Basil of Baker Street

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Book cover of Basil of Baker Street

Basil of Baker Street is a children's book series created by Eve Titus and illustrated by Paul Galdone. The stories focus on Basil of Baker Street and his personal biographer Doctor David Q. Dawson. Together they solve the many crimes and cases of the mouse world. Both live in Holmestead, a mouse community built in the cellar of Sherlock Holmes' residence at 221B Baker Street.

Disney's 26th animated film was based on the Basil of Baker Street novels and titled The Great Mouse Detective in 1986.

Characters[edit]

  • Basil of Baker Street: "The Sherlock Holmes of the Mouse World". Very similar to Holmes (who sometimes used the alias Basil, as in "The Adventure of Black Peter"), but unlike his namesake, he cannot play the violin well at all. Instead he plays the flute, as revealed in Basil and the Lost Colony. His personal hobbies include archery, archaeology, and mountaineering. Eve Titus gave him the name "Basil" in honor of actor Basil Rathbone, who donned the role of Sherlock Holmes numerous times.
  • Dr. David Q. Dawson - his personal biographer; based on Dr. John H. Watson from the Sherlock Holmes stories. He is a lover of all sorts of cheeses.
  • Professor Ratigan[1] - Basil's archenemy and a master criminal; based on Professor James Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes story "The Final Problem". Although his name is "Ratigan", in the book series he is a mouse.[2]
  • Captain Doran - Ratigan's lieutenant; based on Colonel Sebastian Moran from the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Empty House".
  • Mlle. Relda - a beautiful opera singer; based on Irene Adler from the Sherlock Holmes story "A Scandal in Bohemia". Basil seems to have romantic feelings for Relda but not much is shown in the books as to their relationship, much like Adler and Holmes's relationship.
  • Mrs. Judson - Basil's housekeeper, based on Mrs. Hudson from the Sherlock Holmes stories. She makes an excellent cheese souffle.

Book summaries[edit]

  • Basil of Baker Street (1958): Basil and Dawson go searching for the missing twin children of Mr. and Mrs. Proudfoot. The search takes them from Baker Street to a harbor, and even to the countryside of England. The plot device of a typewriter as the 'smoking gun' is adapted from the Sherlock Holmes story A Case of Identity.
  • Basil and the Lost Colony (1964): Basil leads an expedition in search of the Lost Colony of the Tellmice. Along the way he is pursued by Ratigan and his thugs.
  • Basil and the Pygmy Cats (1971): Basil finds a clue that hints at the existence of Pygmy Cats. He and Dawson search for the truth, all the while avoiding Professor Ratigan and Captain Doran. Before they can even go searching, however, they must restore the Maharajah of Bengistan to his throne.
  • Basil in Mexico (1976): About to embark on a trip to Mexico to help out with a case there, Basil is suddenly called upon to solve the Case of the Counterfeit Cheese. Then, upon his arrival in Mexico, he discovers that that famed "mousterpiece", the Mousa Lisa, is missing, and that it is up to him to find the culprit. Almost immediately afterwards, Dr. Dawson is kidnapped.
  • Basil in the Wild West (1982): Basil and Dawson continue their North American adventures by solving two mysteries in the Wild West. First, they have to stop a gang of smugglers from taking control of part of the West, and then solve the mystery of the "Thing" that is scaring guests of the Hathaway Hotel.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ratigan's given name is revealed in Basil in Mexico (page 99).
  2. ^ Basil and the Pygmy Cats (page 25).

External links[edit]