To my readers: Here’s thye latest update on two new books I have in progress, both of which should be out next year. One is a new Shadwell Rafferty-Sherlock Holmes novel, my first in seven years, called The Miracle Murder. The other is a non-fiction booked entitled Lost Mansions and Estates of the Twin Cities.
First, the novel. It’s a classic locked-room mystery (with a nod to the great master of the genre, John Dickson Carr), set in St. Paul in 1917. The plot hinges on the murder of a financier found shot to death in his fortified office atop the tallest building in St. Paul. I really think readers will have fun matching wits with Rafferty and Holmes and trying to figure out not only whodunit by how it was done. The book will be published by the University of Minnesota Press in Spring of 2011. The U of M Press is also reissuing my five previous Sherlockian adventures, beginning with Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon next year. These books are now out of print and I’m excited that they’ll be out in new trade paperback editions.
I’m now hard at work on Lost Mansions and Estates of the Twin Cities which I’ve been researching for quite awhile. I have about 500 lost mansions in my date base, and I’ve selected 75 or so for the book, which will includes photos, drawings, and a text telling the story behind each house and its owners. My territory will extend from Stillwater on the east to Lake Minnetonka on the west to Bloomington on the south, but most of the houses will be from St. Paul and Minneapolis proper. A few of the houses were already featured in<em> Lost Twin Cities</em> (published 18 years ago and still in print), but most are mansions that have never appeared before in any books. I think readers will be astounded to see how many great houses are gone and how large some of the country estates of old really were (James. J. Hill, for instance, owned 5,000 acres in North Oak at one time).
The University of Minnesota Press is also publishing this book, and it should be out in Fall of 2011.