Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon

Larry Millett, Introduction by, John Watson, Author, Larry Millett, Editor
Larry Millett, Introduction by, John Watson, Author, Larry Millett, Editor Viking Books $22.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-670-87039-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 334 pages - 978-0-14-029644-0
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4176-1828-6
Paperback - 318 pages - 978-0-8166-7483-1
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-0-8166-7712-2
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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. (Sept.)
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