19 June, 2017

#BookReview :: The Women of Baker Street (A Mrs Hudson and Mary Watson Investigation #2) by Michelle Birkby

As Sherlock and Watson return from the famous Hound of the Baskervilles case, Mrs Hudson and Mary must face their own Hound, in the swirling fog of Victorian London . . .

When Mrs Hudson falls ill, she is taken into a private ward at St Barts hospital. Perhaps it is her over-active imagination, or her penchant for sniffing out secrets, but as she lies in her bed, slowly recovering, she finds herself surrounded by patients who all have some skeletons in their closets. A higher number of deaths than usual seem to occur on this ward. On her very first night, Mrs Hudson believes she witnesses a murder. But was it real, or just smoke and mirrors?

Mary Watson meanwhile has heard about young boys disappearing across London, and is determined to find them and reunite them with their families. As the women's investigations collide in unexpected ways, a gruesome discovery in Regent's Park leads them on to a new, terrifying case.

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I have not read ‘The House at Baker Street’ which is the first book in this series. Though this book can be read as a standalone, there were places where certain references made me feel like I was missing something – something that I ought to know about Mary and Mrs. Hudson’s first adventure. I would straightaway suggest people to pick up the books in the series in order.

Mrs.Hudson has been taken in ill and has been admitted to the hospital where she shares a ward with various other quirky characters. But Mrs.Hudson soon notices some very uncommon things which seem to be coincidental; yet they feel like anything but coincidental. With the number of deaths involved mounting up, Mrs.Hudson knows she is the only one who has noticed and hence needs to do something about it. With the help of Mary Watson, she delves deep into the case… Only, is what she seeing real or her medicines are causing her to hallucinate?

The highlight of the book is its characters and their dynamics. The characters of Mary Watson and Martha Hudson have been well fleshed out in the most believable ways. While in the Sherlock Holmes stories they are more or less in the background, here when you read about them, you have no trouble believing that they are one and the same. Sherlock and John Watson have been added to the story in ways that they add something to the story without ever taking the limelight off Mary and Mrs.Hudson. their dynamics is something that I really enjoyed, whether it is between Mary and John Watson or it is between Sherlock and Mrs.Hudson. The plot can stand on its own. Several seemingly unrelated incidences are strung together to build up the plot. This could be almost categorized as a cozy mystery; the kind you read to brighten up a dull day. 

All in all, this book is a complete entertainer as Michelle Birkby weaves a wonderful story with her pleasurable narrative with strong characters and a classic whodunnit mystery.

Review Copy received from Pan Macmillan India

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