Rafferty's Last Case
A Minnesota Mystery featuring Sherlock Holmes
by Larry Millett
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 19 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 10 Mar 2022
University of Minnesota Press, Univ Of Minnesota Press
The ninth and final Minnesota mystery, in which Shadwell Rafferty, with the inimitable Sherlock Holmes, may have solved his own murder
Like many mysteries, this one begins with a murder. But in this case the victim happens to be the detective, on the verge of revealing the culprit in an earlier crime. Had Shadwell Rafferty identified his own murderer? When news of Rafferty’s death reaches Sherlock Holmes, in Chicago on the last leg of an American speaking tour, the world’s most famous detective and his redoubtable companion Watson rush to Minnesota to hunt for their friend’s killer.
Set amid the glittering society and sordid underworld of 1928 St. Paul, Larry Millett’s ninth and final Shadwell Rafferty mystery takes readers through the serpentine twists of Rafferty’s fatal investigation, even as Holmes, following in Rafferty’s tracks, may be closing in on the answer to both cases. This ingenious double mystery takes us to every corner of St. Paul, from the city’s most notorious speakeasy to a home for unwed mothers to the mansions of Summit Avenue, and at every turn we find another suspect: an ambitious mayor and his devoted fixer-in-chief, a heartless blackmailer and a police detective mired in city hall connections, a poet-turned-mystery writer with a suspicious coterie, and a priest hiding a terrible secret.
A mysterious woman in Minneapolis who makes certain illicit arrangements and a young man in possession of incriminating documents provide Holmes with vital clues that lead to a final confrontation with an exceptionally devious murderer worthy of the exceptionally devious plot that brings the Minnesota mystery series to a fitting and powerful conclusion.
"Richly woven and sprinkled with moments of humor and pathos, Rafferty's Last Case is maybe his best case. The genius of Larry Millett's adventures is how he weaves local history, culture, personalities, architecture, and the Holmes canon together in a way that finds me always asking for more. His final account of the late, great Shadwell Rafferty hooked me from the start. An ultimate triumph!" —Tim Johnson, Curator of the Sherlock Holmes Collections, University of Minnesota Libraries
"One can only hope that, while this mystery is called Rafferty’s Last Case, it isn’t Larry Millett’s last book. In this engrossing tale, Sherlock Holmes, with the help of Watson and the notes left behind by Rafferty, solves a very complicated case of three murders among the upper class of St. Paul. The twists and turns are amazing and shocking until the case is solved with a wonderful flourish. Start reading and hang on for the ride!" —Mary Logue, author of The Streel
"Murder, blackmail, and the foulest corruption have turned 1928 St. Paul, Minnesota, into a frozen Gomorrah. Even the world’s greatest consulting detective may have met his match when he wades into the icy muck hunting the killer of an old friend in Larry Millett’s latest Sherlock Holmes American adventure. Propelled by a hair-raising plot, rich in period detail, and crawling with intriguing characters, Rafferty’s Last Case is a terrific read." —W.A. Winter, author of The Secret Lives of Dentists