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Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon Paperback – Apr 18 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press (April 18 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780816674831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816674831
  • ASIN: 0816674833
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #820,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover
It is a historical fact that on September 1, 1894 a tremendous forest fire destroyed the town of Hinckley, Minnesota, killing over 400 people. The fire was so intense, that it can be described as a firestorm, a fire so powerful that the updrafts are capable of sucking people into the fire. As a consequence of the destruction, a forest fire monitoring program was begun in the United States. That event serves as the backdrop for this tale featuring the great fictional detective Sherlock Holmes.
A railroad baron named James J. Hill sends an agent from northern Minnesota to Baker Street in England to hire Holmes to come to Minnesota and bring an arsonist to justice. The agent succeeds in convincing Holmes to take the case, so he and his companion, Dr John Watson, journey to Minnesota. Upon arriving, they read a note sent by the arsonist, which was signed using the name Red Demon. This starts the case full throttle, where the search for the Red Demon forces Holmes and Watson to encounter a wide assortment of frontier characters. They interview and interact with a corrupt Sheriff, the local madam and some of her best girls, rough-hewn lumberjacks, townspeople and the people who run the railroad. Holmes is his usual persistent self, doing battle with those who would kill for gain and Watson is as loyal and at times as bumbling as ever. Holmes and Watson experience the great fire and emerge unscathed and victorious over their very dangerous enemy.
The author has created the appropriate mix of the history of the region as well as the style of the original stories of Sherlock Holmes. While there are a few times where you can recognize style differences and realize that this story was written nearly a century after the originals, they are not very numerous. It kept my attention from the first page to the last. If you are a fan of mysteries, especially the style used to describe the escapades of Sherlock Holmes, then I strongly recommend that you read this book.
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Format: Paperback
Larry Millett's "The Red Demon" was a decent attempt at a Holmes pastiche. However, there were many flaws that, unfortunately, detracted greatly from my enjoyment of the book. Having myself read the entire canon and multiple pastiches, I found that Millett seemed extrodinarily intent on proving to the reader that he had done his research. Throughout the book, Millett's Watson refers CONSTANTLY to previous Holmes' cases, many of which Doyle never ever wrote! (These were explained as one of the many "unwritten Watson accounts" in the footnotes.)
And speaking of footnotes, they over-ran the entire novel. They ranged from clarifying innumerable details about the Minnesota railway, to basic facts any Holmesian would know. I found both Watson's uncharacteristic voice and the many times needless footnotes distracting.
Millet's Watson proves slower than usual. And as for Holmes, while the entire mystery was interesting, I believe Doyle's Holmes would have discovered the "missing motive" long before the final 30 pages of the novel. It made for a great climax to the novel -- but I felt as though I had to read 250 pages of un-Holmes' like investigation before the traditional Holmes' narrative finally shone through.
The novel overall was entertaining, and the Millett paints a beautiful picture of Minnesota at the turn of the century. However, as I enjoy Holmes more than I do Minnesota history, I won't be reading any of his subsequent novels.
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By A Customer on April 30 2003
Format: Paperback
I liked this book. Millett isn't Conan Doyle, and his Holmes is a little ruder, coarser, and not quite as brilliant. But, then, nobody will ever be Conan Doyle. The book is good historically; I enjoyed that aspect of it immensely. And it is full of action, it is a very exciting book, I thought. I guess the best compliment I can give it is that, being the first of Millett's Holmes novels that I read, it made me want to read the others, and I am currently reading "The Ice Palace Murders" and enjoying it very much as well. But, again, caveat emptor: this is NOT an exact replica of Conan Doyle's Holmes, but I do think it's a ripping good story.
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Format: Hardcover
After reading the disasters that Meyer claims to be the further adventures of Sherlock Holmes's ("The Seven-Per-Cent Solution" and "The West End Horror"), I thought that Millett would provide a better treatment of the Holmes's world. He DID NOT.
I had to suffer reading this book, which is not a mystery (just like the horrible "The Seven-Per-Cent Solution"), there was not real interesting way to reach the villain.
It begins in London, where Holmes was invited by a rich American to Minnesota. This is the first author I read for who brings Holmes to America. That is not bad. Changing the British spelling into American was not bad either. The plot was.
If you have read the Doyle's version of Holmes you would not like this new version. Here Holmes did not appear to be so intelligent. Watson was as dumb as ever.
After reaching Minnesota, Holmes starts his investigation which leads him to a whore house, and there a strange episode occurs to Watson with two twin prostitutes. I did not like it.
In my opinion, Millett's style had ruined Holmes.
In the end a big fire takes place, and Holmes helps people ... as if he is a fire fighter. Anyway, I hated the book.
You are welcome to read it, but do not expect me to urge you to do so.
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