St. Paul, Minnesota. October 1, 1917. High above the city, a renowned local financier named Artemis Dodge lies facedown on the floor of his armored penthouse sanctuary, a single bullet hole in his head. Thirty stories up, in the citys tallest building, and not a shred of evidence or sign pointing to anyone having broken into the wealthy mans fortress. It isto all appearancesan impossible crime.
Enter Shadwell Rafferty: Irishman, St. Paul saloonkeeper, sometime detective, and old friend of the celebrated sleuth Sherlock Holmes. Summoned by Louis B. Hillson of railroad magnate James J. Hillto investigate, Rafferty descends into a world dominated by greedy tycoons and awash in political intrigue and wartime fearmongering. Suspects lurk in every corner of the cityincluding Dodges beautiful young widow, his slippery assistant, and a shadowy anarchistand Rafferty pursues them from the streets of Ramsey Hill and the rooms of the Ryan Hotel to the labyrinthine caves under the Schmidt brewery. Matching wits with his foes at the police department and his unsavory rival, the St. Paul detective Mordecai Jones, Rafferty knows that in order to bring a killer to justice he must first unravel the riddle of a single bullet fired in a locked room, three hundred feet above the streets of St. Paul.
Set during a bitter streetcar strike and amid the clandestine activities of a ruthless commission charged with enforcing wartime patriotism, Larry Millett has created a classic and perfectly executed locked-room mystery in the great tradition of John Dickson Carr. From locked rooms and civil unrest to murder and wartime paranoia, The Magic Bullet presents Raffertys most challenging case, and its gripping conclusionwith a timely assist from Sherlock Holmesfinds both Rafferty and Millett at the top of their games.