Friday, August 24, 2012

Listened: "The Black Dove" by Steve Hockensmith

Listened: The Black Dove by Steve Hockensmith, 2008, download.

Third in the series and first I read/listened to.  I've been wanting to start the series but never got to it.  Cowboys Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer became Sherlock Holmes acolytes after reading one of the stories in a magazine.  Old is the "deducifier" and Red is his Watson.  Old is taciturn, shorter, and parsimonious. Red is enthusiastic, tall, and loquacious.

Big Red and Old Red are in Oakland after the last novel.  The previous tale had them as railroad detectives who were quickly fired after a their work ended in a major wreck.

Big and Old are looking for work and Diana Corviss.  Diana was secretly working for the railroad and Big has the hots for her.  During an argument between Big and Old (one of many arguments) Big takes Old to Chinatown in a bet on whether Old can "deducify" the work and characteristics of a random guy.  While there they spot their pal, Doc Chan.  Chan was on the train in the last book.  Chan is killed later.  Old sees the crime scene for what it is, a faked suicide.

Crime scene has local corrupt copper and local Chinese PI.  No one wants Red and Old there.  Red and Old find Diana.  Or Diana finds them.  They team to find the killer with help of local translator.  Chan had bought a local whore.  Local whore missing.  Search for whore goes on with resistance from local Chinese tongs, cops, anyone Chinese.

Things happen.  Fist fights.  Chinese gangsters.  Chinese hatchet men (literally).  Chinese food.  Racists concerned with the Yellow Peril.  Historical tidbits about Chinese in America.  Historical tidbits about the bars and whores of the Barbary Coast.  Fun stuff all the way around.

1.  The narrator did very well.  He performed this more than read it.  My only complaint is that his voice for Diana Corviss sounded like Mr. Garrison from South Park.
2.  You know how long it was taking me to remember the title South Park?  I kept thinking Twin Peaks.  I was writing that sentence and South Park just came out.  I was about to look the title up.
3.  Speaking of Twin Peaks, there was a restaurant in Houston named Twin Peaks.  We drove by the place on the freeway.  I thought it would be a neat place to go to simply because of the TV show reminder.  Later one a cousin mentioned it is a Hooters rip-off.
4.  Lots of humor.  Big Red is unable to shut up.  Big Red and Old Red bicker.  Many humorous similes.  Or metaphors.  Both.

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