Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab
Nick and Tesla are bright 11-year-old siblings with a knack for science, electronics and getting into trouble. When their scientist parents leave the country on a mysterious mission, the kids are sent to live with their Uncle Newt, a brilliant (and very eccentric) inventor. It’s not long before Nick and Tesla are embarking on adventures of their own—and engineering all kinds of outrageous contraptions to save their skin. Learning about science has never been so dangerous...or so much fun!
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“...a middle-grade novel sure to appeal to mystery and adventure fans, as well as to budding scientists who enjoy devising experiments such as erupting volcanoes.” —Shelf Awareness
“Pflugfelder and Hockensmith get their Nick and Tesla series off to a strong start...Fearless Tesla and sensitive Nick are a tenacious and entertaining team, and their new friends and offbeat uncle create a strong supporting cast.” —Publishers Weekly
“A promising first offer in a series that offers plenty of appeal of appeal for middle-grade and middle school readers.” —Kirkus
“The authors concoct experiments that science buffs will be delighted to try...Part mystery, part mad science, the story unfolds at a quick pace...With some unexpected plot twists and turns, and a cliff-hanger pointing to the next book in the series, the story will leave readers wondering what mayhem will be forthcoming.” —School Library Journal
“The mysteries that Nick and Tesla face are entertaining, and the projects that readers are invited to duplicate are fun and completely doable with a parent or teacher's assistance...Nick and Tesla are fun characters (and they're not the only characters that readers will come to enjoy), and the fast-paced nature should have you hearing ‘just one more chapter.’” —Geek Dad
“A mystery, adventure, and activity book all rolled into one entertaining story...Plenty of excitement, with science.” —Common Sense Media
“Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab has the perfect formula: Mega-watts of funny writing plus giga-hertz of hands-on science equals fun to the billionth power!” —Chris Grabenstein, New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
When someone steals a priceless comic book from their friend's father, Nick and Tesla set out to get it back using both their sleuthing skills and their techno know-how. With the help of a series of homemade robots (instructions included!), the pair begins gathering clues and identifying suspects. But it turns out the culprit is pretty good at building robots, too -- and now the little mechanical menaces are after the kids!
“...wild action interspersed with clear instructions for projects that make liberal use of small motors, plastic bottles and tubing, electric wires and a hot-glue gun...Another fast-paced mystery and treat for technophiles.” —Kirkus
“With a love interest for Uncle Newt, a strong science-loving young girl, and perfectly executed red herrings, this mystery stands alone. A cryptic phone message from the twins’ mom suggesting they are in mortal danger will leave fans fervently awaiting book three.” —School Library Journal
“This set of books is off to a great start! The two authors along with illustrator, Scott Garrett, have created a fun way to encourage reading and hands-on activities. The artwork is funny, but it’s the story that is the key here -- Nick and Tesla are always getting into trouble or finding obstacles that they must overcome. They find what’s available to them in terms of supplies and then attack the problem. Young readers will hopefully be inspired by the encouragement provided by the two young heroes.” —Geek Dad
“...amazingly fun...Readers who haven’t yet jumped on board with this series should do so immediately! The first book had middle-grade readers hooked, and this one has the ability to hook every age group that wants to explore, learn new things and have a ball.” —Feathered Quill Book Reviews
“Nick and Tesla’s adventures in science and mystery-solving are highly entertaining, especially to science-loving kids...a seamless, ingenious blend of science and mystery...We highly recommend this series for middle graders and tweens who love science and building.” —Common Sense Media
After foiling a gang of kidnappers and fending off an army of robots, 11-year-old siblings Nick and Tesla Holt could use a little rest! But as their third mystery opens, they discover there's a spy in their midst, searching for secrets in the home of their beloved (and slightly crazy) Uncle Newt. Is it the new laboratory assistant? The exterminator? The housekeepers? Or someone completely unexpected? To expose the mystery agent, Nick and Tesla must engineer all kinds of outrageous contraptions, from code wheels and fingerprint powder to spy cameras and burglar detectors. Best of all, instructions are included throughout the story, so you can build the projects, too!
