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Publisher's Summary

In the summer of 1994, a workman at the historic mansion of railroad baron James J. Hill in St. Paul, Minnesota, stumbles on a long-hidden wall safe. When experts arrive to open the safe and examine its contents, they make an astonishing discovery. There, inside, is a handwritten manuscript bearing the signature of John H. Watson, MD. The manuscript contains the story of how Sherlock Holmes and Watson traveled to Minnesota to track a murderous arsonist - known only as the Red Demon - who is threatening both Hill and his Great Northern Railway.

Set against the backdrop of the real, devastating Hinckley forest fire of 1894, Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon is the tense and atmospheric first novel in Larry Millett's classic series of adventures that brought Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to Minnesota.

©1996 Lawrence Millett (P)2016 Audio-Visceral Productions

What listeners say about Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon: A Minnesota Mystery

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent

This entry to the Sherlock Holmes literature was far above average. The crime and the detecting were the focus of the story, which I appreciated. Plus it generally had a similar feel to the Doyle books. I read this book in just over 24 hours. I will be reading the next one in the series!

12 people found this helpful

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I have been waiting for this to come to audible .

It's a great story with a lot of historical accuracy . I wish that they had included the footnotes as an appendix because the original books have a great deal of Minnesota history identified in them in such a manner that did not interfere with the story but was available afterwards . That being said is still a wonderful entertaining story I highly recommend it

8 people found this helpful

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five or 1 star? misogyny

the story was engaging, but I wished I had known the author's extreme bias against women so I could have left this unread. I regrettably thought he was hinting at correcting the bias - certainly could have easily been done. instead the author simply deepens it and worsens it in the conclusion. positively ugly in my opinion: obviously has no ears or heart to understand half the world's human population. the story IS clever and engaging; however there are plenty of those out there without having to rewrite a huge part because of the author's willful ignorance. Certainly there are people of all types, even women I have known who share such views, but they are generalized dismissive insulting and I find the distraction this type of book provides does not make up one bit for the harm caused by burying this kind of hate filled position as a side note so that the ignorant reader finds misogyny normalized once again. I do not say censor, but it would be nice to be warned: Misogynistic Author normalizes foolish notions of superiority as conclusion. Maybe, he is trying to be ironic and simply failed horribly? If so, get feedback.

6 people found this helpful

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Exciting and enticing!

What did you love best about Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon: A Minnesota Mystery?

Sherlock and Watson in America brings a new point of view and the introduction of several wonderful new characters.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon: A Minnesota Mystery?

The scene where Sherlock is nearly lost to the raging fire at the site of one of his rare failures.

What does Steve Hendrickson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He makes the story come alive so that you can almost feel what the characters are experiencing.

Any additional comments?

This book is a great beginning to a fabulous series of American adventures for Holmes and Watson.

4 people found this helpful

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Could be better

I have read other modern additions to the Holmes saga that have been amazing, this is not one of them. While the story is good the lack of study in the linguistic patterns of Holmes and Watson is apparent. While the story takes place in America and the colloquial terms will, of course, be different I found them to be as inaccurate as the rest. If you are a Holmes fan this is one that can be easily skipped.

3 people found this helpful

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Voices are hard to distinguish between characters

I have two minor annoyances with this book: one with the story and one with the performance. My problem with the book is that Watson is rather sniveling and whiny. My complaint with the performance is that it’s very hard to distinguish between the characters because the voices used by the narrator are very similar, especially between Holmes and Watson. Other than those issues I found the story entertaining and I do recommend it for those who have previously read the original stories.

3 people found this helpful

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Don’t Bother

If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes and the writing of Arthur Conan Doyle this take off will only disappoint. The author simply appropriates the popular characters of Holmes and Watson to sell a feeble, long winded tale. The author misuses words and incorporates modern terms and ideas into what is purportedly a Victorian Era story. Throughout he displays his ignorance and laziness to correctly depict 19th century America.

2 people found this helpful

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Too much slurring

I just could not get into it because of the narrator and perceived slurring

1 person found this helpful

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it's ok

It's, as the title says, a Sherlock Holmes mystery, but set in Minnesota. It's about the same quality as the Holmes mysteries I remember from long ago, altho a different writer. The story is decent but not great. Holmes deducing and showing off gets old.

