Monday, May 15, 2017
May's Who Are You... I Really Want to Know!
Once again, I've decided to play a bit fast and loose with this meme. The last book I read was really a novella with little meat on its bones. Although it was a lovely story, it involved the main character going snorkeling and then being trapped underground. Okay... I just got goosebumps typing that sentence so you can see that I really don't do underground. (If someone ever tells you that they saw me spelunking, you have my permission to laugh in their general direction.)
So... I've chosen the book that I am currently reading. It's going to be released here in the US this coming October, but it sounded so good that I ordered a copy from Book Depository.
I am the narrator of Michelle Birkby's The House at Baker Street, the first Mrs. Hudson and Mary Watson mystery. I am Mrs. Hudson herself. Here's a synopsis of the book:
"When Sherlock Holmes turns down the case of persecuted Laura Shirley, Mrs. Hudson - the landlady of Baker Street - and Mary Watson - the wife of Dr. Watson - resolve to take on the investigation themselves. From the kitchen of 221b, the two women begin their inquiries 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 fearsome Ripper supposedly still stalks. They soon discover Laura Shirley is not the only woman at risk - the lives of many others are in danger too.
As Mrs. Hudson and Mary Watson put together the pieces of an increasingly complex puzzle, the investigation becomes bigger than either of them could ever have imagined. Can they solve the case or are they just pawns in a much larger game?"
The moment my eyes saw "the first Mrs. Hudson and Mary Watson mystery," I think I almost crowed with delight. I've mentioned before that I've never been a huge fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories. I just do not care for the great detective's misogyny. On the other hand, I always thought there was more to Mrs. Hudson than Conan Doyle was letting us see. Michelle Birkby has done a marvelous job in this book. There is much, much more to Mrs. Hudson than meets the eye. Her husband died. Her young son died. Now owner of several properties in London, she moved to the Big Smoke and became landlady and housekeeper to Sherlock Holmes, whom she met on a very rainy evening.
Every time Mr. Holmes wrecks something in his apartment, Mrs. Hudson raises his rent. He pays it without comment. When clients go upstairs to his rooms, Mrs. Hudson has learned that she can hear every word they say by opening the air vent in the kitchen. And Mary Watson is the first real friend she's ever had.
So I'm Mrs. Hudson. I'm an older woman used to being underestimated and unseen. But I notice things. And I think. And I think Mary Watson and I are perfectly capable of investigating a mystery or two of our own!