As the title implies this is the story of a cowboy who idolizes Sherlock Holmes. Set at the height of the American Frontier with ranches and lawlessness aplenty it follows the adventures of the Amlingmeyer brothers, Gustav (Old Red) and Otto (Big Red), as they hire themselves out as ranch hands in Montana and solve a few mysteries while they are at it.
The narrating role of Dr. Watson is played by younger brother Otto. He is a friendly talkative fellow with little ambition beyond sticking like glue to his more taciturn and thoughtful older brother Gustav. Gustav, who is clever and observant, is uneducated and can neither read nor write. His imagination and ambition is inspired by the serial stories of Sherlock Holmes’ investigations (in this world Sherlock Homes is a real person) read to him over the campfire. The boys under Gustav’s lead take a job at the Bar VR ranch a mysterious and rather shady operation owned by some British aristocrats and run by a despised and feared foreman. Murder and mayhem ensue. Otto snarkily and rather reluctantly follows his brother’s lead as they begin to investigate the mysterious happenings.
A light, enjoyable read with an adequate plot and a cast of engaging, second tier characters. The Amlingmeyers we get to know better and they are lovable and sympathetic. The world of the western frontier and cowboy is depicted with a humorous slant through the voice of the good-natured Otto. The plot device of setting Sherlock Holmes detecting style amidst the rollicking frontier worked to draw me in. My main complaint was that story was fairly lame and what at first seemed an intricate and fascinating mystery had a fairly underwhelming solution.
A fun read which brought on quite a few chuckles and plenty of smiles. Ooh and I love the cover art.