They have a smart, savvy female "sidekick" to help them get over their trail-riding roughness and into places that otherwise would not give time to any cattle-driving, saddle-sore cowboys s ...more
Joe Slavinsky
Jan 24, 2016 Joe Slavinsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again, Steve Hockensmith amazes me, with the uniqueness of the Amlingmeyer brothers characters, and his "Holmes on the Range" series. Now that I've read 4 of the 5 books(thus far!) in the series, I'm no less impressed with the originality of this concept. I've read a fair amount of Sherlock Holmes, and some westerns(enjoyable, particularly Estleman, but not high on my priority list of genres), but I would never have considered tying the two together. Yeah sure, there have been plenty of wes ...more
Tina
Aug 02, 2010 Tina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Filled with plot twists and a surprisingly tragic ending, "The Black Dove" manages to be incredibly funny AND suspenseful! My review: a fun read OR, as Otto would say, a great way to enjoy suspense and get a sense of 1890s Chinatown. Listening to this as an audiobook, readers get treated to a narrator who can do Western accents, as well as a surprisingly good voice for Diana.

Mystery fans will enjoy "The Black Dove", the third in the "Holmes on the Range" series by Edgar-award nominated author St
...more
David
Feb 13, 2012 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series continues to be a real delight.. the banter between Otto and Gustav, added to the feminism of Diana vs. the Cowboy ethics and code, is a whole saddle full of fun. Otto and Gustav, dumped off in San Francisco in 1893 are challenged when their Chinese friend is murdered. Gus quickly begins to attempt to utilize the Holmesian style of deduction, with outrageous results. A great deal of this story features them running away from one foe or another as they raise a ruckus in San Francisco' ...more
Stephanie
I would like to give this book 3.5 stars. For me this series gets better as it goes as I've enjoyed each successive book more than the last. This one had a slightly darker quality primarily due to the plots focus on the plight of U.S. chinese community in the late 19th century which was pretty grim. It gave the book a little more heft while still delivering the chracteristic smart aleck humor. The mystery was well constructed and plausible with some surprising (for me)twists and turns.

My one co
...more
Cathy Cole
May 18, 2012 Cathy Cole rated it really liked it
Steve Hockensmith seems to be visiting the various sub-genres of mysteries in this Holmes on the Range series, and even with two poorly educated cowhands as Holmes and Watson, it works beautifully. The first book in the series (Holmes on the Range) is a classic mystery with a long list of suspects. The second (On the Wrong Track) is a thriller complete with train robbers and runaway locomotives. The Black Dove is all about the tough private detective trying to unravel a mystery in Chinatown.

Thes
...more
Amy
Another great story from Steve Hockensmith! The Black Dove was a top-notch mystery and I didn't figure out the end until it was told to me. I usually like to have a few more clues thrown my way so I can figure out the puzzle with the detectives, but in this case, it took them almost as much by surprise as it did me.

The Black Dove was a bit of a departure from the style of the first two books in the series. Instead of roaming the wide open spaces out west, this time there's big trouble in little
...more
Spuddie
Sep 01, 2009 Spuddie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#3 "Holmes on the Range" mystery featuring Old Red and Big Red Amlingmeyer in the 1890's American west. This episode finds the brothers, previously cattle wranglers and now wannabe detectives, in San Francisco. The ginger-haired brothers see their old friend Dr. Chan (from the train episode last book) and follow him into Chinatown, where he nearly shoots Big Red, not realizing who they are. The next day when Old Red smells a mystery, they go his shop in Chinatown to see why he's so skittish, but ...more
Barbara
I really enjoy this series though it seems that I missed one between the debut (Holmes on the Range) and this on. Nevertheless this was great and I'll go back and pick up the other one.

This takes place in San Francisco and Big Red and Old Red are trying to find jobs as private detectives. They end up in quite a mystery in Chinatown during the summer of 1898. Old Red is a big fan of Sherlock Holmes and is pretty good at 'deducifying' himself. His brother Otto (Big Red because of his size) is try
...more
Christina
I started listening to this audiobook without realizing that it is the third book in a series of tales about deducifying cowpokes in the Wild West in the 1890s. It didn't take long to determine that I had to go back and listen to the first two as soon as possible after finishing this one. The story is immediately engaging and the characters are entertainingly drawn. This installment takes place in San Francisco, mostly in and around Chinatown. Having just visited that very place for the first ti ...more
Phair
Jumped into this series here at #3 thinking this was an actual Sherlock Holmes pastiche- wrong, except for the fact that the cowpoke brothers are big fans of the Holmes stories & have hopes of publishing their own stories one day. In the meantime they take to "deducifying" themselves.

