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Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders [Paperback]

Larry Millett
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 29 2011 Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage
The year is 1896, and St. Paul’s magnificent Winter Carnival is under way when Holmes and Watson are summoned by the city’s most powerful man, railroad magnate James J. Hill. A wealthy young man disappears on the eve of his wedding—and his fiancée suspiciously discards her wedding dress. After a grisly discovery in the carnival’s Ice Palace leads to a flurry of clues, Holmes is on the case. His pursuit of the murderer takes him through the highest echelons of St. Paul society and into cahoots with Shadwell Rafferty, a gregarious saloonkeeper and part-time private investigator. Soon Holmes, Watson, and Rafferty are embroiled in a perilous adventure that takes them from one frozen corner of the city to another and out onto the treacherous ice of the Mississippi River as they trail a cruel and ruthless killer.

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From Publishers Weekly

It's January 1896 when railroad magnate James J. Hill summons Holmes and Watson to St. Paul, Minn. (as he did in Millett's Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon, 1996). Wealthy Jonathan Upton and Laura Forbes are soon to be married in the rotunda of a large and elaborate ice palace, a traditional part of the city's annual Winter Carnival. But Upton is missing, and Miss Forbes seems strangely unconcerned about his whereabouts. The fathers of the pair, both prominent businessmen, are the primary financiers of the palace, and Jonathan's disappearance has become the hot news story of the day. Soon after his arrival, Holmes encounters a friendly rival, Shadwell Rafferty, whose card reads, "bartending and discreet investigations," and who is working for the senior Upton. The stakes are raised when Holmes and Rafferty discover the severed head of young Upton encased in a block of ice inside the palace, and they are upped further when the senior Upton is killed and Miss Forbes's brother is attacked. Millett's Holmes is a fair replica of Conan Doyle's original, but the real triumph here is Rafferty, who lights up each scene in which he appears, adding a distinctively American bounce to a solid, complex mystery distinguished by its vibrant portrayal of 19th-century St. Paul. Holmes fans may feel free to tip their deerstalkers. Author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Millett has once again taken Holmes and Watson out of their usual Baker Street lodgings to the remote landscape of Minnesota. In this adventure they are trying to locate Jonathon Upton, a young man who has disappeared days before his wedding. The detectives soon find the game is afoot and there is more than one missing person to locate. Murder, blackmail, and revenge in the snow-covered city of St. Paul? Millett knows the history of the area and has done a good job of capturing the personalities of Holmes and Watson. Simon Prebble is excellent as he portrays each of the characters with variations in accent and intonation. This abridgment is recommended for all public libraries, for a new Sherlockian pastiche is a treat for any "Hound"!?Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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First Sentence
In the years since I first began chronicling the adventures of my good friend Sherlock Holmes, I have often been asked which case inspired his greatest feat of detection. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Sherlock Tale In St. Paul, Mn, USA!!! Feb. 9 2004
Among the very best non-Doyle Sherlock tales, this yarn has everything: great writing, scenes, characters, and even some business history, with John J Hill among the leading characters. And the ice-cold winters of St. Paul are a leading character too. Don't miss this one! Sherlock and the good doctor show their stuff in this one!.eh.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE Winter Carnival Feb. 1 2004
If you have ever heard of Sherlock Holmes, the Winter Carnival or St. Paul, MN, this is a MUST READ !! If you haven't heard of any of these, that's even MORE of a reason to read this book, its a 1 sitting book, I could hardly put it down to go to work!! What a great way to learn the history of my adopted homwtown!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Better Than the Red Demon Stuff April 11 2003
I was again reluctant to read this sequel of the "Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon," and the author disappointed me by writing a better novel (exactly as what happened when I read Meyer's "The West End Horror" after "The Seven-Per-Cent Solution").
But let me make this statement here: "The West End Horror" is by far much better than this "Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders."
Again the same rich guy from Minnesota invited Holmes to his home town to investigate some mysterious occurrences in the Ice Palace there ... As if there are no good detectives in America. As long as we are talking nonsense here, why did not he summon Ellery Queen, who is not less intelligent than Holmes, or maybe Colombo (hohohoho).
The story this time had some mystery elements. It was, as a matter of fact, a whodunit. I figured the murderer out from half of the mystery, not because I was abnormally cleaver, but because of a fallacy the murderer inserted. The strange thing is that Millett did not allude to this fallacy, maybe he did not even know that it was there, and maybe I was lucky!
