World's Greatest Sleuth!
Review: With the death of Sherlock Holmes known to be imminent, soon to be published in the Strand Magazine in December 1893, Otto "Big Red" Amlingmeyer and his sleuthing brother "Old Red" are summoned to Chicago by his editor to participate in a contest to name the world's next greatest sleuth in the aptly titled World's Greatest Sleuth!, the fifth mystery in this series by Steve Hockensmith.
The competition is being held at The Chicago World's Fair, a vast exposition covering hundreds of acres of the city, the core of which is known as The White City. And at the center of that, the Court of Honor, the kick-off ceremony begins with all the contenders present: King Brady, "monarch" of New York detectives; Boothby Greene, putative heir to the genius of Sherlock Holmes; Eugene Valmont, French master of the sleuthing arts; railroad detective Colonel C. Kermit Crowe and his daughter; and, of course, the Amlingmeyer brothers. Over a period of three days, each team will be given a set of clues devised by puzzlemaster Armstrong B. Curtis that will lead them to find a special egg; the team to collect the most eggs declared the winner. But the competition has barely begun before Curtis is found drowned in a vat of cheese from Canada. As "Old Red" wryly notes upon finding the body, "Looks like he's given us at least one puzzle today he didn't aim to."
World's Greatest Sleuth! is a delightfully spun yarn, so to speak, merging the excitement of a scavenger/treasure hunt with the eye-rolling antics of a modern-day reality show. Colorfully drawn characters, disguises, mistaken identities, obscure clues, and a generous helping of red herrings add to the fun. The combination of a real historical setting and a real literary event provides a convincing backdrop to this cleverly-devised murder mystery, one that will certainly have readers new to the series going back to see how "Holmes on the Range" came to be.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided an ARC of World's Greatest Sleuth! for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Crack in the Lens
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), July 2009
ISBN-13: 9780312379421; ISBN-10: 0312379420
The White Magic Five & Dime
Midnight Ink (Trade Paperback), July 2014
ISBN-13: 9780738740225; ISBN-10: 0738740225
Location(s) referenced in World's Greatest Sleuth!: Chicago, Illinois
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World's Greatest Sleuth! by Steve Hockensmith — A Holmes on the Range Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: January 2011
List Price: $24.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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