I admit I only read this book because it was the featured book of our local library’s newly formed book club. The author describes it as a “history book disguised as a murder mystery” and that is really what it is. The pretense is that Sherlock Holmes arrives in western Minnesota in the 1880’s seeking the true source of the Mississippi river and is caught up in a local murder mystery and political battle over the location of the county seat. While I have to admit that as a murder mystery it is a little but light (admittedly it is aimed at 5th – 6th grade readers) but it does manage to work in a lot of local historical information about the Brown’s Valley area of West central Minnesota and the mystery keeps it all fun enough to keep reading. It is certainly worth a read to anyone interested in the history of the upper midwest, and makes an excellent educational resource for teachers in Minnesota. The author has generously dedicated the limited second edition printing to the victims of a 2007 flood in Brown’s Valley Minnesota. He has arranged for all proceeds (both his, his publishers and even book sellers) to go directly to the flood recovery fund.

Learn more and order your copy at his web site.