Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon
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Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  643 ratings  ·  37 reviews
American railroad magnate James J. Hill summons Sherlock Holmes to Minnesota to save the Great Northern Railroad and Hill himself from the threats of The Red Demon.
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Viking Adult (first published 1996)
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S. J.
Jun 04, 2013 S. J. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sherlock Holmes fans, people who like history mixed well with their fiction
Recommended to S. by: Sequel to book; Library
*5 Stars* (I didn’t think it would make it based on the likely score I thought it would get)

Scorecard: (Out of 10)
* Quality of Writing - 8
* Pace - 9
* Plot development - 9
* Characters - 10
* Enjoyability - 8
* Insightfulness - 9
* Ease of Reading - 9
* Photos/Illustrations - N/A
Final Score: 62/70 = 89%

If I don’t start a series at the beginning, sometimes the previous stories don’t stand out in my memory, no matter how much I read them. This book suffers partially from this personal phenomenon though...more
Tessa
Deep in the Minnesota pines and railroads Holmes finds yet another mystery only he could solve!

I really enjoyed this book for two main reasons:

One, the writing style is like that of the originals, and it's always nice to find an author who can truly capture the Holmes character like Doyle.
Two: this book has a grate plot, and like any well written mystery keeps you on edge as you try to solve the mystery before the end.
I don't say this often; I couldn't put this book down!

I really love how this b...more
Carl
Mar 05, 2012 Carl rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery and Historical Fiction Readers
If one enjoys "historical" fiction and a good mystery, this series, which begins with this book, Millett's "Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon," is for you. I was unsure of a book which eventually put Holmes into an American setting; however, I was pleasantly surprised with this series and this book. Larry Millett's characters, setting and plots are believable! More importantly, his style seems to closely emulate Doyle's, which adds to the credibility of the novel. Also, the characters are devel...more
Kayt
Really a 2.5. The last fourth of this book were interesting, but unfortunately I had to slog through the other 3/4 to find it.

A quick summary: Sherlock Holmes has been asked to catch the "Red Demon," a person sending threatening notes and setting fires around the railroads of American tycoon Mr. Hill. Assuming false identities, Holmes and Watson visit Minnesota to solve the case before the arsonist strikes again.

Usually, the problem I come across in non-canonical Holmes stories is an out-of-char...more
Patty
Took me a while to really warm up to this book. Way too much background on the area, the landscape, the trees, the career of Holmes to start the book. Once I really got into the story I enjoyed it, and having it set in nearby Minnesota made it that much more interesting

Holmes is hired by a railroad exec (a real person btw) to find out who is threatening him and his railroad with fire - the kind of fire that will kill hundreds because it is the middle of summer and very hot. In 1894 Minnesota was...more
Brian
I enjoyed this book overall. I know it is not an "original" of the mysteries, but it was my 1st journey into the world of Sherlock Holmes in writing. I found it to be well written, well researched, though someone with a better knowledge of Holmes may be able to dispute that), and amusing in parts also. It was based around stuff that apparently really happened in the time frame, which i found interesting, though I had no previous knowledge of said events.
If I had to level one complaint against t...more
Ben Rekaburb
Why would anyone read a 'Holmesian Mystery'if they not 'in the mood for a mystery'?
THAT'S a head scratcher right there. And then rate the book badly for being a mystery.
Hmmm...anyway.

This was a good book.
Generally speaking, if I finish a book ...if it holds my knat like attention
long enough for me not to be sidetracked by the ten other books I've got going.... then it's a 'win'.

I finished this one and laughed out loud a few times at the interplay between Holmes and Watson.
It may not be 'edge of...more
Nicole
Nicely done. Millet has given us a Watson-narrated tale of the duo's 1894 trip to Minnesota, where they solved the mystery of the pinery fire that destroyed the town of Hinckley, Minnesota -- a fire typically regarded as a natural disaster. The Minnesota angle was fun, and I'm definitely looking forward to reading the next in the series, which is set in St. Paul (somewhere I know more about). From a historical fiction angle, the book was well researched, but the reader doesn't really learn all t...more
Andrea Krivak
Good if you like the Sherlock Holmes type mystery - told from the perspective of Holmes made it almost like a tv show. It kept me guessing to find the real culprit till the very end, and i like how they went back and explained their findings for all the characters involved.
Mary
Holmes & Watson are off to Minnesota, hired by a RR owner to find the Red Demon who is threatening to ruin the RR with fires. An good story, where we get to enjoy the interplay between Holmes and Watson, their different outlooks, their dialogue, and the hunt with all of Holmes' deductions and observations. The historical setting interesting iwth lots of detail. There was one thing that drove me nuts, though. Holmes and Watson were "undercover" with assumed identities, but they kept calling e...more
Glorious.Clio
I'll be honest; I'm not so much into mysteries. I like Sherlock Holmes as a rule, but I haven't really... gotten into the genre.

However, this book, I didn't think Millett had it in him! But the only thing I've read by him is "Lost Twin Cities." (We read the Star Tribune at our house, not the Pioneer Press.) But I was pleasantly surprised. He didn't get too hung up in the details; it was just enough to paint the picture of the boomtown that was the Twin Cities.

