Tuesday, October 17, 2017
The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby
When Sherlock Holmes turns down a case, Mrs. Hudson and Mary Watson intercept a meek and quivering woman, knowing she needs help. Laura Shirley has received a threatening letter. Someone knows about the letters she once wrote to her first love, and that person has suggested that everything can be revealed and Mrs. Shirley's life will be ruined. The two women offer to take on the case, saying a woman's touch is needed. When they enlist the help of the Baker Street Irregulars, the street urchins who work for Sherlock Holmes, they discover Laura Shirley isn't the only one threatened. When an Irregular is injured and a suspect almost killed, Mrs. Hudson and Mary Watson know they're in the middle of a dangerous adventure.
Despite the danger, the two women keep their investigation a secret from Holmes and Watson. In the course of their research, they learn the villain has threatened or caused the death of a number of people, at all levels of society. But, it's a break in, with the help of Irene Adler, that starts to lead them to the truth. And, even then, have they really uncovered the true mastermind?
Mrs. Hudson is a wonderful narrator for this new series. She's a strong woman who has always been behind the scenes, while knowledgeable about the actions of her tenant. Now, she reveals her own longing for adventure, along with her intelligence and ability to puzzle out the clues. And, she's shown as a woman who truly cares for lost souls, from Wiggins and Billy of the Baker Street Irregulars to her new client to Holmes himself.
Michelle Birkby has remained faithful to the spirit and atmosphere of the original Sherlock Holmes stories. However, she has taken the characters, and brought a new spirit and life to them in her outstanding debut, The House at Baker Street.
The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby. Harper Perennial. 2017. ISBN 978006268018 (paperback), 368p.
NOTE: According to my editor at LJ, the publisher is not releasing this book. I don't know what to say. It is available in England. Try Book Depository if you want to read it.
FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.