The Baker Street Translation by Michael Robertson

Review by Chris Redmond

Here we have the third in Michael Robertson's series of light-hearted mysteries about the barrister who, taking offices in Baker Street, ends up responsible for answering Sherlock Holmes's mail. Indeed, this installment moves from light-hearted to almost slapstick, what with a scene in London's sewers and a motif of booby-trapped rubber duckies.

It's still a mystery, loosely speaking, but there is nothing much Sherlockian about it. The events are triggered by the baddies' attempt to get their hands on this month's packet of letters to Holmes because one of them would give away their nefarious plot to — oh, never mind; if you're a pastiche author you've thought of it already, and if you're not, you might possibly want to be surprised. Holmes himself does not appear, and nobody in the story even believes in his existence, if you can imagine.

Robertson is a highly competent comic writer and deserves readers who aren't hoping for more than that. This series has, however, pretty much moved beyond being material for a Sherlockian collector.