Friday, March 23, 2012

Review: The Brothers of Baker Street by Michael Robertson

The Brothers of Baker Street picks up immediately where the first in this series, The Baker Street Letters, leaves off. I usually don't go into a book with a lot of expectations, but I totally went into Baker Street Letters thinking, "This is going to be awesome! Two brothers move into Baker Street, get letters addressed to Sherlock Holmes, and solve crimes together!" Which it is...and yet, somehow isn't. Brothers of Baker Street was definitely more enjoyable for me because it was more of what I expected.

The book follows Reggie Heath, thirty-something London lawyer who is having a bit of a life crisis. He's lost most of his money, his on-again off-again girlfriend is currently off-again with him and on-again with a very wealthy man, his brother's busy making love to a lovely young woman in California, and he hasn't got a single client.

Not to mention, if someone doesn't answer all those letters to Sherlock Holmes -and only with the proper form, thank you- the lease on his offices will be void and he'll be given the boot from Baker Street.

Lo and behold, an attractive young solicitor appears and just happens to have a client for him. Reggie hasn't taken a criminal case in years, but beggars can't be choosers. So he ships the letters off to his brother Nigel, not taking seriously the one addressed to him and signed Moriarty.

He should have taken it seriously.

First off, Reggie is adorable. Oddly enough, I can't get a clear picture of him when I'm reading. Sometimes, I think I should be picturing this:

Matthew Macfadyen, Eyebrows of Awesome

But most of the time I wind up picturing:

David Mitchell, also with eyebrow action

...I know. Dashing and smart suddenly gives to awkward and ruffled. Either way, Reggie is totally put upon and just wants his life to be normal and his law practice to do well. He's trying to keep his family name respectable and desperately trying to keep Nigel in line which is a job all its own. He's smart and he knows it, and he's not afraid to take on a challenge (mostly) it's just that he doesn't know what to do after he's charged up the hill.

What attracted me about Michael Robertson's writing was that his characters are real people, and he reveals them as real people through the circumstances of the plot (which can be far-fetched) and their choices. Reggie and Nigel and Laura all develop over the course of the story in a way that feels very honest. Sometimes it's frustrating, but it would be difficult to balance a proposal from a suave millionaire publisher you were fond of if you weren't sure the man you loved would ever figure out he loves you that much, too like Laura has too.

And I really like the character of Laura. She's a redheaded actress that's whip smart and six kinds of sassy. She's not intimidated in the least by anybody and she's not star struck by wealth - but she knows it would be an asset. She's a tough woman and not afraid to speak her mind.

My favorite Laura quote:
     "Nigel," said Laura. "If you are now going to tell me that your touch
 made a woman speak in tongues, I'm leaving the room."

Also quite a bit of trivia learned about the famous London Black Cabs which are apparently some of the safest transportation in the whole world. 

I'm still not quite satisfied as far as Reggie and Nigel working together as a team. I'd like to see more of that, mainly because it would be highly entertaining. 

The plot will require some suspension of disbelief, but it's well worth it. 

The Brothers of Baker Street was published by St. Martin's Press (a Macmillan imprint) in 2011. 

According to rumors, Baker Street Letters has been optioned by Warner Brothers for television. Perhaps Mr. Macfadyen and Mr. Mitchell can duke it out for the lead role. :D 

I give it four out of five stars, and do hope that Reggie, Nigel, and Laura return for a third adventure in the near future. 

Booking it, 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

do what she please

Okay, so I'm the only person in North America not at the Hunger Games premiere tonight and this is tragic, mainly because I am super excited to see Lenny Kravitz as Cinna. 

And if I knew nothing about the Hunger Games, this alone would have me in line for a ticket: 


I have read all three books, so I can also claim loftier reasons (and I definitely have other reasons) for wanting to see the film other than Lenny. Erm, Mr. Kravitz. 

All that to say that I really love reading and books and music and film and the mixing of all kinds of media. My name is Gabi and this will be my blog to follow my love of all of those things. But mostly books. 

I've worked libraries for a while and I've been at my current library for two and a half years. I can tell you that approximately 105 people are on hold for the first Hunger Games novel so it might be time to make a "while you're waiting" reading recommends list. 'Cause that's gonna take a while. 

My favorite books/authors right now are: 

- All of the Inspector Gamache novels by Louise Penny. She is an amazingly gifted writer and she crafts a terrific mystery. More importantly, you will absolutely fall in love with her characters and make your heart wrench with what happens to them. 

- The Seven Kingdoms trilogy by Kristin Cashore. A gorgeous YA series that takes you to the lands of the Seven Kingdoms and the Dells, you'll meet strong young women, gifted ones called Gracelings, Monsters, princes, the creepiest villain this side of Voldemort, and a librarian called Death. (Technically pronounced Deeth, but still. :D) 

- Anything and everything Sherlock Holmes. I fell in love with Holmes and Watson when I was twelve and never looked back. When they announced the BBC Sherlock I thought I wouldn't be able to take the idea of Sherlock in modern times but Holy Mother of Doyle it is the Best Adaptation Ever. The Brits make the best television. 

Not a book, but I also have a great love for: 

My Doctor is 11. Bow ties are cool. 

Mysteries and Young Adult are my two home genres, so I'll mainly be reviewing those. I do like to spice things up sometimes and throw some random historical fiction or romance or a western in there occasionally. One never knows. 

Thank you for stopping by and I'm extremely excited to meet everyone in the book blog-o-sphere and I hope you'll bear with me as I get this blog off the ground! 

Booking it,