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Sherlock Holmes & Shadwell Rafferty Books In Order

Publication Order of Shadwell Rafferty/Sherlock Holmes Books

Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sherlock Holmes and the Rune Stone Mystery (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Alliance (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Disappearance of Sherlock Holmes (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Magic Bullet (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Strongwood (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The series is also known as “Sherlock Holmes in Minnesota”. It is a series where Shadwell Rafferty assists Sherlock Holmes in solving crimes, and brings Holmes and Watson to America (the state of Minnesota) in the late 1890s. They get called there in different novels to investigate different things.

Shadwell Rafferty owns a saloon and is a part time private investigator. He is both an ally and rival with quick wit and thinking to help Holmes and Watson throughout their investigations that they work on.

There are both short stories and novels to the series. The series is considered to be mystery and thriller, but there are also elements of historical fiction to it.

“Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon” by Larry Millett is the first novel in the “Shadwell Rafferty & Sherlock Holmes” series and was released in 1996. A villain sets to destroy the Great Northern railway in America. This pushes Sherlock Holmes to be pitted against all kinds of different characters from the frontier. Holmes also warms to one woman charms, she just so happens to be a suspect in the case. In this, he goes up against the Red Demon (an arsonist).

Fans of the novel like the way that Millett adds the historical references and end notes to things (these add a richness to the story and are always interesting) and the way he writes these novels adds nicely to the cannon that Doyle created. Fans enjoy the history lesson, with Holmes, all with great dialogue and plot to boot. Some enjoyed the way that Millett is able to do Doyle’s voice in the novel. Fans love this story and find it to be an interesting take on Holmes and Watson. This novel keeps the pages turning and turning that makes it worthy of having the Holmes and Watson name. Some find that this novel breaths new life into a very interesting and greatest detective ever to be written about.

Some did not like the way that Holmes and Watson are not consistent in the way that they act, one time they react to something one way, then they act totally different later to a similar thing that happens. Some found that most of the novel was a slog to get through. Some even found that Watson was poorly written, but seemed to be focused on more in this novel than Sherlock Holmes, the star of the show. Some did found that this novel did not have enough authentic Holmes moments in it for it to be considered a true Holmes story.

“Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders” by Larry Millett is the second novel in the “Shadwell Rafferty & Sherlock Holmes” series and was released in 1998. The novel is set in 1896, and is narrated by Dr. John Watson. St. Paul’s Winter Carnival is going on, and Holmes and Watson are called in by a railroad magnate named James J. Hill. He is quite a powerful man. A wealthy man has gone missing the day before his wedding, and his bride to be ditched her wedding dress, something suspicious. Holmes is on the case after something grisly is discovered in the ice palace. He is taking through the high society in St. Paul, and joins up with Shadwell Rafferty.

Fans of the novel find that the way that Millett writes and puts things in the novel respect the original novels in the series. Some found that Millett is great at emulating the voice of not only Doyle writing as Watson, but newspaper journalists too. Some find that Millett is able to bring Doyle’s version of the characters in his series back to life, and they are given a great series to follow for novels to come. Some enjoy reading about a lot of the architecture that used to be in the Twin Cities, and they think that the novels are well researched.

Some did not like the way Holmes is misused and written to be someone who is not like Doyle’s version of the character, but someone who misses easy clues just so Shadwell can be hyped up more so that you can see that Shadwell is vital for Holmes. Some found that the novel was poorly written and vague, and the notes that the author put in detract from the story. Some find that Rafferty being described as Holmes’s equal to be a disgrace to the canon of Holmes.

“Sherlock Holmes and the Rune Stone Mystery” by Larry Millett is the third novel in the “Shadwell Rafferty & Sherlock Holmes” series and was released in 1999. Sherlock is hired by King Oskar II of Sweden to make sure a stone that was dug up by a farmer in Minnesota is the real thing. Trouble starts going down very quickly because the farmer is killed and the stone goes missing. Shadwell, with his ability to investigate things discreetly, joins in to help Sherlock investigate things in this one.

Fans of the novel found that the characters in the novel are well drawn and vivid; they have also taken on lives of their own. Some found that they could not put the novel down as they were pulled right on into things, and the descriptions and scenes were quite vivid and helped them imagine everything that was happening. Some found that they liked the idea of Holmes in Minnesota a lot better after reading the novel than they thought they would when they first picked up this book. Once again Millett delivers an interesting read that combines building the railroad in America with one of literature’s greatest detectives of all time. This is the kind of book people talk about when they say sit by the fire with a good book.

Some did not like the way that not a whole lot of interesting things happens in the novel, and it relies too much on the readers reading the first two novels in the series. Some found that this one was just as good as the first two in the series, as they were not engaged in things as much. Some readers found that Rafferty had too much screen time, as he is not as interesting as Holmes is.

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