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The Brothers of Baker Street: A Mystery (Baker Street Letters) Hardcover – March 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Baker Street Letters (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1St Edition edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312538138
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312538132
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,756,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Set in 1997, Robertson's second mystery featuring barrister Reggie Heath, whose chambers are located at Sherlock Holmes's legendary address, offers pacing, prose, and plotting at a level far above that of its predecessor, 2009's The Baker Street Letters. On returning to London from California, Heath finds underwhelming demand for his professional services as well as pressure to abide by the terms of his lease by responding to letters addressed to the fictional character. An attractive solicitor, Darla Rennie, retains Heath to represent Neil Walters, a cab driver accused of murdering a young couple. Despite having been burned in his previous criminal case, Heath dives into defending Walters, only to end up in jeopardy himself. He must rely on his brother, Nigel, for help in escaping his peril, which may be connected with a letter writer to Baker Street who signs his correspondence Moriarty. An extremely clever evil scheme will delight readers. (Mar.)
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Sherlock Holmes isn�t back, but Dr. Moriarty is, sort of, in this delightful romp that offers more tension and suspense than a dozen fat thrillers with bloody knives on the cover. It still manages to be funny, rather in the Kingsley Amis manner. Set in modern London, with plenty of Foster�s and Jaguars, the novel has two leading men in the British manner, and for all their silly banter, they�d best not be underrated. Reggie is a barrister who hasn�t let failure slow him; he�s rebounding with a new client. His brother Nigel, fresh from therapy designed to make losers feel better, is there to carry the plot when Reggie falters. They aren�t just any two failing lawyers. Their offices are on the 200 block of Baker Street, and their lease requires that they answer all mail addressed to Sherlock Holmes. Naturally, that leads to the occasional spot of sleuthing. This time, they tackle an ersatz Moriarty and his villainous scheme to besmirch the beloved London taxis. The last third of the novel, with its murder-and-chase scene, is one of the finest, scariest sequences in current crime fiction. But why doesn�t Robertson explain that the name of the drivers� pub, Flounder and Dab, is Cockney rhyming slang for taxicab? For anglophiles, crime-o-philes, and all fans of wonderful writing. --Don Crinklaw

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Customer Reviews

Enjoyable mystery, likable/interesting characters.
DRRD
I haven't read the first in the series, but this one, billed as better, seems to me to be mediocre.
Susan Golden
There were points in the plot that made little sense, and the characters behaved oddly.
Jeanne Tassotto

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"The Brothers of Baker Street," by Michael Robertson, opens in London in 1997. Reggie Heath is a thirty-five year old barrister who has lost almost everything he has worked so hard to achieve. His law practice is practically non-existent, he has little cash, and the woman he loves, beautiful actress Laura Rankin, has been dating media mogul Robert Buxton. Lord Buxton owns a rag called "The Daily Sun," which keeps its circulation up by running stories filled with hyperbole, sex, and violence. Reggie despises Buxton and is not thrilled when he is described as the "Balmy Barrister of Baker Street" in the pages of the billionaire's trashy tabloid.

Heath's lease states that any letters he receives that are addressed to Sherlock Holmes must be answered promptly, following proper procedure. Since he holds people who write missives to fictional characters in contempt, the cranky Reggie has not been keeping up with what has grown into a large pile of correspondence. The only bright spot on the horizon is that he has a new client. A driver named Neil Walters stands accused of carrying out a brutal attack on a pair of American tourists riding in his Black Cab. Darla Rennie, a solicitor with gorgeous green eyes and shapely legs (not that Reggie ever notices such things), asks Reggie to defend Walters.

What follows is an engaging and riotous romp filled with dryly witty banter. Reggie and, later, his newly arrived brother Nigel, fight back against an unidentified perpetrator who is determined to frame Reggie for murder. Robertson keeps us entertained with this lighthearted and tongue-in-cheek tale in which ingenious villains concoct a scheme so devious that it will take considerable investigative prowess and quite a bit of luck to foil.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Philip J. Herman on March 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am not finished with the book yet; but I have never read a book so fast, or enjoyed one as much. And not since Douglas Adams have I enjoyed quick-witted observations and dialogue and plot twists. The Douglas Preston vibe I get is from the brief scenes with the bad character; who seems to be a smart nut case off her meds causing problems for our two heroes. The insinuations of naughtyness are perfect. The descriptions of the streets, neighborhoods, characters, mood, dialogue... all perfect, quick and satisfying. This story rolls along joyously.
I only picked it up at the library because of the connection to Sherlock Holmes, and I am so glad I did.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By DRRD on March 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I found the first book in the series "The Baker Street Letters" to be just okay, but this sequel is much better. The plot directly follows the events in the first book, so I think it's best to read them both in order. That way when things hit the fan in the second book you'll know more about what's going on.

Enjoyable mystery, likable/interesting characters.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Max on July 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The series is enjoyable. At least, I was enjoying The Brothers of Baker Street until I hit page 129. Robertson has Nigel remembering leaving the offices at Baker Street. "Perhaps the difference was that the last time he was in the lobby, he had been rushing frantically for Heathrow and the next plane to Los Angeles, with the knowledge that there was a dead body in his office on the next level up."

Having just finished reading The Baker Street Letters, that was like a pail of cold water in my face. On page 129 of that book, and also on page 271, it is made quite clear that the person was killed after Nigel left and he had no knowledge that there was a dead body on his office floor.

I can imagine an editor missing a detail like that, but surely the author can remember his plot line from one book to the next. Or so one would like to believe.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Susan Golden on June 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I haven't read the first in the series, but this one, billed as better, seems to me to be mediocre. I never connected with the characters, who are undeveloped. Why does Laura even like her magnate almost fiance? What are the brothers really like? The plot felt implausible and the villain glaringly obvious. The book feels skimpy, like it was written on autopilot. I'm disappointed after the strong reviews.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In 1997 Reggie Heath has leased 221B Baker Street, but the "Balmy Barrister" as the tabloids call him knows the stipulation in the rental agreement includes answering letters to Holmes. His last activity in that endeavor due to his younger brother Nigel lead to Reggie losing his money, his girl (actress Laura Rankin who is hanging with Lord Buxton) and his self respect (see The Baker Street Letters). However, as Rafferty of the Committee reminds him he must answer the letters or be evicted. He calls Nigel in Los Angeles to tell him to respond to the letters which include one from an alleged Moriarty descendent he sends to his sibling.

Meanwhile solicitor Darla Rennie hires Reggie to represent Neil Walters, a London Black Cab driver, accused of murdering two Americans. Reggie works diligently on his client's defense, but that places him in peril. He needs Nigel to come to the rescue, but his brother is across the pond and continent while all roads lead to and from Moriarty.

This is a diabolically brilliant thriller that Holmes and Watson would struggle to solve let alone the Heath brothers. Fast-paced and loaded with action, the Baker Street Irregulars and anyone who enjoys a terrific nefarious scheme will relish the escapades of The Brothers of Baker Street as once again Nigel seems headed to another spread in tabloid hell if he should live so long to read it.
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