In Millet's fourth, well-researched Holmes in Minnesota adventure (after 2001's Sherlock Holmes and the Rune Stone Mystery), flamboyant Irish saloonkeeper Shadwell Rafferty scents an impending bloodbath when Michael O'Donnell, a young union man and mill worker, is found hanged, naked, from an oak tree in downtown Minneapolis. Around the victim's neck is a placard: "The Secret Alliance Has Spoken." Everyone assumes it is a warning from the paramilitary anti-union Secret Alliance, but no one seems to understand its significance. Rafferty seeks help from Holmes, who's in New York on a case for John Jacob Astor. The world's greatest private consulting detective doesn't enter the action until the novel's half over, though entries from Dr. Watson's journal at the start of each chapter keep the reader informed of his thoughts and movements. Turn-of-the-century Minneapolis on the eve of a visit from President McKinley comes vividly to life as one of the most corrupt cities in America, rife with evil schemes and dirty deeds. Rafferty is no deductive wizard like Holmes, but a street-smart, methodical man who plods from witness to witness to discover the truth behind O'Donnell's lynching, which, in the end, proves amazingly complex. A columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the author is obviously in love with local history. Both Holmes fans and historical mystery buffs should be pleased. Agent, Bob Barnett.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
In Millett's Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Alliance, Shadwell Rafferty, an Irish saloon keeper and sometime detective, returns for his fourth adventure. The book opens with the gruesome lynching of Michael O'Donnell, a union activist, by a secret anti-union organization in a very corrupt Minneapolis in 1899. As various complications ensue, including the visit of President McKinley to the Twin Cities, Rafferty realizes that he is out of his depth and enlists the aid of Holmes and Watson. The novel contains structural flaws that will mar the experience even for readers who accept the absurd premise of the presidential visit. The narrative flow is periodically broken by entries from Watson's journals, written in an elliptical style that omits certain short words and refers to characters by their initials. On the other hand, Millett provides a map and 20 pages of historical and explanatory notes at the end of his book, which lend an air of verisimilitude. Still, if library purchase of only one of these is possible, the Kendrick is the better bet. Fred Gervat, Concordia Coll., Bronxville, NY
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The true secret alliance is between the publisher and the author, as they attempt to con and bamboozle the innocent public into thinking that this is a "Sherlock Holmes"... Read morePublished on Feb. 11 2004 by jrmspnc
I enjoyed "The Red Demon;" I enjoyed "The Ice Palace Murders" much less. I didn't enjoy "The Secret Alliance. Read morePublished on May 13 2003
How Sherlock Holmes' name can be used in the title with good faith is outside my understanding. I've read all of Millett's "Holmes" books, and this story is not only the... Read morePublished on March 4 2003 by Fecklar
Disappointing. Sherlock Holmes basically disappears from the book - except for the stupid diary form that is practically unreadable - and Shadwell Rafferty does not take the stage. Read morePublished on Dec 19 2002 by S. L. Cheek
Larry Millett's fourth book is easily the weakest in the series. Holmes and Watson barely make cameo appearances, it's all the annoyingly stereotyped Shadwell Rafferty. Read morePublished on Dec 4 2002
I really have to say that I was disapointed with this book. The writing became longwinded and boring, and the story just seemed to drag on and on. Read morePublished on April 3 2002
Despite a typo in the first sentence of the book, a definite turnoff, this is an interesting and entertaining tale in the usual Millett Minneapolis setting. Read morePublished on Dec 9 2001 by Jack R. Kincade