Book Review: The House At The Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

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When Sherlock Holmes turns away the case of persecuted Laura Shirley, Mrs Hudson, the landlady of Baker Street, and Mary Watson resolve to take on the investigation themselves. From the kitchen of Baker Street, the two women begin their enquiries and enlist the assistance of the Baker Street Irregulars and the infamous Irene Adler.
A trail of clues leads them to the darkest corners of Whitechapel, where the feared Ripper supposedly still stalks. They discover Laura Shirley is not the only woman at risk and it rapidly becomes apparent that the lives of many other women are in danger too.
As they put together the pieces of an increasingly complicated puzzle, the investigation becomes bigger than either of them could ever have imagined. Can Mrs Hudson and Mary Watson solve the case or are they just pawns in a much larger game?
It is time for Mrs Hudson and Mary Watson to emerge from the shadows and stand in the spotlight. Readers will discover they are resourceful, intelligent and fearless women, with a determination to help those in need . . .

My Review (1)

Disclaimer: Bought my own copy of the book,, because can you see how pretty it is? *_*

I am really ashamed to say, that in the original Sherlock Holmes stories, I never even gave a second thought to Mrs. Hudson – she was always in the background, not really visible but always there. But it was in the Sherlock BBC series, that I started thinking about the influence or rather the deep connection Sherlock and Watson had with Mrs. Hudson.

But The House At The Baker Street is the place where I understood how absolutely vital Mrs. Hudson was to Sherlock and Watson – and how insulting is that this fandom has relegated Mrs. Hudson to the background.

“They sat in their rooms and smoked and talked into the night, and I was in the kitchen and listened to them through the vent and there we all were. Sherlock Holmes, John Watson and Martha Hudson. Three lost souls who had found each other.”

First, before i talk about the mystery in this book (which was awesome!), let’s just talk about this amazing thing that the author has done – she has given us a background to Mrs. Hudson and no matter how much I wanted it to be flamboyant as BBC made it to be, I found more heartbreaking to know what she loved and what she lost and how she became to be known as Mrs. Hudson.

Told in her POV, throughout we get glimpses of the world Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had written, which the author has seamlessly blend in the new information that she has written to the world of Sherlock Holmes and that not only takes guts (mostly because it could have been a miss!) but also style and absolute talent – which I have no doubt that the author has in spades.

Now, coming to the rest of the story – Both Mrs. Hudson and Mary Watson are sucked into a mystery – first, because Sherlock has the innate tendency to piss off even the clients, especially if they are holding secrets back from him – but second (and really the main reason,) because they are bored and they want the same excitement that Sherlock and John seem to have.

The mystery is a female centric, at start but it also delves deep into the psyche of a psychopath – who hurts people, just for the joy of hurting rather for gain – and those criminals are the worst sort – for you can never find a reason to the mayhem they cause – and that’s the villain Mrs. Hudson and Mary face. And they are brilliant at it – they are calculating, intelligent and definitely more humane than Sherlock could ever be – making them the perfect protagonists of this story.

I adored the insight the author provides into Mrs. Hudson – and it makes her all the more real to me – as a reader. And I have no doubt, if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle could have read this book – he would have definitely given his highest praise (well if he wasn’t a misogynist, of course!). 

The author in herself is a work of art – she hooks you in with the promise of an spine-chilling mystery and delivers with a mind-numbing clarity that gives you the perfect book hangover – although she sort of gives her readerspart closur, she leaves enough clues in the air for us to understand that the story of Mrs. Hudson and Mary Watson isn’t quite done yet and instead of wanting to kill her for it, you end up adoring her and that’s just spooky 😉

This is a book that any Sherlock Holmes fan needs to read – not only is the mystery well thought out, but because it has the feel of a typical Sherlock Mystery, and yet has that extra “something” that  will keep you from ever saying “it’s just another Sherlock mystery”!

“Mrs. Hudson, will you ever tell me the story of what has happened in the past few days?”

“Perhaps. One day, when we are both very old. But not today.”

“Why not?”

“Because this was not a Sherlock Holmes story. This was a Mrs. Hudson and Mary Watson adventure.”

My Rating (1)

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Add To Goodreads (1)

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: The House At The Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

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