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Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders Paperback – Mar 29 2011

3.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press (March 29 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816674825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816674824
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
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Product Description


"The real triumph here is Rafferty, who lights up each scene in which he appears, adding a distinctly American bounce to a solid, complex mystery distinguished by its vibrant portrayal of nineteenth-century St. Paul. Holmes fans may feel free to tip their deerstalkers." —Publishers Weekly

"Larry Millett comes close to perfection in re-creating two of literature’s most enduring characters. Read the adventure in a nostalgic glow." —Chicago Tribune

About the Author

Larry Millett was a reporter and architecture critic for the St. Paul Pioneer Press for thirty years. He is the author of fifteen books, including five other mystery novels in the series featuring Sherlock Holmes and Shadwell Rafferty, all forthcoming in new editions from the University of Minnesota Press.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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 is very intriguing. There is a
bizzare killing, worthy of Holmes and Watson, and even a radically
different location in which the "Deductive Duo" can be put
to the test.
With all the book has going for it, the wonder for me
is that the book goes nowhere at all.
Sadly, for all the wonderful
research the author has made into 19th Century St. Paul, ice palace
construction, and even a year in which Holmes would be available to
take the case, the book just does not deliver.
Not only is the
"voice" off the mark, but the process of investigation is
muddled at best. As with many modern versions of Holmes and Watson,
the "voice" is obviously present-day. In addition, writing
true Holmesian deduction is harder than adding lots of action and a
few trifling theories which are meant to pass for the great
detective's abilities.
In this book, Holmes is constantly at the
mercy of events, as opposed to being able to define, predict, and even
control events. There is also little or no evidence of the classic
Holmes methodology.
Holmes stories work best when the evidence is
right there in plain sight. However, where we (through Watson), can
see the stain on the carpet, the strand of hair, the placement of
furniture, the remains of cigar ash, and so on, only Holmes can put
the puzzle together because he has observed the importance of the
In this book, all of the evidence is gathered by proxy; a
telegram, a letter, a courier, a phone call, whatever.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
If one chooses Sherlock Holmes as one's protagonist, one should at least try to adhere to the core of the character. Sadly, Mr. Millett does not. I personally do like the original stories by Conan-Doyle, however, I'm not a fanatic about it. I've read Holmes books by other authors that have carried on the tradition quite well. This was not one of them. Where is Holmes deductive logic? He spends his time wandering around this book baffled by everything that occurs. He "deduces" that a man has seen a woman by the red hair on the man's coat and the lipstick on his collar. Hell, even I could to that! Both Holmes and Watson seem equally lifeless and Rafferty is a buffoon Irishmen with his "tis" and "twas" way of speaking. Take away the Sherlock Holmes hook and this is nothing more than a run-of-the-mill genre mystery, which seem to be the norm more and more today. Sorry, Mr. Millett, but if you're going to do it, do it right. If you use the world's most famous consulting detective than at least remain true to the character.
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Format: Paperback
I make a habit of rereading a few of the original, Arthur Conan Doyle mysteries each year in early winter. This year someone gave me The Ice Palace Murders for Christmas, so I've had the chance to read the new book with the master still fresh in my mind.
It's unfortunate, but this totally misses the mark for me.
Without delving into the failings of the plot, which I'd characterize as befitting a middling modern genre novel, I have to say this book fails to capture any measure of the style and charm of the Conan Doyle characters.
It also completely fails to make any capital of the sometimes deliciously subversive deductive moments that often carry the originals. Here Sherlock Holmes and Watson (and the shallow introduction Rafferty) simply blunder around asking the obvious people obvious questions. Sherlock cracks safes to get crucial documents. Hoop-de-doo. Several times Holmes is at a loss to make any sense of evidence around which some of the real stories made an entire mystery work. (Recall the newsprint warnings in Hound of the Baskervilles? Here Holmes dismisses Rafferty out of hand when it's suggested that a Garamond typeface might indicate something in a similar note. Gee, has the author even read the original?)
Even when this author tries to inject a note of the charm of the Conan Doyle stories, his attempt is flat footed. For example, Holmes deducts that a character has just come from a rendevous with a woman. Why? Well, he has a long red hair on his shirt, and there's -- get ready to be stunned at the obviousness -- lipstick on his collar. Hardly the 'Your washbasin is on the east wall, I find' we've all come to expect.
I was, to be shorter, thoroughly disappointed.
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