Monday, August 24, 2009

The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson

When lawyer Reggie Heath buys the entire 200 block of Baker Street, London, he unwittingly signs a clause that requires his firm to acknowledge receipt of and send a form letter response to all letters addressed to Sherlock Holmes of 221B Baker Street.

Reggie's unreliable brother Nigel is assigned this task. Nigel becomes intrigued by a 20 year old letter in the files from a child asking Sherlock Holmes to help find her father. When new letters from her arrive asking for the return of the original letter and an enclosed map, Nigel abandons his post at the law firm, and heads to California to see if he can locate the now grown up girl.

When Reggie discovers that Nigel has gone, leaving a ransacked office and a dead body behind, he flies off in pursuit of his wayward sibling.

This is a light hearted mystery, without any deep Holmsian attempts at deduction. The "Letters to Sherlock" premise could certainly result in a delightful series of interesting "cases" for Reggie and Nigel.

I'd like to see more of his brother Nigel who is off stage during most of the story. He is appealingly sweet and quirky, a good foil to his brother. Reggie seems a bit fussy at the start of the story but he loosens up as he makes his way though numerous dangerous and potentially deadly run-ins with the bad guys and a pair of smart alecky Los Angeles detectives. I did not care for Reggie's actress love interest "Laura" at all, so she can definitely exit stage right.

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