Starred Review* Sherlock Holmes isn't back, but Dr. Moriarty is, sort of, in this delightful romp that offers more tension and suspense than a dozen fat thrillers with bloody knives on the cover. It still manages to be funny, rather in the Kingsley Amis manner. Set in modern London, with plenty of Fosters and Jaguars, the novel has two leading men in the British manner, and for all their silly banter, they'd best not be underrated. Reggie is a barrister who hasn't let failure slow him; he is rebounding with a new client.
Starred Review. Set in 1997, Robertson's second mystery featuring barrister Reggie Heath, whose chambers are located at Sherlock Holmes's legendary address, offers pacing, prose, and plotting at a level far above that of its predecessor, 2009's The Baker Street Letters. On returning to London from California, Heath finds underwhelming demand for his professional services as well as pressure to abide by the terms of his lease by responding to letters addressed to the fictional character. An attractive solicitor, Darla Rennie, retains Heath to represent Neil Walters, a cab driver accused of murdering a young couple. Despite having been burned in his previous criminal case, Heath dives into defending Walters, only to end up in jeopardy himself. He must rely on his brother, Nigel, for help in escaping his peril, which may be connected with a letter writer to Baker Street who signs his correspondence Moriarty. An extremely clever evil scheme will delight readers. (Mar.)
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His brother Nigel, fresh from therapy designed to make losers feel better, is there to carry the plot when Reggie falters. They aren't just any two failing lawyers. Their offices are on the 200 block of Baker Street, and their lease requires that they answer all mail addressed to Sherlock Holmes. Naturally, that leads to the occasional spot of sleuthing. This time, they tackle an ersatz Moriarty and his villainous scheme to besmirch the beloved London taxis. The last third of the novel, with its murder-and-chase scene, is one of the finest, scariest sequences in current crime fiction. But why doesn't Robertson explain that the name of the drivers pub, Flounder and Dab, is Cockney rhyming slang for taxicab? For anglophiles, crime-o-philes, and all fans of wonderful writing. --Don Crinklaw
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