“...this high-speed caper with comical characters, clever kid detectives, and an ever-deepening mystery (with a cliff-hanger, of course) will keep the pages turning.” —Booklist
“Fast-paced, suspenseful and enlivened with grayscale illustrations, this is appealing middle-grade reading… [and] the continuing mystery will keep readers wanting more.” —Kirkus
“Although the third in a series, this entertaining and humorous whodunit is straightforward enough that it can be read as a standalone. Cautious Nick and confident Tesla are both well defined, as is the quirky cast of comical characters that surrounds them...With the promise of more mystery, science, and humor to come, children will be anxiously waiting for more adventures -- and more inventions -- from Nick and Tesla.” —School Library Journal
“This tertiary addition to the ongoing series about Nick and Tesla's truly remarkable summer vacation will be enjoyed by children and their parents everywhere. I can hardly wait for the next book in this series.” —GrrlScientist, The Guardian
This time the twins are out to save science itself as they race against the clock to figure out why a robotic assortment of history’s greatest scientists and inventors keeps going haywire. Is this sabotage, robo-geddon…or something more sinister? To unravel the mystery, they’ll have to keep adding all-new gadgets to their cyborg glove as they stay one step ahead of a hidden adversary. Together with zany scientist Uncle Newt and their friends Silas and DeMarco, Nick and Tesla won’t give up until an answer is found…but can they do it before time runs out? In this book, readers will learn how to construct a super-cyborg gadget glove that has four incredible functions: LED signal light, ultra-loud emergency alarm, handy sound recorder and UV secret message revealer. Science and electronics have never been so much fun!
“With a compelling mystery and characters you quickly care about, the story is a joy to read not just for young readers, but also for adults.” —The Geek Girl Project
“Authors Pflugfelder and Hockensmith are improving the series with each outing.” —School Library Journal
“I'll give the book FIVE STARS! I loved the book. Reading it made me want to build a cyborg gadget glove as soon as possible and get the whole Nick and Tesla book series.” —Super Book Boy, Kids' Book Review
Much to Alanis McLachlan’s surprise, her con-woman mother, Barbra, has left her an inheritance—The White Magic Five & Dime, a New Age shop in tiny Berdache, Arizona. Reluctantly traveling to Berdache to claim her new property, Alanis decides to stay and pick up her estranged mother’s tarot reading business in an attempt to find out who killed her. With help from a hunky cop and her mother’s live-in teenage apprentice, Alanis begins faking her way through bogus tarot readings in order to win the confidence of her mother’s clients. But much to her surprise, the more she uses the tarot deck, the more Alanis begins to find real meaning in the cards...and the secrets behind her mother's demise.
“Alanis is both cynically funny and emotionally deep, giving this entertaining mystery a protagonist to root for...Hockensmith and Falco craft a clever and compelling tale filled with colorful and engaging characters.” —Foreword Reviews
“Cozy readers with a taste for humor will welcome this hilarious series debut...Readers will eagerly await the next installment.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Filled with humor, this engaging mystery turns many staples of the amateur-sleuth story on their heads, with each chapter bringing new quirks and surprises... Hockensmith, author of the award-winning Big Red/Old Red series, and coauthor Falco deliver a charming comic mystery.” —Booklist
“The story is fun and light, and the mystical background and details of Tarot reading are treated with good-natured scepticism.” —Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
The Wild West gets even wilder when cowboy brothers Otto “Big Red” Amlingmeyer and Gustav “Old Red” Amlingmeyer set out to catch a killer using the methods of the late, great Sherlock Holmes. The only thing standing between them and the truth: stampedes, rustlers, Holmes-hating English aristocrats and a cannibal named “Hungry Bob.”
FINALIST FOR THE EDGAR, SHAMUS, ANTHONY & DILYS AWARDS!
