Title: The Baker Street Letters
Author: Michael Robertson
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 3 out of 5
Reggie Heath has just rented the building at 221 Baker Street for his offices. To his surprise, he discovers that his brother Nigel has been handling mail addressed to Sherlock Holmes that has been arriving at their doorstep daily. Apparently, it’s in his lease agreement that he handle the mail addressed to the fictional detective. But when Nigel goes missing, Reggie can’t help but believe he’s tracked down the sender of one of these letters to help her solve a mystery.
The Baker Street Letters is a book with an interesting premise: people all over the world write to the fictional Sherlock Holmes, begging for his help with their latest predicament. Someone must answer these letters, and in this book, it’s Nigel Heath. The Heath brothers are both engaging, well-written characters. Nigel is a bit shaky, having experienced some setbacks in both his personal and professional life. He’s looking to build himself up again, so it’s understandable why he gets lost in these letters.
Reggie’s a little more stolid, a little less emotional, really what you’d expect of an older brother. It’s touching, though, that he stops at nothing to help and protect his little brother. Through his search for Nigel, Reggie comes to understand his brother a little more, even as Nigel takes frustrating and unnecessary risks. It’s solid character development, especially for the first book in a series. Readers will definitely want to spend more time with these characters after they finish The Baker Street Letters.
Unfortunately, the mystery in The Baker Street Letters leaves something to be desired. While it starts off interesting, the story quickly becomes bogged down. The twists and turns don’t come across as suspenseful, and it becomes a bit of a chore to slog through the storyline. It seems to go off on a tangent, drifting further and further away from the creative premise that most likely attracted readers to the story in the first place. In the end, though I loved the Sherlock Holmes connection, I can’t say for certain whether I’ll be seeking out the next book in this series.