Saturday, July 20, 2019

Book Review: The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson

The Baker Street Letters
Author: Michael Robertson
Series: The Baker Street Letters (Book 1)
Publication: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (February 1, 2011)

Description: First in a spectacular new series about two brother lawyers who lease offices on London's Baker Street--and begin receiving mail addressed to Sherlock Holmes

In Los Angeles, a geological surveyor maps out a proposed subway route―and then goes missing. His eight-year-old daughter in her desperation turns to the one person she thinks might help―she writes a letter to Sherlock Holmes.

That letter creates an uproar at 221b Baker Street, which now houses the law offices of attorney and man about town Reggie Heath and his hapless brother Nigel. Instead of filing the letter like he's supposed to, Nigel decides to investigate. Soon he's flying off to L.A., inconsiderately leaving a very dead body on the floor in his office. Big brother Reggie follows Nigel to California, as does Reggie's sometime lover, Laura – a quick-witted stage actress who's captured the hearts of both brothers.

When Nigel is arrested, Reggie must use all his wits to solve a case that Sherlock Holmes would have savored, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fans will adore.

My Thoughts: This is the story of two brothers, both lawyers, who have taken up new office space on Baker Street. Reggie is the elder and more successful of the brothers. Nigel is the younger and something of a screw-up. As a part of their lease, the brothers receive letters written to a more famous occupant at that address - Sherlock Holmes. Also according to their lease, which Reggie didn't read as closely as he should have, they are to return a form response and not do anything else with the letters on pain of losing their lease and being liable for the whole time period's rent.

Nigel is currently without his license to practice law because of a case where he was too ethical and ran afoul of the daughter of his client while he was trying to return his fee. He is spending his time reading the letters addressed to Sherlock Holmes. Nigel becomes fascinated by one sent twenty years earlier by an eight-year-old Los Angeles girl who wants Sherlock to help her find her missing father. What fascinates Nigel is that there have been two more recent letters asking Sherlock to return the enclosures that were sent with the first letter. He decides to take the letter and enclosures to LA to try to find the young woman.

Reggie is expecting him to show up for the hearing that will reinstate his license but he doesn't show up. When Reggie checks Nigel's office, he finds it trashed and the body of their law clerk there in the mess apparently bludgeoned to death by a sculpture that belonged to Nigel. Reggie takes off to LA to try to find his missing brother before the London police can.

As Reggie searches for his brother, he finds himself inside a multi-million dollar conspiracy that has personal implications for Reggie. He also finds another dead body and this time he's a suspect.

This was an engaging story. Reggie is an interesting character but not initially likable. He seems rigid in his views and not very sympathetic to the idea that his brother might have his own plans for his future. His relationship with his girlfriend Laura is faltering because of his inability to make a commitment. And for a highly qualified and successful lawyer, he certainly seems to have trouble reading the contracts he blithely signs!

Favorite Quote:
"That would be annoying."

"It is. Every damn little thing get reported. Last week someone broke in here and figured it would be fun to pour five pounds of damn sugar into the mole's gas tank. Standard high school prank, but it made the five o'clock news. Then two nights ago an underground water main ruptures next to the new tunnel between downtown and the Hollywood sites, creating a sinkhole clear across Sunset, and some poor hooker tripped and mussed herself falling in. That made the five o'clock, the six, the ten, and the eleven o'clock news."

"Of course," said Reggie. "Nothing gets media attention like water-damaged hookers."

"Yeah, and I just hope she doesn't sue me for missing a night's work."
I bought this one October 4, 2016. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I'm thinking of trying this one. I like the synopsis. And thanks for sharing your review.


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