"Bad News," by Steve Hockensmith , in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, January.February 2022.
This is the fifth appearance here by my friend and former SleuthSayer Steve Hockensmith. It is the second showing by the characters who star in his highly original novel series.
For those of you who are new to the tales, these are westerns starring Gustav and Otto Amlingmeyer, better known as Old Red and Big Red. Big Red narrates the tales with a breezy sense of humor. His older brother is a sour pessimist who, after discovering the reports on Sherlock Holmes's adventures, has determined to become a detective. He has the brains but his big liability is that he never learned to read.
In this story the brothers, now running the A.A. Western Detective Agency, arrive in Little, Colorado to help a publisher who has been held up and robbed of a whole edition of the paper - apparently by a lone Ku Klux Klansman. The obvious suspect is a rival publisher who hails from the south.
But Old Red is no sucker for obvious solutions.
Half the joy in these tales is Gustav's deductions. The other is Otto's witty asides. "I'd say I know my brother like the back of my hand even though it's another kind of backside he more often brings to mind."
The story is a treat.