Day 6: "Strongwood: A Crime Dossier" by Larry Millett

32-Books-IconEach day counting down to the announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today we feature 2015 Genre Fiction finalist Larry Millett.


A Uniquely Crafted Courtroom Novel

Strongwood: A Crime Dossier by Larry Millett
Published by: University of Minnesota Press
Category sponsored by Macalester College

Set in 1903 Minneapolis, this uniquely crafted novel follows the murder trial of Adelaide “Addie” Strongwood—a beautiful working-class woman on trial for killing her wealthy former lover, Michael Masterson. The story unfolds in documentary style through transcripts of testimony, newspaper articles, journal entries by Addie’s flamboyant lawyer, and even a series of Minneapolis Tribune articles written by Strongwood herself. With Sherlock Holmes and St. Paul detective Shadwell Raferty working on the case, Strongwood will keep readers entertained from the beginning of the trial until the surprising verdict is reached.

From the book:

“Few criminal trials in recent memory have produced as great a sensation in the Northwest as that of Adelaide Strongwood, who stood accused of murdering Michael Masterson, scion of one of the wealthiest manufacturers in Minneapolis. Miss Strongwood’s trial, held before Judge Charles Elliott in the Hennepin County District Court in January and February 1904, became a spectacle avidly followed by almost every resident of the city. The many shocking details that emerged during the three-week-long trial, culminating in the dramatic testimony of Miss Strongwood herself, are still the source of discussion, as is the verdict ultimately rendered by the jury of twelve men good and true. It is the belief of the publishers of this book that the question of whether justice was indeed done in this case is best left to the reader, who will now have before him all of the relevant information needed to reach a well-considered judgment.”

About the Author:

Larry Millett is the author of six previous mystery novels—all but one set in Minnesota—that feature Sherlock Holmes and St. Paul detective Shadwell Rafferty, most recently The Magic Bullet. He is also an architectural historian and author of several nonfiction works including Lost Twin Cities, Once There Were Castles and Minnesota’s Own: Preserving Our Grand Homes (also a Minnesota Book Awards finalist this year). He was a reporter for the Pioneer Press from 1972 to 2002 and has also written for the magazines Architecture, Inland Architect, Architecture Minnesota and Minnesota History. Visit Larry Millett’s website.

The reviews are in:

“Larry Millett’s absorbing seventh Minnesota Mystery (after The Magic Bullet), a documentary-style account of a sensational 1903 murder case, pits twenty-two-year-old Adelaide “Addie” Strongwood, a beautiful but tough working girl, against the powerful family of her ex-lover, Michael Masterson…Sherlock Holmes’s ingenious detective work is crucial to a shocking and disturbing resolution to the case.” – Publisher’s Weekly

 “[A] well-rendered look at the haves and have-nots of Minneapolis, circa 1904.” – Star Tribune


Pioneer Press article by Mary Ann Grossmann

Join us at the Awards Gala!

Get Tickets NowAward winners will be announced at the 27th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 18 at the historic St. Paul Union Depot. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 and are available by visiting

Have you read Strongwood? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!


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