Rafferty’s Last Case

A Minnesota Mystery Featuring Sherlock Holmes

2022
Author:

Larry Millett

The ninth and final Minnesota mystery, in which Shadwell Rafferty, with the inimitable Sherlock Holmes, may have solved his own murder

When news of Shadwell Rafferty’s death reaches Sherlock Holmes, 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.

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.

Larry Millett is the author of twenty books, including nine mystery novels featuring Sherlock Holmes and St. Paul detective Shadwell Rafferty. A longtime reporter and architecture critic for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, he has also written numerous books on architecture, including Heart of St. Paul: A History of the Pioneer and Endicott Buildings; Lost Twin Cities; Once There Were Castles; and Minnesota Modern, winner of a Minnesota Book Award (all from Minnesota).

Contents

Prologue: A Knife to the Back

Book One. A Body, a Funeral, a Promise

1. “Are You Here?”

2. “It Is the Darkest of Days”

3. “I Give You My Promise”

Book Two. Rafferty Investigates

4. “Was That a Gunshot?”

5. “We Are Entering Deep and Dangerous Waters”

6. “I Took Him Up to the Sixth Floor”

7. “There Is Still Much We Must Learn”

Book Three. Suspects and Clues

8. The Blackmailer

9. “I Must Warn You to Be Careful”

10. “We Must Dig and Dig”

11. The Policeman

12. “You Are Sniffing at the Clouds”

13. “The Mystery Deepens”

14. The Poet

15. “You Are Being Insolent”

Book Four. More Suspects, More Questions

16. “She Is a Woman Who Makes Arrangements”

17. “How Old Do You Suppose He Is?”

18. The Priest

19. “I Fear for Your Soul”

20. “We Are Tangled Up in a Web”

21. The Politicians

22. “We’re Always Just a Step Behind”

23. “We Are on the Cusp”

24. “I Pose No Threat to You”

25. “We May Have No Other Choice”

26. “The Game Is Afoot!”

Book Five. Endgames at the Ryan

27. Convergence

28. “You Are a Monster”

29. “How I Wish He Was Still Here!”

30. “May He Rest in Peace”

Epilogue: There Were Reports of His Death