In this second book in the Holmes on the Range series, brothers Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer pin on railroad detective badges and swear to protect the luxurious Southern Pacific Express.
While heading to San Francisco, one man after another is discovered dead aboard the train or just vanishes. Momentarily held up in the high Sierras by the Give-’em-Hell-Boys Gang, the brothers soon find the outlaws’ golden loot already stored in the baggage coach, sparking Old Red’s Sherlock Holmes-inspired “detectifying.” Backed by a broken down Pinkerton man, the Amlingmeyers’ moment of truth arrives on a runaway train plunging toward unavoidable destruction. Steve Hockensmith has hit the story’s bull’s-eye with a fusillade of crackling humor, hefty suspense and the unexpected. —William Garwood