kids encyclopedia robot

Basil of Baker Street facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
BasilCover
Front cover of Basil of Baker Street

Basil of Baker Street is a series of children's novels written 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 221B Baker Street, where Sherlock Holmes is a tenant upstairs.

The five original titles were published from 1958 to 1982 by McGraw-Hill. The series was revived three decades later when a new book was published by Aladdin Paperbacks in October 2018, written by Cathy Hapka with illustrations by David Mottram. A seventh installment followed in May 2019.

The 1986 Disney animated feature The Great Mouse Detective was based on these novels.

Characters

  • 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"). As his model plays the violin, however, Basil plays the flute, as revealed in Basil and the Lost Colony. His 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 – Basil's personal biographer; based on Dr. John H. Watson from the Sherlock Holmes stories. He is an aficionado of cheese.
  • Professor Chervil Ratigan – 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.
  • Captain Doran – Ratigan's lieutenant; based on Colonel Sebastian Moran from the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Empty House".
  • Mademoiselle Relda – a beautiful opera singer; based on Irene Adler from the Sherlock Holmes story "A Scandal in Bohemia". Basil is hinted to possess unrequited love for Relda but the background of their relationship is not explored in the books.
  • Mrs. Judson – Basil's housekeeper; based on Mrs. Hudson from the Sherlock Holmes stories. She makes an excellent cheese soufflé.

Series

The first five books were written by Eve Titus, illustrated by Paul Galdone, and published by McGraw-Hill. A series note A Basil of Baker Street Mystery is sometimes cataloged as a subtitle.

  1. Basil of Baker Street (1958), 96 pp., 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".
  2. Basil and the Cave of Cats (1971) Basil finds a clue that hints at the existence of Pygmy Cats. He and Dawson search for the truth, all the while escaping Professor Ratigan and Captain Doran. Before the adventure begins, however, they must restore the Maharajah of Bengistan to his throne.
  3. 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 the famed "mousterpiece", the Mousa Lisa, is missing, and that it is up to him to find the perpetrator. Almost immediately afterwards, Dr. Dawson is kidnapped.
  4. Basil in the Wild West (1982) Basil and Dawson continue their North American road trip by solving two mysteries in the Wild West. First, they have to stop a crew 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.
  5. Basil and the Lost Colony (1964) Basil leads an expedition in search of the Lost Colony of the Tellmice. Along the way he is being hunted by Ratigan and his gang.
  6. Basil and the Big Cheese Cook-Off (2018) Basil and Dawson journey to Paris to solve a mystery threatening the world-renown international cheese cook-off cooking competition.
  7. Basil and the Royal Dare (2019) Basil and Dawson come to the aid of the British and Bohemian Royal Families (of mice), when several royal teens go missing.
  8. Basil and the Library Ghost (2020).
kids search engine
Basil of Baker Street Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.