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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.
- Series: Minnesota Mysteries (Hardcover)
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press; 1St Edition edition (March 29, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0816674809
- ISBN-13: 978-0816674800
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
Shadwell Rafferty is back
4 people found this helpful.
I'm so glad to see Mr. Millett back with his famous detective; it's true that Sherlock Holmes only appears for a short vignette, but who cares? I bought this so I could read about Rafferty. He hasn't quite caught his stride with this character yet; it lacks the humor of the earlier books, but it's still delightful. John Dickson Carr fans take note; this locked room mystery is a tribute to that mystery author.
Entertaining Locked Room Mystery
6 people found this helpful.
I don't naturally gravitate toward locked-room mysteries, though I don't avoid them, either. This is one that I read with enthusiasm and pleasure. First, I enjoyed the mystery itself. Because the author writes about architecture, I suspected that the clue to the murder would have to do with architecture. I found the solution satisfying.
WHO DONE IT?
I enjoyed it very much. I found it to flow the same way as the original Sherlock Holmes books read. I find this to be a comfortable read...like sitting next to a fireplace on a fall day. I could not figure out how the murder was done. I like that about the book.
The Salt & Pepper Twins Strike Again
The Only problem I have with Larry Millett, is that he doesn't write enough mystery books. His wonderful take on mystery in old St. Paul is both unique
A Great Locked-Room Mystery: A "Howdunit" More Than a "Whodunit"
"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." Thus begins the premise of this mystery by Larry Millett: "The Magic Bullet: A Locked Room Mystery Featuring Shadwell Rafferty and Sherlock Holmes." This is Millett's excellent sixth novel, and the first that really features Minnesota barkeeper and detective Shadwell Rafferty rather than Holmes, who only appears briefly. It has been about 10 years since Millett last offered readers a glimpse of Holmes and Rafferty: 2002's "The Disappearance of Sherlock Holmes," and the wait was worth it.