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The Black Dove

(Holmes On the Range #3)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  777 ratings  ·  103 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
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 19th 2008 by Minotaur Books
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3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  777 ratings  ·  103 reviews

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Dec 06, 2015 rated it liked it
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.
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A San Francisco, Chinatown, "deductifying" adventure with Old Red and Big Red, Sherlock Holmes wannabes. The brothers, teamed up with Diane Corvus, whom they met in their last adventure, and the writings of Dr. Watson, are looking for a murderer and The Black Dove. There is no lack of action as they are constantly being chased by hatchet men through the streets, brothels, and opium dens of Chinatown in a race against time. Will they get to The Black Dove before Little Pete? Although the story do ...more
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: series
The Amlingmeyer brothers never fail to entertain. Great story. Can't wait to read the next one.
Janet S
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let the Sherlockery begin....
May 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Dec 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this one. The brothers are in San Francisco's Chinatown and run into an old friend from their S&P Railroad adventure. Next day, this friend is dead. Thus the detection begins. Enjoy.
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
The interesting thing about mash-ups is that until they actually exist, you may not know that the ensuing product was not a thing you thought you wanted, or indeed needed in your life. Those of you who have followed my reviews have likely realized at this point that next to the copious amounts of comic books I consume (they make up about 2/3rds of the reading I have done for this year's Goodreads Challenge) my favored genre is science fiction (I include fantasy in that particular genre bucket.) ...more
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I listened to this audiobook. Gustav (Old Red) and Otto (Big Red) are brothers in the Wild West in the late 1800's. Old Red is illiterate, but is a major fan of Sherlock Holmes. He really wants to be a detective. He relies on his little brother, Big Red (his Watson), to read the Holmes adventures to him. This is third installment in this humorous series. I missed the second book, and I think I missed a lot. But, be that as it may, this is a fun book. Gustav and Otto apparently were fired in book ...more
Ryan Boros
Jun 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Big trouble in Chinatown
MAGA 1890 San Francisco
The outcasts of the marginalized

I like this series. It's interesting that, while nominally a western, it visits non-standard western destinations like Chinatown in 1890s San Francisco. Like the previous book, it's heavy on the racist slurs and stereotypes of that time period. However, I feel that it does shine a light on the marginalization and racism faced by Chinese immigrants in the west. The protagonists of the story are empathetic to the their
Dr T
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another entry in the "Homes on the Range" series. Our two cowboy/sleuths end up in San Francisco after the disaster that was their last adventure, and begin a highly dangerous and confused investigation into the death of the Chinese doctor they encountered in the previous book. The investigation quickly gets convoluted as they attempt to navigate the different political factions that govern San Francisco's Chinatown in the late 1800's, including the rampant racist anti-Chinese campaigns of some ...more
Ellen Dark
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Entertaining historical mystery set in the Bay Area of California. Learned about Chinatown and the Barbary Coast. Since the main characters are modelling their detecting after that of Sherlock Holmes, the narrative is modelled on that of John Watson.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Funny, clever book. Every book in the series has been so entertaining. Love the narrator as well. He brings this book to life and his distinct acting/narrating abilities make this book more entertaining than any movie I've seen this past year.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fun and funny--especially if you listen to the audiobook.
Savannah B
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb series! I've reread these books multiple times!
Jack Zhong
Characters cheap plain dull and dumb.
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good beach-read even with a standard storyline, prominent cliches, and a narrator who over-does the voices. Entertaining.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
funny - and yet tragic...
Amy Rosenkoetter
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
Feb 13, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Sep 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
#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
Cathy Cole
May 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Feb 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: western-fiction
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
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
Jul 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
I dunno, this one just kind of felt off to me.
I'm still planning on finishing the series, but this one was much grimmer in tone than the others, and the banter between the brothers felt strained and cartoonish at times. The brothers average out at one Deep Emotional Revelation per book, and this one was pretty subpar. And I feel like if you are gonna explicitly ask "are Holmes and Watson gay?" in your book, the answer better be yes, or why even bother bringing it up in a world where heterosexua
Aug 02, 2010 rated it liked it
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
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
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
Jan McClintock
Mar 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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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.

Other books in the series

Holmes On the Range (7 books)
  • Holmes on the Range (Holmes on the Range, #1)
  • On the Wrong Track (Holmes on the Range, #2)
  • The Crack in the Lens (Holmes on the Range, #4)
  • World's Greatest Sleuth! (Holmes on the Range, #5)
  • The Double-A Western Detective Agency (Holmes on the Range, #6)
  • Dear Mr. Holmes: Seven Holmes on the Range Mysteries