Viking, Oct 2001, 4.95, 336 pp.
In 1899, to the excitement of many of the Twin City residents, President McKinley is coming to Minneapolis. Apparently not every one is filled with good feelings with the pending visit from the country's leader. Majesty Burke calls fellow saloon owner Shadwell Rafferty to sobbingly inform him that assailants killed and strung up her barman, union activist Michael O'Donnell. The culprits left Michael naked except for an ominous sign stating that “THE SECRET ALLIANCE HAS SPOKEN”.
The police chief says that Michael was killed because he was “taking liberties” with a young girl. Maj denies that her barman was not a pediophile and persuades Shad to investigate though he knows how dangerous the Secret Alliance is with its antiunion busting. With the help from his two visiting friends from London, Holmes and Watson, Shad follows a meandering trail filled with danger.
The fourth book centering on Sherlock Holmes' Twin City cases is an engaging tale that fans of the great detective will enjoy. SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE SECRET ALLIANCE brings Holmes' American host more to the forefront of the investigation than in the previous three novels, which adds an original spry twist to the a tale loaded with copious twists and turns. Even while bringing Shad in more of a lead role, Larry Millet continues his ability to capture the essence of Holmes and Watson while providing a vivid look at America at the turn of the previous century.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner