Re: RARA-AVIS: unions

Date: 15 Jan 2000

To get back to the point, which is HB mysteries dealing with unions, not whether or not unions are a beneficial or malevolent presence on the US scene, it occurs to me that perhaps the first mystery to deal with this theme is A.C. Doyle's last S. Holmes novel, *The Valley of Fear*. The second half, which is, for Conan Doyle fairly HB, is . . .

 (***SPOILER ALERT*** Don't read farther unless you've read the book, already).

 . . . set in Pennsylvania and tells the story of an undercover Pinkerton operative who infiltrates a corrupt union of miners called the Scowrers. It's based on the real-life case of Pinkerton detective James McPartland's, the undercover agent who brought down the Molly Maguires. Conan Doyle got the idea for the novel after striking up a friendship with one of Allan Pinkerton's sons during an ocean crossing. Pinkerton told Concan Doyle all about the Molly Maguire case, and Concan Doyle decided it would be just the thing to build a Sherlock Holmes novel around. When the book was published, Pinkerton was outraged, and, although Conan Doyle apologized, never really forgave the author.


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