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Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Alliance (Sherlock Holmes in Minnesota #4)

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  164 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
The numerous followers of Larry Millett's extraordinary Sherlockian series will be thrilled to find Holmes's American consort, Irish saloonkeeper Shadwell Rafferty, taking his first crack at a case that looks like it might send a whole city government tumbling. Rafferty, large hearted and massively built, has a talent for logic, dissimulation, bribery, and action that is s ...more
Hardcover, 322 pages
Published October 15th 2001 by Viking Adult (first published 2001)
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Mar 11, 2017 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Holmes,Watson and their friend Rafferty foil a anarchist plot to kill President McKinley in Minnesota.
John E
Feb 14, 2017 John E rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fun read. Good writing and just enough complications in plot.
Rena Sherwood
Holy fucknuts, this was bad. How bad is it? It's so bad it makes me swear during a Goodreads review.


I don't recommend any of the Larry Millett Sherlock Holmes pastiches, where apparently Holmes had secret doings in the wild, wacky world of Minnesota. Because when you think Sherlock Holmes, you think Minnesota.

And the book was just about as boring as a real trip to Minnesota.

Unless you could take that trip in a time machine. Then that would be totally cool. Sherlock Holmes and you in prehistoric
Jan 14, 2014 Chrisf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Book Club, KYA
It is a Murder Mystery, more of a story, not much description of violence by today's standards.
I picked this for Book Club because it is an interesting tale, the author is capable, not annoying, and, mostly I really liked how he wove in descriptions of Minneapolis in the 1890's. Many, if not all, of the buildings where the action took place have been torn down or burned long ago. Mr. Millett discusses the history of Minneapolis in the days when the flour barons ruled. He paints a brave pictur
I was surprised when I began reading this book. I didn't realize that it was a Rafferty mystery with Sherlock Holmes making a mere appearance. However, since I am delighted with Larry Millett's Irish creation, I was not tempted to put the book down and move onto the fourth book in the series. It was a good mystery, as I find it usually is, but I am always left wanting something more. Perhaps it is the fact that I'm never really on the edge of my seat with his stories in the same way that I have ...more
Years ago I picked up Millett's Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders off the library shelf, but had forgotten about it until this past June when we saw a Sherlock Holmes mystery at the Park Square Theater. Millett participated in a post-production talk with the play's actors.

This Shadwell Rafferty mystery is a pretty good tale though I did figure out the identity of the anarchist woman toward the end. The appeal of this series is the personality of the Rafferty character and the Twin Citi
Sep 20, 2007 Cynthia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sherlockians
I really enjoy reading this book because not only was Mr. Holmes there and very violent scenes, but Shadwell close to Holmes was also a detective and with the intense and develop plots the story flows from a boring, typical day to a hard and dangerous work of a killer loose on the city, of Minneapolis. As Holmes, Watson, and Shadwell goes on a dangerous undercover mission to save the president of the United States.
Nov 19, 2016 J. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good read though this one didn't seem as "Sherlockien" as previous books in this series that I've read. Still a good murder mystery filled with lots of links to actual history. Maybe what made it more interesting to me was that I just visited the flour mill museum in Minneapolis this summer and since the book revolves around the history of that industry I knew more about the history there than I might have otherwise.
Jul 15, 2013 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A different format than the typical novel with some play-like format as being reported in journal-form where the speakers are noted and what they say is just straight reported. More focused on Shadwell Rafferty's character with only a minor appearance by Holmes and Watson. Overall an excellent read, engrossing but with a slightly more apparent "mystery". The historical references are wonderfully woven throughout and thorough in their use.
Jan 03, 2008 Cris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This whole mystery series by Larry Millet is fun and intriguing. Larry Millett worked for three decades as a reporter, editor and architectural critic for the St. Paul Pioneer Press before retiring in 2002. He adds his take on Sherlock and Dr. Watson arriving in America to help the developing railroad and lumber barons in the region of Minnesota. I recommend reading them in the order they were published.
Jun 28, 2008 Abby is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Well I found it at the vacation home my family and i were renting and we left before i could finish it. But so far I have found it pretty interesting. Although the title refers to Sherlock Holmes, it is not about him, but his friend, Rafferty. It is not a Sherlock Holmes book, but a finely crafted mystery with many twists and turns with different points of views.
Janet Windeguth
I’ve read my fair share of Sherlock stories by non-Doyle authors, and I think Millett comes the closest to matching the original style. It’s well written, well researched, and a great deal of fun to read.
Kathleen Green
Mar 07, 2016 Kathleen Green rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very much liked the story and loved the notes on the history of the Twin Cities. Larry Millett obviously loves the Twin Cities and the history of milling and he's done a great job weaving it into this story.
Apr 28, 2013 Marilyn rated it liked it
Recommended to Marilyn by: Dan Enright
Shelves: mystery
Am enjoying the view of The Cities 115 years ago.
Jun 12, 2014 Joanne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Feb 16, 2016 Ronald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
read SOMETIME in 2005
Maureen rated it it was amazing
Jan 09, 2013
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Aug 30, 2012
Lexie Madsen
Lexie Madsen rated it it was amazing
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Mar 17, 2015
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Jan 05, 2015
Jan McClintock
Jan McClintock rated it liked it
Jul 16, 2009
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Tami Phillippi rated it really liked it
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Himanshu Verma rated it it was amazing
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Larry Millett has combined his interest in journalism, architectural history, and mystery fiction to create an unusual writing career. A native of Minneapolis, he attended school there and then went on to obtain a bachelor’s degrees in English from St. John’s University and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago.

He began working as a general assignment reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer P
More about Larry Millett...

Other Books in the Series

Sherlock Holmes in Minnesota (5 books)
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders: From the American Chronicles of John H. Watson, M.D.
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Rune Stone Mystery
  • The Disappearance of Sherlock Holmes

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