Strongwood: A Crime Dossier

Strongwood: A Crime Dossier

by Larry Millett
     
 

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The place is Minneapolis, the year is 1903, and Michael Masterson has fallen in love, or so he claims, with Addie Strongwood, a beautiful working-class girl with an interesting past and a mind of her own. But their promising relationship quickly begins to disintegrate before reaching a violent conclusion. Amid allegations of seduction, rape, and blackmail, Michael

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Overview

The place is Minneapolis, the year is 1903, and Michael Masterson has fallen in love, or so he claims, with Addie Strongwood, a beautiful working-class girl with an interesting past and a mind of her own. But their promising relationship quickly begins to disintegrate before reaching a violent conclusion. Amid allegations of seduction, rape, and blackmail, Michael is shot dead and Addie goes on trial for first-degree murder. As the case unfolds in a welter of conflicting evidence and surprise discoveries, a jury must decide whether Addie acted in self-defense or killed her one-time lover with the coldest of calculation.

Reconstructing the case through trial testimony, newspaper stories, the journal of Addie’s flamboyant defense attorney, and her own first-person account as serialized in the Minneapolis Tribune, Larry Millett builds a suspenseful tale of love, money, betrayal, and death. Sherlock Holmes and Shadwell Rafferty, long known to readers from Millett’s previous mysteries, play crucial roles in the unraveling of the case, which also offers a glimpse into the sharply divided worlds of the rich and the poor at the dawn of the twentieth century.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 01/20/2014
Millett’s absorbing seventh Minnesota mystery (after 2011’s The Magic Bullet), a documentary-style account of a sensational 1903 murder case, pits 22-year-old Adelaide “Addie” Strongwood, a beautiful but tough working girl, against the powerful family of her ex-lover, Michael Masterson. This multifaceted entry takes the reader through various conflicting accounts of what occurred when Addie, either in self-defense or cold blood, shot Masterson, as their relationship fell apart in a morass of social and class conflicts. Addie’s clever attorney, J. Winston Phelps, comes to doubt much of what she has told him, but must argue her case against a relentless, often sarcastic prosecutor, Frederick Boardman, in gripping courtroom scenes. Addie convincingly claims justifiable homicide, both on the witness stand and in serialized newspaper accounts, while facing Boardman’s allegations of arson and blackmail. Phelps’s part-time investigator, colorful saloonkeeper Shad Rafferty, enlists the aid of series regular Sherlock Holmes, who’s visiting the twin cities with an ailing Dr. Watson. Holmes’s ingenious detective work is crucial to a shocking and disturbing resolution of the case. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
 "Absorbing" —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"It’s a complicated and interesting story, nicely told with excerpts from newspapers, trial transcripts, diaries, and letters." —Scuttlebutt

"It is with an architect’s eye that Millett has crafted his seventh Sherlock Holmes mystery, Strongwood." —Star Tribune

"Strongwood is recommended for anyone who enjoys a good trial. This one is a humdinger!" —Historical Novel Society

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781452941271
Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
Publication date:
03/15/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
296
Sales rank:
208,274
File size:
1 MB

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