Sherlock Holmes and the County Courthouse Caper
It’s November 1886 in the tiny frontier town of Browns Valley, Minnesota. A pioneer family’s idyllic life is suddenly disrupted by a series of discoveries: Six dead bodies, each hanging in a tree, with a letter burned into their forehead by a branding iron.
What do the letters spell? And who is the killer?
Even the great Sherlock Holmes is baffled---until a 12-year-old frontier lad named Petey Smith, and a pair of mixed bloods called Iron Will and Muley, come to his aid. The history, geography and cultural diversity of the Minnesota River Valley are intertwined with tales of political corruption, deceit, vengeance and murder in this intriguing blend of fact and fiction.
Book Review: Roger Johnson, Sherlock Holmes Society of London
"Too many writers attempt to copy the Doyle-Watson style, and fail, often because they have no real knowledge of the late Victorian London. The bold few, who know their Holmes well enough, put him in a historical setting that they are thoroughly familiar with. And that´s what Jeff Falkingham has done. He can bring old Brown´s Valley to life for us, because he knows it so well. And, I should add, because he´s a darned good storyteller. Sherlock Holmes and the County Courthouse Caper is a real page-turner . . . a cracking good read." The District Messenger, No. 278, 17 December 2007
Jeff Falkingham is a mystery lover and history buff who writes for readers of all ages who share those passions. In 2018, he released MURDER in Minnesota! - a 2-in-1 bundle that combines Jeff's earlier Sherlockian adventures into a single volume - at a very affordable price! This release received a 5-STAR REVIEW from the 'I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere' website on July 29, 2019! Synopses & Reviews of the two stories appear below. Both are works of historical fiction that bring Sherlock Holmes to Minnesota in the late 1800s, and have been equally popular among young adults - and their grandparents as well! Jeff's work was added to the Beacon Society's Booklist for young readers in March 2019.
FREE digital copies of 'Caper' & 'Search' are available (courtesy of BiblioBoard and the author) at many libraries via the 'Indie Minnesota' program. See Contact page for details.
AN ELEMENTARY INVESTIGATION
Book Review: Philip K. Jones, St. Clair Shores, Michigan
"It is quite odd to find Holmes at ease with a foreign environment, yet it is also natural, given his professional detachment and his observer's view of the world. He always seems to accept the society around him at face value and to see the current situation as a modestly interesting example of Genus Homo in action. The author has perfectly captured this aspect of Holmes so that he never seems appalled, affronted or shocked by behavior, but rather mildly curious and interested in this particular set of eccentricities. His investigation is careful, thorough and conducted with as much cooperation with the local police as can be managed.
"The historical characters that wander through the book are true-to-life without being idealized. Their achievements come along with their oddities and even the several fictional characters seem as alive and as real as the historical ones. The mystery is well constructed and not easily solved while the characters are interesting and have a reality about them that is rare in a Sherlockian pastiche." Amazon.com, April 2009
Sherlock Holmes: In Search of the Source
It’s December 1896 in the booming capital city of St. Paul, Minnesota. Amid thousands of German, Irish and Swedish immigrants, Sherlock Holmes has returned to America to attend the wedding of Peter Smith, whom he’d befriended 10 years earlier in the case of the County Courthouse Caper.
Suddenly, there are complications: An overnight fire. A life’s work destroyed. And worse: A dead body. The only clues? A pair of boot prints. A mysterious fuel. A missing sword. Eventually, a member of Peter’s bridal party is implicated in arson---and murder. Now, Sherlock Holmes must race against time, and an overzealous police detective, to solve the crime, before the nuptials can proceed.
Minnesota History Disguised as a Murder Mystery
(Historical Fiction for Young Adults)