I know you are tired of hearing about it, but I assure you that I am just as tired, if not more so, of dealing with my crime fiction malaise. In an effort to rebuild my confidence in a genre that I love I decided to focus on the authors that have provided steady companionship through the years.
If you are keeping score at home...and there is no reason to think that you are.... Steve Hockensmith has proven pretty reliable for The Hungry Detective. THE WORLD'S GREATEST SLEUTH is Steve's latest effort following cowpoke investigators Gustav and Otto Amlingmeyer. Our fearless duo find themselves in Chicago during the waning days of the Colombian Exposition. The reason is a contest to determine who in fact, now that Sherlock Holmes is dead, is the world's greatest sleuth. Along with a handful of other amateurs Gustav and Otto traipse around the White City trying to solve riddles that will lead them to golden eggs, and eventual victory. Of course when the organizer of the contest ends up dead on a mountain cheese the real contest begins.
I think what has always drawn me to this series is Mr. Hockensmith's wonderful attention to location. Whether it is the locked room aspect of a train in ON THE WRONG TRACK, or San Francisco's Chinatown in THE BLACK DOVE Mr. Hockensmith deftly creates detailed spaces to draw a reader into this world. With THE WORLD'S GREATEST SLEUTH Mr. Hockensmith has his largest canvas. If you have ever seen photos of the Colombian Exposition then you know what a marvel of creation it really was.
Of course the other thing that works in these books is the good humored Otto and his taciturn bother Gustav. Mr. Hockensmith has always been able to find the gentle balance of brothers, competitors, and friends. They are winning couple of cowboys and so by extension is THE WORLD'S GREATEST SLEUTH.