Michael Robertson’s Baker Street mysteries

As you know, the authentic Sherlock Holmes stories were written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. You may or may not know that there are also two different types of Sherlock Holmes stories that were not written by him.

One type — forming a sub-genre all its own — is the pastiche, usually a novel that includes Holmes and Watson as portrayed by Doyle, and usually imitating Doyle’s style as well. There are dozens of these, including The Sherlockian, by Graham Moore; The Final Solution, by Michael Chabon; A Slight Trick of the Mind, by Mitch Cullin; and The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, by Laurie King. I reviewed the first three in my post of March 27 of last year.

A second type is the novel that refers to Holmes — either pretending that he was real or admitting that he was fictional — without attempting to imitate Doyle. Michael Robertson’s Baker Street mysteries fall into the latter category. So far I’ve read The Brothers of Baker Street and The Baker Street Letters, both of which are satisfactorily entertaining but not especially impressive. They take place in the present day. The premise is that a small law firm has moved into office space at 221B Baker Street in London, which of course is the fictional address of Sherlock Holmes; mail addressed to Holmes is therefore delivered there, and various adventures ensue. You’ll have to read the books to find out what these are, and I’m not going to reveal any spoilers here. Suffice it to say that the characters are interesting and well-developed, but the stories themselves are not of the same quality as the canon. (Look it up if you don’t know what I’m referring to.)

Categories: Books