Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure in North America

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9780140258820: Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure in North America

Hidden for a hundred years in the safe of the great railroad magnate James J. Hill, the manuscript of this remarkable adventure recounts how Hill summoned Sherlock Holmes to the parched pinelands of Minnesota--to save the Great Northern Railway from being set afire and Hill's own person from the epistolary threats of the Red Demon. Soon the distinguished detective is keeping close company with ruffain railmen and loggers, an unsavory marshal, and the proprietress of the North Woods' most opulent sporting house. The game climaxes with Holmes and the malignant Red Demon face-to-face on a lonely bridge in a circle of fiery death.

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About the Author:

Larry Millett is a columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

From Kirkus Reviews:

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.

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