aka The Frazzled Mom
Dogged by depression, doubt, and—as a trip to the Mayo Clinic has revealed—emphysema, 66-year-old Sherlock Holmes is preparing to return to England when he receives a shock: a note slipped under his hotel room door, from a vicious murderer he’d nearly captured in Munich in 1892. The murderer, known as the Monster of Munich, announces that he has relocated to Eisendorf, a tiny village near the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
If Holmes is not what he once was, the same can be said for Eisendorf: once a thriving community founded by German idealists but now a dying town with only 40 residents—two of whom have, indeed, died recently under highly mysterious circumstances. Replete with all the gothic richness of Larry Millett’s earlier Holmes novels, Sherlock Holmes and the Eisendorf Enigma links events in 1892 Germany with those in small-town Minnesota in 1920 in a double mystery that tests the aging detective’s mettle—and the reader’s nerve—as never before. Guided by Eisendorf’s peculiar archivist and taunted by the Monster, Holmes finds himself drawn into the town’s dark history of violence and secrecy, and into the strange tunnels that underscore the old flour mill where answers, and grievous danger, lie in wait. No longer the cool, flawless logician of times past, Holmes must nonetheless match wits with a fiendish opponent who taunts him right up to a final, explosive confrontation.
The latest Larry Millett Holmes novel (University of Minnesota Press) is now officially available for purchase. For purists, seeing a fan of Holmes give 4 or 5 stars to this novel may seem odd. The story doesn’t use Watson as Doyle had done. So that’s different. Regardless, the lack of Watson is only a little over half of the book. Ok, that does sound like a lot when typing it out, but honestly, I didn’t feel anything lacking from his absence and he did eventually come into the story towards the end. So it wasn’t totally devoid of our favorite doctor.
The story covers a post-war, aging Holmes now in America. Suffering from dyspnea (among other symptoms), he seeks out medical advice at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, only to receive the diagnosis of emphysema along with the recommendation to quit smoking altogether. Amid this, Holmes finds a message specifically address to him in his room. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, except that Holmes came to Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic under a fake name in order to maintain his anonymity. Immediately he begins to link this with a murderer he’d nearly caught years ago. Has this same individual tracked him down? Will Holmes, despite his failing health, be able to solve the mystery? As he tries to follow doctor’s orders, Holmes battles his addiction, one that the murderer is all too aware of as he so “kindly” leaves a pack of cigarettes for the detective.
I grew up with Holmes and Watson. Yes, it was odd being without the doctor, but I didn’t miss him terribly at the beginning and he did eventually show up. This was a fun read for all Sherlock Holmes fans.
If you’re unfamiliar with Millett, as I was, search his name and you’ll discover an interesting history behind his inspiration. Honestly, I’d wondered why Minnesota. The University of Minnesota has the world’s largest collection of material related to Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
And if you think he’s new to the world of Sherlock Holmes, think again. Millett has written several books, though this is the first I’ve read.
The documentary-style tale of a young Minneapolis woman who defends herself against murder charges with help from Sherlock Holmes and Shadwell Rafferty.
A classic locked-room mystery in which Shadwell Rafferty, with a bit of assistance from Sherlock Holmes, must solve a seemingly impossible crime.
Holmes faces old and dangerous adversaries in a complex adventure that spans two continents.
Holmes and Shadwell Rafferty confront terrorists as President William McKinley prepares to visit Minneapolis in 1899.
A mysterious rune stone discovered in western Minnesota is at the center of one of Holmes’s most baffling cases.
Shadwell Rafferty joins forces with Holmes and Watson to investigate murder most foul during the 1896 Winter Carnival in St. Paul.
The first of the great detective‘s adventures in Minnesota culminates in a raging forest fire.