The reader had a real "golly, shucks"' rube style representing the younger brother as narrator - our "Watson"- which was at first off-putting but eventually grew on me and became appealing as I got to know Big
...more
Dan Adams
Nov 12, 2015 Dan Adams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent third book in Steve Hockensmith's series featuring brothers Gustav and Otto Amlingmeyer, aka "Old Red" and "Big Red" respectively, two cowpokes with a knack for getting themselves into trouble and "deducifyin" mysteries following the common sense, observational methods of Old Red's hero, the English sleuth Sherlock Holmes, whose exploits are continually read to the illiterate, Holmes-like Gustav, by his younger, bigger, Watson-esque brother, Otto. The whole series is rollicking, laugh- ...more
Mark Baker
Mar 19, 2014 Mark Baker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2008
Big Red and Old Red are still in San Francisco when a chance encounter with a friend leads them into a murder in China town. This book has some funny parts, but it is darker than the previous two books in the series. Still, it was a fun trip through the San Francisco of 1893.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Beth H
I listened to this on audio. The reader was excellent with all the characters in this book. It is a tongue in cheek story of two brothers with a simple background that want to become detectives in the late 1880s in San Francisco. Their inspiration is Sherlock Holmes. They set out to investigate a Chinese doctor they met in the former job as security on the railroad.
Dave
Feb 16, 2014 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Third in the adventures of the Amblingmeyer brothers, Otto & Gustav (AKA Big Red and Old Red).

At loose ends after being fired by the railroad, Otto and Gustav are plunged into a murder mystery in San Francisco's Chinatown.

Mystery mixed with comedy and commentary on racism and sexism in nineteenth century America.
Jan McClintock
Mar 30, 2011 Jan McClintock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another fun adventure in sleuthing with the cowboy-detective brothers, this time in San Francisco's Chinatown, 1893. The previous, railroad-based story does carry over to this one somewhat, but not enough to keep this from being a decent standalone book. The author included more foul language (read "realism") in this third book in the series, as the brothers investigate the suspicious death of an acquaintence amidst the underworld in Chinatown. The bickering siblings with hearts of gold land the ...more
Windy
Jul 17, 2014 Windy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This third story in this series is by far the best yet. I am really enjoying the development of the main characters, and what I assume to be the addition of a third "regular" character in Diana. I thought the plot twists and turns were excellent, and I laughed out loud at several places. All in all, a fun read. I'm looking forward to the next one!
Claire
Dec 01, 2013 Claire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It follows two brothers--one who "deducifies" like Sherlock Holmes, the other who pens the exploits like Dr. Watson (and is, by turns, more or less helpful than the doctor was to Mr. Holmes). The plot moves along quickly, the characters are interesting, and the narrator's voice is hilarious, of the laugh-out-loud variety. I was not thrilled by the main female character (I found her poorly developed and almost useless, despite the fact that the author intended her to play cente ...more
David Johnston
Nov 19, 2013 David Johnston rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nann
May 27, 2015 Nann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Note: I listened to the audio edition, narrated by William Dufris.
This is a lively tale featuring the Amlingmeyer brothers, Gustav and Otto, taking on a mysterious murder case in San Francisco's Chinatown in 1893.
Sara E.
Book 3 of the Holmes on the Range series. I don't know if I was distracted listening to this one or what. I didn't like it as much as the first two. Too much running around in parts and not enough "deducifying." I did like it overall though. It tied into book two, much more than book two did with book one. Can't wait to finish this series. Just hoping book four is a little better.
Diana Petty-stone
Old Red and Big Red are at it again? This time their adventures take them to Chinatown in San Francisco. Action packed and full of wisecracks it does not disappoint.
Mary Ahlgren
Probably would have liked it better if I had read instead of listened, but the cowpoke accent and pronunciation of the Chinese names annoyed me.
Tim Hicks
A good read, but not as good as Holmes on the Range or The World's Greatest Sleuth.
This one seemed to move a bit more slowly.
Diana seems just a tad too capable in this one, with hunts that she might be a Mary Sue.

There's still some pretty durn-burned good deducifyin' here, though.
Mahoney and some of the others are cardboard characters. A few of the other Chinatown folks were interesting.
There's an interesting revelation of a bit of Gustav's back story.

The cover art has two guys about the sam
...more
Mariela
I really enjoy this series though it seems that I missed one between the debut (Holmes on the Range) and this on. Nevertheless this was great and I'll go back and pick up the other one.

This takes place in San Francisco and Big Red and Old Red are trying to find jobs as private detectives. They end up in quite a mystery in Chinatown during the summer of 1898. Old Red is a big fan of Sherlock Holmes and is pretty good at 'deducifying' himself. His brother Otto (Big Red because of his size) is try
...more
Ann
Jul 07, 2013 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Armlingmeyer brothers, Old Red (Gustav) and Big Red (Otto) are in San Francisco looking for work. They are practicing "deducifying" and run across Dr. Chan who promptly takes a shot at them. They also find their friend Diana who convinces them that Dr. Chan is in trouble. They find his body in Chinatown and begin a strange search for a missing girl. On the way to her, they cross paths with hoodlums, whorehose madams, crooked cops, opium lords and bigots. Their search gets them in more and mo ...more
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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
  • On the Wrong Track
  • The Crack in the Lens
  • World's Greatest Sleuth!
  • Dear Mr. Holmes: Seven Holmes On The Range Mysteries

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