1 person found this helpful

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First Audible Book, Couldn't Put It Down

This was the first audible book I listened to from cover to cover and it was thrilling, thought-provoking, and at times I even laughed out loud. The narration was spot on and really made the story come alive. can't wait to read all the rest of the Sherlock Holmes books from this author and narrator. I doubt I will be disappointed.

1 person found this helpful

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  • P
  • 08-18-21

Sherlock Holmes is British literature not American

Americans reading Sherlock Holmes is an outrage, an atrocity, a crime I never want to hear again.
Which irresponsible maniac would let Americans get past “could we” and then which further unimaginable lunatic would have the ignorance to publish it and .... which ..enormously.... ignorant fool would purchase it and grade as good!!
Americans; get your dirty, illiterate, clumsy, slovenly large bungling hands off, you try and control everything in the world but this is a line you need to retract your size 15’s back over you’re mot having it! Sherlock Holmes is a British institution so away with you!
If you want a lesson in how to read and perform Sherlock Holmes then look no further than the esteemed captivating Derek Jacobi which is utter regal talent .
Don’t waste your time with this your ears will bleed then reject it

10 people found this helpful

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  • Derek S.
  • 05-30-18

One of the better pastiches

This is one of the better SH pastiches written in a similar style to the ACD originals. You’ll have to put up with some ‘pants’, ‘sidewalks’, ‘suspenders’ and a few other Americanisms that do grate a bit. The reader (obviously American) does quite a good job on Holmes and Watson and the many American characters with some, er, ‘interesting’ foreign accents thrown in. Definitely better than some of the other truly awful readers of the many other non ACD Holmes stories out there. Overall a good story with some memorable scenes and an authentic feel to it. I see there are 8 books in the series and I suspect that the credibiility of H & W making so many visits to Minisota will be stretched severely but I’ll certaining try a few of them.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ellen James
  • 02-02-22

Lacking in authenticity

Overall a passable attempt at the Holmes genre. I'm all for jumping on a tried and tested band wagon and I was looking forward to diving into Conan Doyle's world again. I can't say whether this has been written for an American audience, or if the direction was to give it an American vibe. However, as a fan of the originals, there are just too many nuances out of place. Watson would never refer to legwear as 'pants', he would use 'trousers' etc. One would refer to a 'shopping list', not a 'grocery list' etc. Even the narrator, whilst effecting a Watson-esque English accent, uses American pronunciation for words like 'depot' and 'inquiry'. Too distracting and therefore not convincing enough.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Wencke C. Petersen
  • 05-19-22

Sherlock Holmes with American accent

I don't know about the story. I couldn't manage to listen to the voice and pronounced American accent - this is so wrong.

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  • Ruthie
  • 03-31-22

Narration vastly improves at chapter 2!

I nearly gave up a few minutes in, but I’m glad I persevered. The first chapter introduces how this supposedly original John Watson text was discovered. Unfortunately the narrator’s delivery of this is unbearable. Then we reach the bulk of the text & the narration changes completely (was it an entirely different narrator?) as it’s taken into the hands of “John Watson”. From here the narrator gives a good performance & brings each of the characters to life well with only a few (very minor) exceptions.

The story itself is largely in keeping with the style of Conan Doyle. It’s clearly written by a Holmes devotee & pays homage to the originals. Purists may disagree with this assessment, but perhaps purists would be better served avoiding such texts. Myself, I’ve read & enjoyed all of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock material repeatedly & enjoyed this story too. It’s a good yarn.

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  • Rowstock Kev
  • 03-21-22

A good story - BUT

This review must be divided into parts.
In the first part, as a simple listener, I must say that this is a good story well told. It kept my attention up until the end.
Steve Hendrickson, who delivers the narration, is utterly brilliant. He has the ability to perform multiple accents and you almost feel that you are listening to an audio production rather than a simple reading.
And for all this alone I would recommend it.
The second part of this review is written from the perspective of someone who has read and listened to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's works since childhood.
The problem is that Larry Millett, the author, has written this from an American dimension. Please understand that this is not a criticism of our American cousins. The problem this creates is that there are several elements that are not consistent with the original Sherlock Holmes' stories. An example of this is the calling of braces, used to hold up trousers, suspenders!
Then there is the use of foul language. There was NEVER bad language, apart from the use of the N word in one story, in the original works and I object to their inclusion here. This usage is not necessary to push the story forward and is, in my opinion, lazy writing.
Then there is a scene in a brothel. This I do not object to in principle as the original stories delt with the seeder side of the human condition including prostitution but the scene discribes a sexual encounter, moderate through it is, that would have NEVER been written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Now if, in my opinion, you are going to write a homage to a master storyteller and use his greatest creation as the basis for your story then you must adhere to certain rules. This is not to say that a writer can not put their own 'spin' on a character as they can essentially do what they wish. That said there must be a limit otherwise you fall into the trap that this story does of marginalising devotees of the original works and to a certain extent spoiling the existing Sherlock Holmes stories.

