The game is afoot! Led by author Larry Millett, this course digs deep into the world of Sherlock Holmes, Minnesota style. Structured like a book club, participants will read and discuss three novels that feature the great detective, his faithful companion (and perennial narrator), Dr. John Watson, on the case in the North Star State. (Or should we say the Land of 10,000 murders?)
We’ll begin with a close investigation of Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon (October 18), which is set during the Hinckley Forest Fire of 1894. Next, the class will consider Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders (November 1), a tale of murder and intrigue that takes place during the 1896 St. Paul Winter Carnival. We’ll conclude with Strongwood: A Crime Dossier (November 15), the complex case of a young woman accused of murdering her lover in Minneapolis in 1903.
Think you recognize St. Paul barkeep/detective, Shadwell Rafferty, the affable Irishman who assists Holmes? How about the buildings and neighborhoods that fuel each story? In addition to guiding you through each case, Millett—arguably the region’s preeminent architectural historian—is sure to share his local inspirations and influences, as well as the sometimes daunting challenges that come with writing about the most famous detective in all of literature.
Required: Larry Millett’s Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon (2011), Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders (2011), and Strongwood: A Crime Dossier (2014); paperback editions, University of Minnesota Press.
Larry Millett, M.A., University of Chicago, wrote for the St. Paul Pioneer Press from 1972 to 2002, including 17 years as its architecture critic. His nonfiction work includes Lost Twin Cities (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1992), which received an International Book Award from the American Institute of Architects and was the subject of three documentaries produced by Twin Cities Public Television, and Minnesota Modern: Architecture and Life at Midcentury (University of Minnesota Press, 2015), which received a Minnesota Book Award. His fiction includes eight mystery novels featuring Sherlock Holmes, including the forthcoming Sherlock Holmes and the Eisendorf Enigma.