20 May 2012

Review: THE BROTHERS OF BAKER STREET, Michael Robertson

  • Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 392 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (March 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00457X8F8
  • Source: I bought it
Synopsis (Amazon)

The second in a highly original and absolutely marvelous series about two brother lawyers who lease offices on London's Baker Street--and begin receiving mail addressed to Sherlock Holmes.

When brothers Reggie and Nigel Heath choose 221B  Baker Street as the location for their law office, they don’t expect that their new office space would come with one huge stipulation, answering the letters sent to Sherlock Holmes, the most famous resident of that address.

Reggie is distressed because the love of his life, actress Laura Rankin (whom Nigel also adores), is gallivanting around with media mogul Lord Buxton. And while Reggie is working on a new case involving one of London’s Black Cab drivers who is accused of murdering two American tourists, the letters to Sherlock Holmes are piling up. There's even one from someone who claims to be the descendant of Professor James Moriarty.

With a case that would have puzzled even Sherlock himself and a pair of brother sleuths more different than night and day, The Brothers of Baker Street is sure to please mystery fans whatever their address.

My Take

This was a much lighter read than I had expected. This is #2 in the series and I did feel that I had missed some important back story, so if the idea of a series loosely connected to the domicile of Sherlock Holmes appeals, perhaps it would be better to start with the first, THE BAKER STREET LETTERS.

Reggie Heath QC has just returned from the USA and younger brother Nigel is about to return. I never did understand the circumstances of what had led to their departure from London, nor why their secretary Lois was "new".

The main focus of THE BROTHERS OF BAKER STREET is Reggie's return to criminal law and his consequent involvement in the Black Cab cases. Reggie Heath is a QC who has been focussing on corporate cases. He is currently attempting to rebuild his practice. He is approached to defend a cabbie, the driver of a London Black Cab with distinctive numberplates, who has been accused of the murder of an American tourist couple.

Under the terms of their lease Reggie and Nigel are required to reply to any letters addressed to Sherlock Holmes. They have a pro-forma letter they are supposed to send, but a letter that appears to be from a descendant of Holmes' arch enemy Moriarty has them stumped.

Reggie is sent an anonymous tip that helps him get the charges against the cabbie dismissed, but it appears that the cabbie may have been guilty after all.

THE BROTHERS OF BAKER STREET has a convoluted plot with a bit of modernism thrown in. I think it is designed to appeal to Sherlock Holmes followers, but I am not sure it will. I found it difficult to get a clear picture of the main characters and really didn't warm to them.

My rating: 4.2

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