A new character is introduced in this novel, and Irish clever guy by the name Shadwell Rafferty. I'm not so enthusiastic about him, because he does not enrich the world of Sherlock Holmes, and people are more used to one superior detective in the story. After all, this is a pastiche to praise Sherlock Holmes, and no one else.
We reach to the conclusion of the story and the villain who killed every body was apprehended, and then nothing much, the story does not give me the impression I get from Doyle's writings. And I am not going to recommend the book, because I could have done well without reading it.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Ice Palace Murders March 13 2002
By A Customer
Mr. Millett does not capture the feel of the original Sherlock Holmes stores. Not only is it lacking in staying true to the character, the plot is virtually transparant. The only thing that is striking about Holmes' deductions is how often Watson comments on the brilliance of Holms' deductions. I'm sure Mr. Rathbone would be pleased with the book since it's a lot like his movies.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great History along with a Good Mystery Jan. 19 2002
Larry Millett combines his knowledge of the history of the Twin Cities with a mystery involving Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. So how does it come off? This is one of the better Sherlock Holmes pastiche I have read, and believe me, I've read a LOT of them.
The history lessons I received from reading the book are a definite treat since I visit the Twin Cities several times a year and know the areas talked about. But even if you are not familiar with the Minnesota cities, a map and Millett's detailed descriptions help the reader visualize the cities at the turn of the century.
The Sherlock Holmes/Dr. Watson characterizations are very good; there are not too many instances where the reader would say "Oh, come on. Holmes would never do that." That is how I judge pastiches.
I thought this story the best of the first three Larry Millett/Sherlock Holmes endeavors.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good voice, bad case April 13 2001
By A Customer
Unlike some of the other reviewers here, I found the 'voice' of Holmes and Watson to be accurate and quite true to the original characters. Perhaps not enough is done with them-brilliant deductions, a mainstay of Holmes' character, seem few and far between. This books fault lies in the mystery itself. A convoluted mystery requires sharp characters to help the reader keep track of what's going on. Apart from the authors "pet" character, Rafferty, few of the book's characters are particularly distinguishable in any way and I confess that upon reaching the end and discovering the culprit's identity I had to stop and think to remember the character and what part they had played in the book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great history, bad dialogue Feb. 13 2001
This installment kept my interest with all of the historical details that Millet threw in. As a St Paul history lesson, the book could be no better. The mystery was also very tightly woven, and it had me guessing as to the killers identity (almost) to the very end. What the book lacks is the kind of interesting dialogue that is needed to keep the drama alive. Most of the dialogue is pure exposition, and drags on for page after rambling page. Nobody talks this way! Also, many of the characters hardly develop beyond stereotypical figures of the time (the wealthy tycoon, the busy newspaper man, the spoiled society brat). While these are all important flaws, the overall story is good and will keep you interested, just like Millets previous (and better) Holmes book, The Red Demon. I am sure I will eventually pick up the next installment, but I am in no real hurry after being slightly dissapointed by this one.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the Red Demon!
This book is the follow up to Millett's first Holmes book, Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon. I liked that book, but I like this one even better. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2001 by "tonyl7"
5.0 out of 5 stars Arthur Conan Doyle Reincarnated
As someone who has read the original Sherlock Holmes stories from early childhood, as well as countless novels and short stories by numerous other authors, I feel that Larry Millet... Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2000 by P. Bloise
4.0 out of 5 stars OK, I'm a heretic, but I loved this book
Many of the other Amazon reviewers have taken this book to task because it's not by Arthur Conan Doyle. I say, all to the good. Read more
Published on July 11 2000 by M. Ritchie
3.0 out of 5 stars Another Writer uses Holmes to introduce his own character
While I found the writing style and story engaging, I am frankly sick of writers using Sherlock Holmes to introduce their own character. Read more
Published on May 18 2000 by Amy
2.0 out of 5 stars Elementary attempt, my dear Watson.
At first blush, this book has it all. Not only did the author do
copious amounts of research, but the very concept of a grand winter
"palace" constructed of ice... Read more
Published on April 29 2000 by Mark Savary
4.0 out of 5 stars a tale with an excellent sense of place and time
Mr. Millett's a historian as well as a talented writer. I think his perfect sense of place and time more than compensates for any minor changes in deductive tactics by the great... Read more
Published on April 13 2000 by T. Crane
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