In conclusion: This is a good story and you will enjoy it BUT Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes it is most definitely not!

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  • B. C. Sharp
  • 02-14-22

Unexpectedly enjoyed this book a great narrator .

Having collected all Holmes books over the years I didn't know what to expect or think when I came across this book . I am happy to say that I enjoyed this tail very much and would recommend it .

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  • Gary B
  • 12-17-21

Excellent and too smart for some critics!

A well thought out yarn, thinking like ACD would have. It falls back on several original books and embraces the style. It is far too easy to be a purist critic which some SH fans can be, as such I encourage anyone to listen, enjoy and conclude. The narration is superb by the way ( too clever for some as it’s educated English for the period pronounced quite correctly) starting in character as an Americans discovery… then the story is told with a Victorian Watson , bravo the game is definitely a foot!

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  • B.
  • 12-07-21

Brits beware

For the love of God why is there not an English narrator?? I’m sure that to an American ear it sounds fine but to a Brit it’s unbearable having any book read in a faux-English accent - especially something as beloved as Sherlock Holmes. The story itself is Americanised enough, and a Watson with an odd semi-transatlantic accent just makes it excruciating! (We do not and never have pronounced Chicago as Chicoggo!)

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  • mr bob
  • 10-10-21

Well worth a read

I was skeptical at first ref the concept, however I loved this story and the narration. forgive the occasional Americanisms and enjoy a great yarn

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-29-20

A solid start to an excellent series

I have been used the enforced lockdown period to build up my Audible collection of Sherlock Holmes pastiche novels. There are a lot to choose from and i was eventually drawn to this one out of curiosity for the setting. The 'Sherlock Holmes in Minnesota' series is fantastic overall and reached some pretty high heights but this is merely a good book, rather than a great one. First then the positives The setting and characters are interesting, and the reason for Holmes agreeing to come to Minnesota plausible and handled well. There are lots of twists and turns and it is fascinating to see Holmes and Watson so far from their natural habitat of smoky London. Watching them adapt whilst trying to solve the mystery of the Red Demon is a big part of the pleasure of the story, I've read other pastiches where they leave the UK and Watson adapts quickly and Holmes struggles but here Holmes is the one who takes it all in his stride.The story moves at a good clip and there is a growing sense of dread which fits the setting well. I do have a couple of small critiques though. Firstly using a real historical event i feel does tie the authors hands a lot, Holmes is engaged to stop a real, historical fire, so you can guess how well that pans out for him. Luckily the author learns from this and the future stories whilst still drawing from historical events are much looser and thus offer more scope for authorial invention. Secondly, whilst Holmes comes off brilliantly Watson veers close to the buffoonish portrayal he has occasionally been saddled with. This is a former army doctor who has seen the world and all it has to offer, but in this story Watson is often presented as the naif Englishman abroad. There is a rather poor scene in the middle where Watson has to fend off the advances of two young women and his reaction is poor from a man who has 'an experience of women which extends over many nations and three separate continents'. Finally the audio narration takes a bit of getting used to. Mr Hendricksen has a good range of american accents and does Holmes rather well but his Watson is, well strange, he does an English accent but the pronunciation is very american, took me out of the story at times. For example he pronounces the word details as detAILS, in the american way rather than DEtails in the British way that Watson would use. I am not sure if it gets better in later books or i just got used to it as i found as i have worked through the series that i have come to find it okay. It helps that later books have more third-person narration, allowing Mr Hendrickson to use his native voice, rather than having Watson narrate the whole thing.

Overall then if you like Holmesian pastiche this is is worth checking out. The best of the series comes later when Shadwell Rafferty is introduced in the next book, an excellent recurring character who has real chemistry with Holmes and Watson. It is not essential to start here, you could go straight to book two without missing too much but i think there is more than enough in this one to make it worth investigating.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jason G Cody
  • 03-19-22

really good story

a really good listen, an enjoyable addition to the Sherlock Holmes stories. well worth it