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The Baker Street Letters Hardcover – June 23, 2009


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The Baker Street Letters + The Brothers of Baker Street + The Baker Street Translation: A Mystery (Baker Street Letters)
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Product Details

  • Series: The Baker Street Letters (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (June 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031253812X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312538125
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Robertson's engaging debut, the first in a projected series, offers one of the more original premises involving the Sherlock Holmes character. London solicitor Reggie Heath, who's just leased office space on Baker Street, finds his obligations include making sure letters addressed to Sherlock Holmes at 221B are answered, if with formulaic replies. After a senior clerk is bludgeoned to death and Heath's younger ne'er-do-well brother disappears, the lawyer suspects both events are connected to a letter an eight-year-old girl, Mara Ramirez, sent nearly 20 years earlier asking the great detective to locate her missing father. Heath follows the trail to Los Angeles, where he succeeds in tracking down Mara and learns current crimes may be connected with her father's disappearance. Readers will want to spend more time with the appealing Heath and company, but the conceit of having future mysteries to solve based on letters to Baker Street may be hard to sustain. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

It’s a well-known and rather curious fact that some people write letters to fictional characters, that fictional creations can become so real that someone can actually believe they exist. Robertson, a first-time author, takes that premise and runs with it. Brothers Reggie and Nigel Heath are a couple of London lawyers whose offices are located in the 200 block of Baker Street. Their lease requires them to answer all letters addressed to Sherlock Holmes, 221B Baker Street. Nigel opens one such letter, and soon he’s gone, disappeared, leaving behind a dead body and a whole lot of confusion. Next thing you know, Reggie is on a plane to Los Angeles, tracking down his brother and solving a decades-old mystery. This is a very entertaining novel, lighthearted but with a solid story, and mystery fans, whether they’re Sherlock Holmes addicts or not, will thoroughly enjoy it. The book is billed as the first entry in a new series, and, judging by this installment, it should be a popular series indeed. --David Pitt

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Customer Reviews

Lots of fun to read, well written, engaging story.
PeeGee
There are too many loose ends left to dangle for too long to make this work for me as a mystery reader.
S. McGee
It wasn't a book I felt I had to read just had hoped for more than what I got in the end.
Lover of Books

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By S. McGee TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's a great idea -- that one of the modern office buildings that now occupy the space on the northernmost stretch of Baker Street where Sherlock Holmes once hung his deerstalker hat now has an obligation to respond to letters addressed to the great detective at 221B Baker Street, a century or so after his battles with criminals like the infamous Moriarty were last published. In this detective novel, which is far more cozy than Holmesian, the duty of replying to that correspondence (with a form letter) falls to a law firm run by Reggie Heath; the duty is discharged by his brother, Nigel, waiting to be reinstated with the law society after some well-intended deeds had unexpected consequences. Nigel, it seems, hasn't learned his lesson, as the exasperated Reggie realizes early in the book, when Nigel fails to show up at his reinstatement hearing. He's somehow become unduly fascinated with the Holmes correspondence, and has dashed off to Los Angeles to help an 8-year-old girl who wrote a letter pleading for help finding her father more than a decade earlier. The problem? Not only does making direct contact with these letter writers violate the terms of the Heath lease, but Nigel has left a dead body behind in his office, brained with his prize Remington sculpture.

The concept is great fun, but the plotting and writing skills fall short of what is needed to pull this off. There are some very obvious plot devices, as Reggie goes chasing after Nigel to retrieve him, only to stumble headlong into more mystery and murder. Robertson seems to be trying to emulate the style of Alexander McCall Smith's excellent Mma Ramotswe mystery stories, but Robertson's characters never appealed to me as much -- they never felt as vivid or alive as McCall Smith's, just self-consciously quirky.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark Jordan Koeff on May 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Michael Robertson is a new and powerful writer of which I have put at the very top of my must reads. I stumbled across The Baker Street Letters while vacationing in the Bahamas and thought it would be a nice distraction - I had no idea that it would grip me thoroughly and that I would not let it out of my hands until the mesmerizing conclusion. I was hypnotized! I can understand how some might only give the fascinating The Baker Street Letters only four stars (i.e. the topic is not unfamiliar, though the treatment is fresh and and innovative) but anything less must be from those who are creatures of routine and are incapable of appreciating Robertson's unique, engrossing style, and studied pace. This man is a powerhouse! I cannot wait to read his next book: The Brothers of Baker Street. Mark my words, Robertson is in a class all his own - I can only hope we will be seeing more ground-breaking novels from him.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Barbara H. Alexander on March 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The concept was intriguing and there were moments of excellent writing, but the book needed serious professional editing. With more consistent writing and fewer unlikely coincidences, this could be an more enjoyable read. BHA
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lover of Books on September 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Robertson has an interesting premise but it seems to fall flat at times. A letter from an eight year old girl who writes to Sherlock Holmes seems a little odd at first. I took a little believability to question the fact that someone would write to a fictional character. Yet the dialogue and the story line flows fairly well.

I found Nigel to be reckless and down right annoying at times. Reggie was just trying to piece everything together. There were times that he even began to question what he was doing in America. Doubting the main reason for being there and wondering if he could help his brother out of the hole he had dug himself into. The side characters were there but never really seemed to bring the novel forward much.

An interesting premise yet it lacked something. I really liked it but the ending seemed rushed. I liked how all the pieces did finally fit together. I was pleasantly surprised with the lengths the criminals went to keep the secrets buried. A little over the top at times, but I was curious what the author had for the motives behind it all. I expected a lot more out of this book than what I got. It wasn't a book I felt I had to read just had hoped for more than what I got in the end.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amn.Backovich on September 23, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I stumbled across this very entertaining novel and thoroughly enjoyed it. The primary characters, brothers, are easy to like and the plot is a good one. Any Sherlock Holmes fan will find some pleasure in this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JEFFREY MCGRAW on May 18, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson for my Kindle and can't put it down. I've envisioned Michael Sheen (Tony Blair redux)as Reggie Heath older and suposedly wiser brother and Jeremy Sisto as the younger ne'er do well but goodhearted brother. The plot is fresh and we'll see if it is sustainable. I see this much more like a Lifetime series of cozy mysteries. Like Simon and Simon of TV fame only with British accents and living in London. I'm about halfway through and had to stop to praise the plotting and the character development. I sincerely hope there will be a sequel to this series. I will need to charge my Kindle in the meantime. This is highly enjoyable and save for the few phrasings that stand out that this is an English author, I am thoroughly enjoying it. You should do yourself a favor and enjoy it as well.
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