The House at Baker Street: A Mrs. Hudson and Mary Watson Investigation

Michelle Birkby. Harper Perennial, $15.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-268019-8
Martha Hudson, Sherlock Holmes’s landlady, and Mary Morstan Watson, Dr. Watson’s wife, take center stage in British author Birkby’s fun if flawed first novel. In 1889, the brilliant detective dismisses a prospective client who calls at 221B, Laura Shirley, because she’s unwilling to share with him the details he needs. After this failed interview, Laura tells Mrs. Hudson and Mary that she’s the target of a sadistic extortionist who’s threatening to accuse her of vile behavior unless she complies with his demands; the two women agree to help. They soon learn that the blackmailer has other targets and is violent, to boot. That the neophyte investigators insist on handling such a serious case involving multiple victims themselves, without any assistance from Holmes, strains credulity. The clichéd denouement, complete with the villain confessing to the leads when he thinks they’re at his mercy, doesn’t enhance plausibility. Still, Mrs. Hudson and Mary make an appealing pair, sure to win the hearts of some Holmes fans. Agent: Jane Judd, Jane Judd Literary Agency (U.K.). (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/14/2017
Release date: 10/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-06-268020-4
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