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Friday, October 10, 2014
Sherlock Holmes in Minnesota
Sherlock Holmes in Minnesota?
If you've read any of Larry Millett's Holmes novels, you know it works. I'd forgotten how good they were until our friend Karen Murdock recently gifted us with a copy of Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders, the second in the series.
This book introduces Shadwell Rafferty, Irish-American private eye and bar owner. Rafferty is a great character in his own right, and that's one of the strong points of the series. I haven't read them all, but the ones I have read do without the usual familiar dramatis personae of pastiches - Irene Adler, Moriarty, Mycroft, the Baker Street Irregulars, etc. Thus, Millett isn't burdened with trying to do something new with them, and no reader is upset at a taking a beloved character in a new direction.
Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders is set during St. Paul's Winter Carnival of 1896. The ice palace built there not only provides a great title, but is the location for an action-packed climax. Against this promising background, Millett builds a great mystery in which Rafferty isn't the only memorable character.
The surprise ending is worthy of Ellery Queen, but Holmes's decision of what to do about the murderer is very much true to the Holmes of the Canon.
Posted by Doctor Dan at 12:00 AM