“Grade: A-...hilarious...delightfully offbeat....” —Entertainment Weekly
“Just when it seemed as if there were no more literary riches to be wrung from Sherlock Holmes, along comes Steve Hockensmith’s inspired debut novel...[T]he star of this tale is a fresh narrator’s voice that whoops and hollers, dazzling the reader with colorful language, vivid images, and hilarious asides. Sherlock Holmes in a Stetson turns out to be a dandy idea.” —Hallie Ephron, The Boston Globe
“Sherlockians, Western fans and mystery lovers who enjoy their whodunits leavened with humor should all be delighted by Hockensmith’s captivating debut....” —Publishers Weekly
“...terrific...There’s a lot going on in this funny, colorful and unexpectedly touching first novel.” —Kate Stine, Mystery Scene Magazine
Big Red and Old Red sign on as guards for the hated Southern Pacific Railroad and quickly find themselves headed full-steam toward disaster. The train they’re on is robbed, the baggage man loses his head (literally) and the passenger list includes a drunken Pinkerton, a secretive Chinese doctor, a mysterious beauty named Diana and a deadly swamp adder with a taste for cowboys.
“The second entry in this wonderfully entertaining series builds on the comic successes of the first via the sardonic and observant narration of Otto, whose affection for his curmudgeonly brother is ever slowly inching towards admiration. As a lively Holmes take-off, as an inventive melding of mystery and Western genres, and as a new source of damn good reading, this series demands attention.” —Booklist
“No sophomore slump in Big Red and Old Red's second case: crackling pace, lots of humor and appealing Wild West flavor.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Steve Hockensmith has hit the story’s bull’s eye with a fusillade of crackling humor, hefty suspense and the unexpected.” —William Garwood, True West Magazine
“In a second book-length appearance even better than their Edgar-nominated first, illiterate would-be Sherlock Holmes Gustav (‘Old Red’) Amlingmeyer and his lettered brother Otto (‘Big Red’) bend their cowboy principles to take a job with the Southern Pacific railroad in 1890s California. This serio-comic variation on the lively subgenre of passenger train mysteries enthralls from start to finish....” —Jon L. Breen, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine
Big Red and Old Red hit the wild (not to mention dangerous) streets of San Francisco and almost immediately run afoul of Chinatown crime lords and Barbary Coast cutthroats. Good thing their new, if duplicitous, friend Diana is along for the ride. But can even her wily charms save them when they stumble into the middle of a tong war?
“Other books and TV series have featured genre-melding cowboys armed with ratiocination as well as revolvers, but Hockensmith’s take is quite special. There’s his combination of intriguing mystery, breathless action, colorful characters and enough laugh-out-loud moments for the book to fit in the humorous crime category.” —Dick Lochte, The Los Angeles Times
“...a quirky and original mystery series...breezy and funny throughout.....” —Robert Croan, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“[Big Red’s] foot-in-a-bucket narration will keep the reader snorting with laughter...Hockensmith has been nominated for the Edgar Award, and if he keeps writing like this, he’ll win one soon.” —Library Journal
“Like the first two books in the series, The Black Dove is a wonderful whodunit (and clever homage to Doyle’s Baker Street detective) from accomplished writer Steve Hockensmith. Well-written, fast-paced, filled with historical atmosphere and plenty of quirky characters, and featuring the most genuinely funny narrator-protagonist in modern mystery fiction, this highly recommended adventure of the Amlingmeyer brothers will be thoroughly enjoyed by fans of classic Holmesian-style mysteries. Don’t miss it!” —Tim Davis, Mystery News
This time it’s personal. Years before, Old Red lost his one true love to a brutal killer. Now — he hopes — he has the deducifying know-how to track down the murderer. Yet how can he and Big Red even start the search when everyone in town wants the secrets of the past buried forever...and the brothers buried with them?
FINALIST FOR THE NERO AWARD!
