From Publishers Weekly
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.)
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Some background on this series: in Holmes on the Range (2006), Hockensmith’s debut, brothers Otto and Gustav Amlingmeyer, otherwise known as Big Red and Old Red (Gustav being the older of the two), decide they’re going to solve crimes using the methods made famous by the world’s most well-known private detective, Sherlock Holmes. Now, several books later, the brothers are sent by their publisher (Otto chronicles their cases, in the manner of Dr. Watson) to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, where they are to compete in a World’s Greatest Sleuth competition. Well, wouldn’t you know, the competition soon turns deadly serious, and Otto and Gustav are hot the the trail of a murderer. The novel is a delicate balance of mystery and humor, and its two leads, the brothers Amlingmeyer, are a real treat for fans of lighthearted mysteries. Holmesians, too, will get a kick out of Hockensmith’s frequent nods to the Great Detective. --David Pitt