Will I read the other ones? Not su...more
Liz
I just recently discovered this author and series. It's an extension of the Watson/Sherlock Holmes mysteries, set in Minnesota in the 1890's. The author has done a pretty good job at keeping the flavor and language of the Conan Doyle stories, and even has a fictionally plausible reason for the detective to travel to the U.S... There are a few too many references to other (original) stories, but overall it hangs together well....Enjoyed it very much.
Simon
Quite fun despite the use of American terms that Watson would never have used like Railroad station when refering to Victoria Railway Station, suspenders for braces (suspenders are for keeping stockings up not trousers) and pants for trousers, There really is no excuse for putting American terminology into the mouth of a 19th century Briton.

Also I did feel that on several occasions he had Holmes acting completely out of character.
Janet
This is my first foray into Millett’s work, but it won’t be my last. He does a splendid job of setting a scene in vivid (and sometimes horrific) detail. The characters are crisply drawn, and the story is satisfying for the vast majority of Holmes fans. I only wish that Millett had come up with an alternative to the usual “Oh, look, another undiscovered Watson manuscript! I shall publish it in his name!” explanation.
Cris
This whole mystery series by Larry Millet is fun and intriguing. Larry Millett worked for three decades as a reporter, editor and architectural critic for the St. Paul Pioneer Press before retiring in 2002. He adds his take on Sherlock and Dr. Watson arriving in America to help the developing railroad and lumber barons in the region of Minnesota. I recommend reading them in the order they were published.
Anna
At this time, I can't put my thoughts about this book into words. At least, not words that will make you want to read this book. It was enjoyable. It was historical Sherlock Holmes fanfiction. And who doesn't love a railroad tycoon?

If you like mysteries, you should read it. If you like when people take historical events and write fictional explanations about them, you should read it.
Leslie
An amazing series starter with Sherlock Holmes investigating an arsonist at the behest of a railroad baron in Minnesota. A great fun read for Holmes fans.

The series in order:
Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon
Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders
Sherlock Holmes and the Rune Stone Mystery
Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Alliance
The Disappearance of Sherlock Holmes
Carolyn
Holmes & Watson pursuing an arsonist in 1890s Minnesota - overall a good read though a bit meandering at times. My minor complaint is that someone decided on end notes rather than footnotes, so all the author's interesting historical asides on the text were lost on me because I was too lazy to flip to the back to read what I would have read as a footnote. Trivial, I know! :D
Doug Trouten
Larry Millett uses the wonders of public domain to appropriate Sir Arthur Conan Doyls's best-known character and place him in Minnesota during the time of the great Hinckley fire. Millett doesn't quite has Doyle's touch, and at times the book moves a bit slowly, but it was fun to get to visit with a familiar charaters in a new but still familiar setting.
Robert Larsen
This book starts out kind of slow. It is a little bit boring at first but as you keep reading it gets better and you get more into it. It makes you wonder what is gonna happen next in the story. I never expected the book to end the way that it did. I thought it was an okay book it wasn't the greatest book I have ever read but it wasn't the worst.
Mike
I love this new genre of books written about the new adventures of Sherlock Holmes by authors other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Although, I don't think the creativity of the these new stories matches Doyle's from the late 1800's, these new authors certainly have come up with some "darn good yarns". Thoroughly enjoyable read!
Shawn
Sherlock Holmes travels to 1890's Minnesota to investigate events leading up the Hinckley fire. Nicely done and true to the Holmes ethos. The author also does a good job at educating the reader about the time period and the logging industry. I have a stack of these borrowed from Marcie - I look forward to reading the remainder!
Aaron
Consistent feel and story pattern of all the classic Holmes stories. Many references that show the author has done a lot of research. Liked the regional and historical references in the story. Overall not quite enough excitement in the story to get a high rating for a modern mystery, but a solid work.
Alison
Lawrence Millet is no Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but it was sort of nice to see Holmes and Watson in America. The first 200 pages were a total bore (and frankly I'm not even sure why I stuck with this one), the solution to the mystery was inventive and action-packed.
Melissa Clark
This was an okay book. I would have liked it better if I was in the mood for a mystery. I know who the Red Demon was half way though. The ending is what made the story interesting. Over all it was a good book it could be worth another read.
Jenny
I loved this book. It was fun seeing the historical event of the Hinckley Fire fictionalized into a Sherlock Holmes Crime. It was fun to read too--humorous double entendres. First in the series of books that sets Holmes in Minnesota mostly.
Cora
meh....not the best pastiche I've read. Watson was not made out to be an admirable character; his "ignorance" was over-drawn. The story ran long as well. Tiring to read. Oh well
Kathy
A very enjoyable Sherlock Holmes novel and while it may not be quite as polished as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original, it was still an enjoying and informative read.
Dan Marino
Started off a little slow but eventually picked up. It did a very good job of imitating Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's writing style.
Bippy
Highly recommended! Great writing, interesting story line. I'll definitely read more books by this author.
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Baker Street Irre...: Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon 8 25 Jan 12, 2013 09:56PM  
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