“Excellent...The personal stake Old Red has in catching the murderer adds an emotional dimension to the puzzle, which Edgar-finalist Hockensmith nicely leavens with witty prose and cliffhanging chapter endings.” —Publishers Weekly
“Two late-19th-century cowboy brothers who become so caught up in ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ that they turn themselves into Wild West ‘deducifiers’ in the manner of Holmes and Watson — how cute is that? Not only cute but clever, as Steve Hockensmith demonstrates in The Crack in the Lens and three previous books in his idiosyncratic series featuring Old Red Amlingmeyer (the gloomy, thoughtful brother) and his irrepressible younger sibling, Big Red (the one who knows how to read and write)...Hockensmith makes sure that readers get a lightly comic taste of Old West manners and morals, so be prepared for some lively lynchings and saloon brawls — and a whole lot of spitting.” —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times
“...hilarious...the winner for readers seeking a laugh is Hockensmith’s The Crack in the Lens, the fourth in his well-written series with those cowpokes turned ‘deducifiers’ — the Amlingmeyer brothers. It’s not easy to create unique sleuths. Most of the archetypes are taken, but rascally Otto ‘Big Red’ Amlingmeyer and his gloomy brother Gustav, a.k.a. ‘Old Red,’ are fresh, funny, original detectives." —The Dallas Morning News
“This series is a delight...the books have a fun and wild sense of humor...well-done." —Bookgasm
“...a wonderful, funny story wrapped around a clever murder mystery. The influence of the famous consulting detective is clearly felt throughout, albeit with a Texas twang and swagger. The characters and setting all have an authentic ring to them, and the narrative and dialog will have the reader grinning shamelessly. This delightful novel should be on everyone’s summer reading list.” —Mystery Books News
Buy it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or your local independent bookstore.
A detectiving contest brings Big Red and Old Red to Chicago during the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. Unfortunately, someone commits a dark deed in “the White City”: The man behind the competition is found dead. Old Red knows it’s murder, but no one seems to believe him but his brother and an old friend who could hold the key to the mystery — and their future.
"Hockensmith has delivered a fine addition to his 'Holmes on the Range' series. Gustav and Otto are appealing heroes and the 'White City' provides a great backdrop. This should satisfy historical mystery readers who enjoy a tale full of clues leavened with humor." —Library Journal
"World's Greatest Sleuth! is a hoot." —The Washington Post
"The novel is a delicate balance of mystery and humor, and its two leads, the brothers Amlingmeyer, are a real treat for fans of lighthearted mysteries. Holmesians, too, will get a kick out of Hockensmith's frequent nods to the Great Detective." —Booklist
"This is an entertaining traditional puzzle mystery with plenty of suspects, including shady strangers like the Bearded Man, the Other Bearded Man, and Another Other Bearded Man. There are loads of red herrings among the clues, and Hockensmith is a storyteller who keeps his tongue firmly in his cheek." —The Boston Globe
"World's Greatest Sleuth! is a delightful mixture of Western, mystery and comedy. Hockensmith writes with a flair that other writers must envy." —The Galveston County Daily News
"Clever" —Publishers Weekly
"Hilarious...rollicking" —Romantic Times
"A whole lot of fun" —AudioFile
"World's Greatest Sleuth!, the fifth in this fun-packed series, offers the reader not only a great mystery, but also a tour of the 'White City' that was the Chicago's World Fair. Rootin', tootin' fun from start to finish!" —Mystery Scene
"...a delightful madcap farce...fun and funny...you'll be wondering who the culprit was and what the heck they're up to as you fly through the pages." —Bookgasm
Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer have starred in five novels, rustling up award nominations and fans aplenty as they cracked mysteries using the methods of their hero, Sherlock Holmes. How did these Old West drifters first discover Holmes, though? And how did their early, awkward stabs at "deducifying" turn out? These seven short stories provide the answers. In "Dear Mr. Holmes," Old Red first gets the itch to turn detective -- and just in time, too, because a killer's stalking him and his brother along a Kansas cattle trail. In "Gustav Amlingmeyer, Holmes of the Range," Old Red's attempt to settle down and open his own "cafay" goes haywire when one of the customers gets a side order of arsenic with his steak and potatoes. And the adventure continues in five more stories (most originally published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine). If you're a fan, you won't want to miss these rollicking peeks into the Amlingmeyers' past. And if you're not a fan, there's no better place to start!
