The Baker Street Jurors

The Baker Street Letters, #5

So, the real-life 221B Baker Street is not actually the home of the famous detective in real-life London? Oh, ow. I had seen pictures from fans of Sherlock Holmes in London about 221B Baker Street, as well as other famous real-world locations from the stories and the hit BBC show, and I always thought the real 221B Baker Street was something of a shrine to Sherlock. But I guess not (although there apparently is a museum down the street), for I learned otherwise. What a pity. This made me do research on the locations and I was happy to see that at least the museum displays "221B Baker St." despite this causing some controversy for the number not matching the museum's actual address. I also learned that there is a statue of Sherlock Holmes in London, as well as a Sherlock Holmes Society of London. From this research, I was able to deduce one thing: London loves Sherlock! And that was good to know.

But soon I was laughing as I read this book, because it would seem that, fictional or not, even Sherlock Holmes cannot escape the dreaded jury summons. I also chuckled when I read about a character whose cat even got a jury summons, because it reminded me of the time an audit notice from the IRS appeared in my mailbox one day -- addressed to my dog!

"The Baker Street Jurors" by Michael Robertson is the kind of mystery that will keep readers turning the pages to find out what happens next. I certainly found it hard to put this book down. I really got caught up in this story! It’s brilliant! The story is mostly told from Nigel's point-of-view. Nigel is a middle-aged lawyer still licking his wounds over a failed dalliance with a lover he had obviously been so enraptured by. But he comes back to life when he meets Lucy, a young woman who is one of the alternate jurors in his group. I kept rolling my eyes over how he kept pursuing her, despite her obvious disinterest in having nothing more to do with him than merely know him as a casual acquaintance. But at least having Lucy around had him more interested in participating in jury duty. And at least he can put his skills as a lawyer to the test in observing the cross-examinations during the trial.

I had another good laugh at a point in the story when a character, Mrs. Peabody, is outlining a bizarre way that another character could have gotten killed. (Quite a few of them die, actually! I think the jury is jinxed!) And as she continues with her theory, I started to look at the page strangely as though I was looking at her strangely and then she breaks off from her sentence and says, "Well, it's not impossible, you needn't all look at me that way."

I liked how one of the alternate jurors, Siger (a fan of Sherlock Holmes), often quoted his favorite character and added that it was a "basic legal principle" and be told by Nigel, a lawyer, that it wasn't. Siger does try to copy Sherlock, though, in trying to deduce things about people (and he was usually a little off the mark with his deductions). He even smokes a pipe! Oh, and he also plays the violin! I am just glad that a character finally acknowledged the elephant in the room and asked Nigel, "Have you noticed that Mr. Siger keeps saying things that Sherlock Holmes said in those stories and films?" But as the story progressed, I started to ask myself, "Is it really an obsession with a fictional character? Or is the guy so delusional that he really does believe he is Sherlock Holmes?" Indeed, the plot thickens! And for Nigel, the game is on!

"The Baker Street Jurors" is definitely a story which mystery buffs would enjoy reading, as well as fans of Sherlock Holmes. The stakes are high, and anyone could be a suspect. It's enough to make one wonder, "What would Sherlock Holmes do?" Read this book to find out!

Book Blurb for The Baker Street Jurors

Michael Robertson has delighted mystery readers and Sherlock Holmes aficionados everywhere with his charming and innovative Baker Street mystery series, where brothers Reggie and Nigel Heath are charged with answering letters to Sherlock that arrive at their law office, located at 221B Baker Street.

Everyone must do jury duty. Even Sherlock Holmes.

A nation’s greatest sports hero has been accused of murder. The trial is approaching, and the public is clamoring?both for and against. And in a desperate, computer-generated quest to fill its quota of jurors, the Crown Court has included on its summons list the known occupants?real and otherwise?of 221B Baker Street. One summons is addressed to Sherlock Holmes; it doesn’t matter to the Crown Court Jury Selection Service whether Holmes is real or fictional, or in which century he existed.

The other is addressed to Mr. Nigel Heath?who is living and sleeping on the couch in his office at Baker Street Chambers. With Nigel in the jury selection pool are a lovely young woman with a mysterious tattoo, an elderly widow with piercing blue eyes and a mind like a tack, a slick millennial whose occupation is cornering the market on prescription drugs, and a tall man with an aquiline nose who seems reluctant to say exactly how he received his jury summons.

Before the trial is done, Nigel and each of his fellow prospective jurors will wonder not only which of them will be impaneled?and what verdict they will reach?but also who will survive to render it.

Night Owl Reviews Mar, 2017 5.00