Tag Archives: A Baker Street Mystery

A Puzzle Worth Pondering

Baker Street Jurors

The Baker Street Jurors: A Baker Street Mystery by Michael Robertson (Minotaur Books, $24.99, 260 pages)

A tall, fiftyish man, clean-shaven, with a thin, aquiline nose stepped into line behind Nigel. “Bloody Hell,” he said, “Is this really the jurors’ queue?”

“I’m afraid so,” said Nigel. “It’s enough to make you want to commit a crime of your own, just to get inside and be warm.”

Author Michael Robertson picks up right where we left off with his fifth installment in the Baker Street Mystery Series. Robertson maintains his crisp sense of humor while delivering a puzzle worth pondering. The books are ideal to take along for a weekend in the country or at the shore. [Or to jury duty!] No need to muddle through the travesty that is the 2016 U.S. election campaign season or the seeming endless reports of man’s inhumanity to man broadcast on CNN. A quick trip to London will be a refreshing change even though it, too, deals with murder, although on a small scale.

Reggie Heath, Queen’s Counsel, and his bride, Laura Rankin, are on an extended honeymoon. Brother Nigel Health has decamped from the U.S. and now makes his home in one of the offices at 221B Baker Street, in Marylebone. An official jury summons is in the morning’s mail; however, the person being summoned is none other than Sherlock Holmes. Nigel makes quick work of fashioning the summons into an airplane and sends it out the open office window toward the street below. His own jury summons is within the stack of mail awaiting him and thus begins another engaging look at the British court system, albeit from the perspective of the jury rather than Reggie’s Queen’s Counsel view.

Baker Street Jurors back

The jury panel members and alternates, of which Nigel is one, endure unusual circumstances and even great peril as they work their way through the evidence presented by the prosecution in the case against Liam McSweeney, a celebrated cricket player accused of murdering his wife. The book is definitely an homage to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. That’s enough of the plot. No need to spoil the fun. Great fun.

Highly recommended.

Ruta Arellano

A review copy was provided by the publisher.

This book was released on July 19, 2016.


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The Letter

Every Hidden Fear (nook book)

Every Hidden Fear: A Skeet Bannion Mystery by Linda Rodriguez (Minotaur Books, $26.99, 292 pages)

Linda Rodriguez is serving up her third installment in the Skeet Bannion mystery series set in the fictitious town of Brewster, Missouri located 12 miles outside of Kansas City. Rodriguez provides a smooth segue from her prior book. The narrator, Skeet Bannion, is chief of police at a local college after a distinguished career with the Kansas City Police Department. As in the past, Skeet is somewhat entangled with her former husband, Sam. Together they care for Skeet’s dad who is an aging ex-cop.

Brewster is changing as outsiders are pushing for the development of a shopping mall. The prospect of an invasion of the big box stores is terrifying to the local shop owners in the provincial town square. The charm and quaint atmosphere of Brewster is its main draw.

The plot of Every Hidden Fear is fine; however, the author becomes a bit repetitive with background information already provided within the text. Some editing would have made for a smoother read. Moreover, the anger seething inside Skeet is present almost too often. The lack of comic relief or a few warm and fuzzy moments makes this a lesser in entry in Rodriguez’ ongoing saga of Middle America.


Moriarty Returns a Letter (nook book)

Moriarty Returns a Letter: A Baker Street Mystery by Michael Robertson (Minotaur Books, $24.99, 263 pagesl $14.99, 272 pages)

Moriarty Returns a Letter (alt. cover)

Across the Atlantic Ocean in England the reader is treated to the fourth installment of the charming Baker Street series. The series features Crown Barrister Council Reggie Heath whose office is located at the historic 221B Baker Street address made famous by the Sherlock Holmes stories.

Heath is drawn into a murder mystery that ties to the abduction of his soon-to-be bride, movie star Laura Rankin. Laura is beautiful and clearly knows the value of a trustworthy and loyal man. She has chosen Reggie over the pompous publisher of a sensationalist news corporation – think Rupert Murdoch. Together, Reggie and Laura set out to the countryside for a quiet weekend.

The dialogue is clever and the scenes are cinematic. The reader is happily riding along on their adventure when mayhem, madness and trickery insinuate themselves into the picture. This tale moves along smoothly despite a few mishaps.

The real question for fans of Reggie and Laura is – will this be a case of “and they lived happily ever after”?

Well recommended.

Ruta Arellano

Review copies were provided by the publisher.

Moriarty Returns a Letter is available in both hardbound and trade paper versions.

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