Placing Sherlock Holmes in the pineries of Northern Minnesota in 1894 may not have been a three-pipe problem for Minneapolis architecture columnist Millett (Lost Twin Cities). However, there is little here but smoke and facade. The real and devastating Hinckley, Minn., fire of 1894 serves as the historical backdrop when Holmes is hired by railroad tycoon James J. Hill to find the Red Demon, the man "who is trying to burn down one of his railroads." After arriving in Hinckley to investigate, Holmes and Watson are attacked by feared logger Jean Baptiste LeGrande and rescued by Tom "Boston" Corbett, who claims to have killed John Wilkes Booth. The Town Marshall is murdered before clues lead the London duo to identify the Red Demon and the injury that motivates his actions. The final duel between Holmes and the Red Demon on a burning trestle is gripping, but this action is too little too late. Millett capitalizes on expected Sherlockian gimmicks ("parlor tricks" of deduction, hints of unrecorded grotesque cases, Holmes's masterful disguises and Watson's pomposity) but fails to probe beneath the surface of Holmes's popular image.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
An urgent, lucrative demand from railroad tycoon James J. Hill sends Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to the pine forests of Minnesota, which a letter-writer calling himself the Red Demon has threatened to set afire, destroying 85 miles of Hill's Eastern Minnesota Railway along with the surrounding landscape. Once ensconced in rustic Hinckley, Holmes and Watson visit a den of iniquity called Mother Mary's, where Watson's person undergoes vile indignities at the hands of Laura and Dora, the Jack Pine Twins; outfit themselves as lumberjacks (``You look quite woodsy,'' Watson tells Holmes) in order to confront a sinister logger in the deep woods, where they're rescued by a messiah in buckskins; and try to read the clues in the disappearance of Hill's agent and the murder of the town marshal (``MARSHAL WILLIAM THOMPSON INCINERATED IN HOME--BULLET IN HIS BRAIN--FOUL PLAY SUSPECTED,'' the Hinckley Enterprise sagely reports before the Red Demon can visit a gruesome, fact-based catastrophe on the train tracks, pine trees, and citizens of Hinckley. Minnesota journalist Millett has mastered neither the cadences nor the exclusions of Watson's narrative--the story is full of tedious details Watson would have excised--but its colorful, improbable incidents and its attention to clues make it a respectable example of mid-grade Sherlockian foolery. A sequel in St. Paul is hinted. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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. Read morePublished on April 30 2003
I am a Sherlock Holmes fan. Not a rabid fan, but a fan nonetheless. I cannot possibly successfully debate the finer points of Holmes trivia with anyone, but I do enjoy the... Read morePublished on Jan. 18 2002 by "patchbunny"
Imagine! During the demolition of a 19th Century mansion a whole trove of unknown Sherlock Holmes adventures, manuscripts written in Dr. Watson's own hand, are uncovered! Read morePublished on Jan. 13 2001 by Ralph G. Watermeier
I found this book to a quick read (although it is over 300 pages) and a worthwhile one. I have not read Holmes stories in quite a while, but when I discovered this book in a... Read morePublished on Jan. 7 2001 by "tonyl7"
As a huge Holmes fan, and great admirer of Doyle, I am always looking for a pastiche that will transport me into the world of Holmes and Watson. Read morePublished on Jan. 7 2001 by Bonnie
Oh,dear. Mr. Millet has, I'm afraid, quite missed the mark. Let's say it right off - 'Too Long'. Over 300 dreary pages, when the story could have been told in half that. Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2001
Larry Millett's "Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon" takes the Great Detective from his usual London haunts into the pinelands of northern Minnesota. Read morePublished on Sept. 19 2000 by Amazon Customer
I didn't think it would work, Sherlock Holmes AND Minnesotta. However, Millett pulls it off excellently. Read morePublished on July 24 2000 by Nicholas Fry