Synopses & Reviews
St. Paul, Minnesota. October 1, 1917. High above the city, a renowned local financier named Artemis Dodge lies facedown on the floor of his armored penthouse sanctuary, a single bullet hole in his head. Thirty stories up, in the city’s tallest building, and not a shred of evidence or sign pointing to anyone having broken into the wealthy man’s fortress. It is—to all appearances—an impossible crime.
Enter Shadwell Rafferty: Irishman, St. Paul saloonkeeper, sometime detective, and old friend of the celebrated sleuth Sherlock Holmes. Summoned by Louis B. Hill—son of railroad magnate James J. Hill—to investigate, Rafferty descends into a world dominated by greedy tycoons and awash in political intrigue and wartime fearmongering. Suspects lurk in every corner of the city—including Dodge’s beautiful young widow, his slippery assistant, and a shadowy anarchist—and Rafferty pursues them from the streets of Ramsey Hill and the rooms of the Ryan Hotel to the labyrinthine caves under the Schmidt brewery. Matching wits with his foes at the police department and his unsavory rival, the St. Paul detective Mordecai Jones, Rafferty knows that in order to bring a killer to justice he must first unravel the riddle of a single bullet fired in a locked room, three hundred feet above the streets of St. Paul.
Set during a bitter streetcar strike and amid the clandestine activities of a ruthless commission charged with enforcing wartime patriotism, Larry Millett has created a classic and perfectly executed locked-room mystery in the great tradition of John Dickson Carr. From locked rooms and civil unrest to murder and wartime paranoia, The Magic Bullet presents Rafferty’s most challenging case, and its gripping conclusion—with a timely assist from Sherlock Holmes—finds both Rafferty and Millett at the top of their games.
"Set in St. Paul, Minn., in 1917, Millett's excellent sixth Sherlock Holmes pastiche featuring barkeep Shadwell Rafferty (after 2002's The Disappearance of Sherlock Holmes) offers a tantalizing, impossible crime. When financier Artemus Dodge is shot to death in his fortresslike office in the penthouse of St. Paul's tallest building, no one can figure out how someone was able to fire a bullet into the sealed room undetected. Rafferty assists with the investigation, which is complicated by the tyrannical chairman of the Minnesota Public Safety Commission, who's sure that anarchists are behind the killing, though plenty of others may have wanted Dodge dead. Millett effectively combines action sequences with theorizing about how the murder was committed. With Holmes appearing only in cameo, the engaging Rafferty proves more than capable of carrying a book on his own. John Dickson Carr fans will appreciate this intelligent homage to the master of the locked-room mystery. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWxyz LLC)
The thrilling sixth novel in local historian Larry Milletts renowned mystery series.
About the Author
Larry Millett was a reporter and architecture critic for the St. Paul Pioneer Press for thirty years. He is the author of fifteen books, including five other mystery novels in the series featuring Sherlock Holmes and Shadwell Rafferty, all forthcoming in new editions from the University of Minnesota Press.
Table of Contents
Book I. The Magic Bullet
1. “We Were Dead Wrong”
2. “May God Have Mercy on Our Poor Souls”
3. “I Need You Now More Than Ever”
4. “Wait until the Inspector Hears about This”
5. “This Will Save Me a Lot of Trouble”
6. “I Am Thinking He Is Up to No Good”
7. “These Men Have Business with Me”
8. “This Is a Rum Case All Around”
9. “I Wish You Good Luck”
Book II. The Terrorist
10. “Im Sure Hell Have Much to Tell Us”
11. “This Is a Thing I Do Not Like”
12. “Well Talk Again Soon”
13. “Something about It Looks Familiar”
14. “Not Exactly”
15. “It Is a Matter of Life and Death”
16. “Well Find Her”
17. “I Have Bad News”
18. “This Is War”
19. “Everything Is Going to Hell”
Book III. The Dodge Fragment
Book IV. Secrets of the Locked Room
20. “I Fear We Are Not Done with This Business Yet”
21. “Inside Job”
22. “Do You See What It Must Be?”
23. “There Could Be Blood on Our Hands”
24. “Come Meet the Murderer of Artemus Dodge”
25. “I Do the Best I Can”
Epilogue: “The Best Saloonkeeper and Finest Detective”