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221B Baker Street, New Kids on the Block

I’ll try any new variant of Sherlock Holmes.  I found the three episodes of  “Sherlock” recently shown on BBC disappointing–so fast and disjointed that I got lost.  But the two books by Michael Robertson are great fun, especially if you’re a fan of Bertie Wooster, Gussie Fink-Nottle and the rest of P. G. Wodehouse’s zany characters.  Attorney and man about town Reggie Heath and his feckless brother Nigel have offices at 221B Baker Street in London.  When business is slow, Reggie tries to meet the requirements of his lease:  to respond to letters written to the legendary detective.   In The Baker Street Letters (Minotaur, 2009) the eight-year-old daughter of an American geologist requests help when her father goes missing.  Nigel flies off to Los Angeles to help.  In The Brothers of Baker Street (Minotaur, 3/2011), Reggie is hired to defend a cab driver accused of murder, but soon finds himself in hot water–someone is trying to frame him for murder.  Could his troubles be connected to the letters he is receiving from Moriarty?   Okay, it’s a bit silly, but I thought it was an amusing light read–with a great chase scene near the end.

–posted 4/18/2011

Posted April/17/2011

Outlander 20th anniversary

Diana Gabaldon’s  calls her Outlander series  “historical fantasy”.  It begins in 1945 when English nurse Claire Randall, visiting Scotland with her husband Frank, is mysteriously transported back to 1743 where she meets and falls in love with gallant Highlander James Fraser who is also a time-traveler.  As the series progresses Claire has a daughter Brianna, and eventually a son-in-law–all time travelers.   Each of the seven books in the series is set during an exciting historical period, the American revolution, the 1745 Jacobite uprising, etc.   The series is full of action, passion, and historical detail in the best historical romance tradition.  In honor of the 20th anniversary of the original publication, Delacorte is issuing a special anniversary edition in July 2011.   If the series is popular in your library, you may want to buy a fresh copy of  Outlander.

–posted 4/17/2011

Posted April/17/2011

Past Tense – Catherine Aird

Detective Inspector C.D.Sloan, head of the small criminal investigation department in the town of Berebury, West Calleshire, belongs to the growing fictional fraternity of local Criminal Investigation Department (CID) men who patrol England’s smaller towns (e.g., Ruth Rendell’s Inspector Wexford and Caroline Graham’s Inspector Barnaby).  Sloan is competent, mild-mannered, and likeable. He suffers the callow youth of his assistant, Constable Crosby,and the superfluous advice of Superintendent Leeyes with admirable tolerance and humor. Sloan is happily married and his hobby is his rose garden. Past Tense (Minotaur, 3/2011)  is the 23rd novel in Catherine Aird’s  literate and witty series.  This installment begins with a possible burglary from the room of a deceased Berebury Nursing Home resident and leads to the solution of the drowning death of a beautiful young woman found floating in the River Alm.

–posted 4/16/2011

Posted April/16/2011

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