Dear Mr. Holmes can be purchased as an e-book from Amazon and Barnes & Noble (and a bunch of other e-merchants, too -- too many to link to, actually). A print edition -- you know, like a real book? -- is available here, here and here. And an audio book is available here.
It's the ninth commandment: Thou shalt not lie. But if you've already covered the big sins on the list -- coveting, stealing, killing -- why balk at a fib...especially when it might save your neck? That's why you'll find lies of all kinds in this new collection of crime stories. Trying to cut through them to the truth are cops, private eyes, spies, criminals and ordinary people in way over their heads. In the Derringer Award-winning "Erie's Last Day," a retiring detective races against the clock to solve one final case before he has to turn in his badge. In the Shamus Award finalist "Tricks," a reluctant sleuth finds himself dragged into the search for a kidnapped monkey, while in the Shamus-, Barry- and Anthony-nominated "The Big Road," he teams up with a trucker to find a highjacked shipment of TVs. Other stories feature a commie gumshoe, treacherous cattle rustlers and the world's most embittered crime writer. Originally published in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine and various anthologies, these 12 crime tales are sure to please any lover of quality short fiction -- and that's no blarney!
Blarney: 12 Tales of Lies, Crime & Mystery can be purchased as an e-book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or whatever other e-book seller you prefer, most likely. A print edition is available here, here and here.
"It's the most wonderful time of the year," the old song tells us. But that doesn't mean the people celebrating it are always so nice. Criminals get the Christmas spirit, too! In this collection of hilarious short stories, you'll see what the thieves, killers, psychos and scumbags are up to come the yuletide...and it's not caroling door to door. Well, not unless they're casing the neighborhood for a break-in, as a rag-tag gang does in the title story. You'll also meet a mall elf menaced by a very, very bad Santa (in "I Killed Santa Claus,") a London police inspector hunting for the man who murdered Ebenezer Scrooge (in "Humbug"), a trucker out to save his shipment of Cabbage Patch Dolls from bumbling hijackers (in "Special Delivery") and many more characters you'll never forget. Originally published in Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazines, these stories are sure to have you ho-ho-hoing from the first page to the last!
Buy it from Amazon as an ebook or trade paperback. Or you could go to Barnes & Noble. Or if you like Kobo or Smashwords or the Sony ebook store or any of those other sites, guess what? You're in luck! Really, you don't have any excuse not to buy the darned thing....
Dawn of the Dreadfuls
FINALIST FOR THE AUDIE AWARD!
Jane Austen’s Bennet family has a lot more to worry about than matchmaking and avoiding scandal when the dead start clawing their way from their graves. It’s time for Elizabeth and her sisters to set aside their ladylike ways and take up “the Deadly Arts.” But can they master zombie-slaying before the brains-craving unmentionables overrun all England? And will Elizabeth lose her heart to her stern new instructor, the mysterious Geoffrey Hawksworth, or the eccentric (and perhaps even mad) Dr. Keckilpenny? And will Jane resist the amorous advances of the libidinous Lord Lumpley — perhaps with the help of the dashing Lt. Tindall? And just what is that awful howling sound coming from the attic? Dawn of the Dreadfuls, the prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, has all the answers.
