Mysterious Tales of Old St. Paul

Three Cases Featuring Shadwell Rafferty

2024
Author:

Larry Millett

Tales of murder and revenge: the early exploits of detective Shadwell Rafferty

Mysterious Tales of Old St. Paul presents three novellas from Larry Millett, casting back to detective Shadwell Rafferty’s early years. A shake up at the Pioneer Press, a string of cat deaths escalating to murder, an enigmatic stranger arriving in town—these interlocking stories, all steeped in the mystery and history of nineteenth-century St. Paul, show Rafferty becoming the consummate detective whose exploits have delighted readers again and again.

Shadwell Rafferty’s last case may have led to his murder, but naturally—and happily, for followers of the indefatigable St. Paul detective—there’s more to the story. Mysterious Tales of Old St. Paul gathers three novellas from Larry Millett, casting back to Rafferty’s beginnings to recount a trio of intriguing cases that honed his skills before he joined forces with Sherlock Holmes.

In “Death in the News,” St. Paul citizens wake one morning to find that the sign on downtown’s tallest building that reads PIONEER PRESS has been altered—at considerable effort—to LIARS. An elaborate prank, yes, but it foreshadows a far worse crime, and Rafferty is on the case. In “The Birdman of Summit Avenue,” cats are turning up dead in the yards of St. Paul’s prominent citizens, and suspicion swiftly falls on the wealthy avian enthusiast Ambrose Harriman, but the case turns darker still when a neighborhood boy is found murdered in Harriman’s yard. In “The Gold King,” an enigmatic stranger arrives in town, calling himself the Gold King and announcing his plans to unearth hidden treasure, which eventually leads to a shocking conclusion.

Steeped in the mystery and history of nineteenth-century St. Paul, these interlocking detective stories feature the characters—and the local character—that have made the Shadwell Rafferty series irresistible. Spellbinding as ever, these stories also afford the curious pleasure of watching Rafferty find his footing on his way to becoming the consummate detective whose exploits have delighted readers again and again.

Larry Millett is author of ten mystery novels that feature Sherlock Holmes and St. Paul detective Shadwell Rafferty, including Rafferty’s Last Case: A Minnesota Mystery Featuring Sherlock Holmes, all published by the University of Minnesota Press. His nonfiction works include Lost Twin Cities, Once There Were Castles, and Minnesota Modern, winner of a Minnesota Book Award.

Contents

Death in the News: A Scandalous Tale

The Birdman of Summit Avenue: A Sentimental Tale

The Gold King: A Strange Tale