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Larry Millett: Extended C.V.


Larry Millett has combined his interest in journalism, architectural history, and mystery fiction to create an unusual writing career. A native of Minneapolis, he attended school there and then went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in English from St. John’s University and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago.


He began working as a general assignment reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press in 1972 and became the newspaper’s first architecture critic after a year of study on a fellowship to the University of Michigan.


Larry’s first book, The Curve of the Arch, appeared in 1985. Since then, he’s written ten other works of nonfiction, including Lost Twin Cities, which has been in continuous print for more than twenty years. His latest book, about the lost Metropolitan Building in Minneapolis, will be published in 2019.


Larry began writing mystery fiction in 1996 by bringing the world’s most famous consulting detective to Minnesota for The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon. He’s published eight other novels featuring Holmes, Dr. Watson, and St. Paul saloonkeeper Shadwell Rafferty. His most recent novel, published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2017, is Sherlock Holmes and the Eisendorf Enigma.

Larry lives in St. Paul’s historic West Seventh Street neighborhood with his wife and occasional writing partner, Jodie Ahern, who is also an accomplished painter and a freelance copy editor.


Teaching Career 


College of Visual Arts, St. Paul (2004–2013)


Adjunct Professor. Courses included “Reading the City,” “American Architecture,” and “Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School.”

Journalism Career



St. Paul Pioneer Press (1972–2002)


Team Leader (2000–2002). Supervised Enterprise Team, which consisted of four of the newspaper’s senior and most skilled writers. Helped plan coverage and assign and edit stories.


Writing Coach (2000–2002). Helped younger staff writers develop and improve their stories. Organized and taught in-house seminars on various topics relating to news writing.


Architecture Critic (1985–2002). Wrote biweekly column devoted to architectural and urban design issues. Also wrote articles on such topics as historic preservation and ”lost” buildings.

Feature Writer (1985–2002) Served as newspaper’s chief ”off the news” writer. Produced major Sunday pieces, profiles, news analyses and acted as lead writer on major breaking stories.


Courts Reporter (1979–1984). Covered Ramsey District and Municipal Court, U.S. District Court in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Minnesota Court of Appeals and Minnesota Supreme Court. Followed civil and criminal cases, covered major trials.


Education Reporter (1975–1979) Covered St. Paul Public Schools, University of Minnesota Board of Regents, Minnesota Board of Education. Wrote in-depth features on desegregation and other topics.


General Assignment Reporter (1972–1975). Night-shift reporter covering breaking news, with the emphasis on police and crime stories.


St. Cloud Times (1970–1972)


City Editor, General Assignment Reporter (1970–1972). Directed news staff in coverage of local affairs.


Book Publications



• The Curve of the Arch: The Story of Louis Sullivan’s Owatonna Bank, Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1985.

• Lost Twin Cities, Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1992. In seventh printing.

• Twin Cities Then and Now, Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1996.

• Strange Days, Dangerous Nights: Photos from the Speed Graphic Era, Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2004.

• AIA Guide to the Twin Cites, Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2007.

• Murder Has a Public Face: Crime and Punishment in the Speed Graphic Era, Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2008.

• Once There Were Castles: Lost Mansions and Estates of the Twin Cities, University of Minnesota Press, 2011.

• Minnesota's Own: Preserving Our Great Homes, Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2014.

• Minnesota Modern: Architecture and Life at Midcentury, University of Minnesota Press, 2015.

• Heart of St. Paul: A History of the Pioneer and Endicott Buildings, Minnesota Museum of American Art, 2016.



• Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon, Viking Penguin, 1996.

• Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders, Viking Penguin, 1998.

• Sherlock Holmes and Rune Stone Mystery, Viking Penguin, 1999.

• Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Alliance, Viking Penguin, 2001.

• The Disappearance of Sherlock Holmes, Viking Penguin, 2002.

• The Mystery of the Jeweled Cross, Minnesota Center for the Book Arts, 2002.

• The Magic Bullett: A Locked Room Mystery Featuring Shadwell Rafferty and Sherlock Holmes, University of Minnesota Press, 2011.

• Strongwood: A Crime Dossier, University of Minnesota Press, 2014.

• Sherlock Holmes and the Eisendorf Enigma, University of Minnesota Press, 2017.

Freelance Career


• Writing. Produced news articles, commentaries and book reviews for a variety of publications, including Inland Architect, Architectural Record and Minnesota History.

• Instructor. Taught classes — mostly of the one- or two-day variety — at Hamline University, the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Historical Society.

• Tour Guide. Developed and led numerous walking and bus tours focusing on architecture and history in the Twin Cities area and greater Minnesota.

• Speaker. Delivered ten or more speeches and slide presentations yearly to civic, neighborhood, business and alumni groups and book clubs. Topics included local architecture and history, journalism and Sherlock Holmes.


Awards and Honors


• St. Paul Chapter, American Institute of Architects, Awards of Recognition, 1986, 1995.

• American Institute of Architects International Book Award (for Lost Twin Cities), 1993.

• Preservation Alliance of Minnesota Honor Award, 1994.

• Minnesota Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians, David Gebhard Award (for Twin Cities Then and Now), 1997.




BA, English, St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN, 1969.

MA, English Literature, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 1970.

Knight Journalism Fellowship, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 1984–1985.

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