“Hockensmith takes a concept that could have been terrible — the backstory of the Bennet girls learning to fight the undead, setting the stage for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies — and turns it into a gory and gross, wonderful and clever tale. He nails Austen’s beloved characters and will have you cringing and giggling right through the blood-soaked end. A true delight, really.” —Romantic Times
“This is a must-read for the growing legion of alternate-Austen fans (including, naturally, everyone who has read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies).” —Booklist
“With a sure grasp of Austen's characters and the social structures of the times, Hockensmith is loyal to the material's roots but, divorced from any particular text, he's able to take [Seth] Grahame-Smith's silly, raunchy, violent tone much farther than in the first volume. Mixing taut horror-movie action with neo-Austen meditation on identity, society, and romance, this happy sacrilege is sure to please fans of Grahame-Smith's original mash-up.” —Publishers Weekly
“The 287 pages of the book flew by. When I picked it up and started reading, I didn’t want to put it down. I went from the title page to halfway through the book in one sitting at the coffee shop, stifling chuckles with my cup the entire time. The fun Hockensmith is having with Austen is second only to the fun he seems to be having with the unmentionables.” —Ron Hogan, Den of Geek!
“Readers may want to choose a secluded corner in which to read; they will be laughing loudly...Hockensmith has populated Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls with a memorable cast of characters — some admirable, some despicable, and some just dead. He walks a fine line between decorum and disgusting and delivers an entirely satisfying story that is by turns wonderful, horrible, hilarious, savage, and sad.” —Miss Bob Etier, Blogcritics
Buy it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CD WOW! or your local independent bookstore.
FINALIST FOR THE AUDIE AWARD!
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and its prequel, Dawn of the Dreadfuls, were both New York Times best sellers, with a combined 1.3 million copies in print. Now the PPZ trilogy comes to a thrilling conclusion with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After. The story opens with our newly married protagonists, Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy, defending their village from an army of flesh-eating “unmentionables.” But the honeymoon has barely begun when poor Mr. Darcy is nipped by a rampaging dreadful. Elizabeth knows the proper course of action is to promptly behead her husband (and then burn the corpse, just to be safe). But when she learns of a miracle antidote under development in London, she realizes there may be one last chance to save her true love—and for everyone to live happily ever after.
“Dreadfully Ever After is a masterpiece of parody and wit. The parlance is brilliant; Austen’s framework is a perfect foil for Hockensmith’s sharp, clever vernacular. The humor is subtle at times, and rollicking at others, especially if you find humor in graphic mutilation, tastefully accomplished. Not a page passes without an ingenious phrase, insight or creative decapitation. Possibly an improvement over the original, Dreadfully Ever After is not a superficial reworking of a classic for easy laughs; the entire novel is rich in social, racial and gender commentary, as well as a genuine page-turner...Dreadfully Ever After (and the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies series) is surprising and unique, a real delight for fans of any level of horror.” —Fangoria
“A must-read for fans.” —Booklist Online
“This is a very sharp, very fun book, and it's a very well-paced, quick read. That's a testament to Hockensmith's skills as a writer, as well as a testament to the strong characters created by Jane Austen. Even in this bizarro-Regency, the characters continue to shine, but these aren't Jane Austen's characters anymore. Nor is this the universe created by either Austen or Seth Grahame-Smith. This is Hockensmith's world now.” —Ron Hogan, Den of Geek!
Buy it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or your local independent bookstore.
The undead have risen from their graves, and society hangs by a thread. But America's political parties aren't going to let a little thing like the zombie apocalypse get in the way of a presidential election. There are nasty whispers about the incumbent, though, and they have nothing to do with where he was born. The rumor: He's dead. Could a zombie be running for President? It's up to ace Washington Tribune reporter Jan Woods to find out. Woods's search for the truth puts her up against the most dangerous ghouls in Washington. Oh, and zombies, too.
“...a funny, thrilling, satirical, not-too-gross work of slightly disturbed genius.” —In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel
“...a welcome time-out from the mind-numbing relentlessness of the serious political discourse by examining it with tongue planted firmly in undead cheek. Hockensmith’s trademark wry humor is abundant.” —Book Reviews by Elizabeth A. White
"...genuinely, wickedly, intelligently funny...a textbook example of how to use zombies effectively in comedy." --Jess d'Arbonne, Denver Zombie Examiner