Baker Somerset is a thirty-one year old former Scotland Yard detective who now owns her own detective agency in Ottawa, Canada. She is five feet seven inches tall, weighs one hundred fifteen pounds, has red hair, freckles, and scars from gunshot wounds on her abdomen, left shoulder and thigh.
Somerset’s father is British and an Inspector at Scotland Yard. Her mother, now deceased, came from old Canadian money. Her great aunt Harriet, on her mother’s side, left her a mortgage-free house in The Glebe, and she has a modest income from a trust fund set up in her mother’s will.
Somerset was a Detective Sergeant at Scotland Yard, and handled missing persons cases. She was shot during a kidnapping investigation while on secondment in Ottawa. She left the police force, remained in Ottawa, and opened Case Closed Investigations.
She is sarcastic, hard-boiled and independent but she is also intensely loyal to her friends and family and has a warm heart that she reveals only to a select few. She wears a fedora, owns a Glock 17, and drives a mellow-yellow Mini Cooper with black racing stripes and a 221B license plate. She loves the old hard-boiled detective stories, is addicted to coffee and her other favourite drinks include Magners Pear Cider, Balvenie Caribbean Cask scotch, and a Pimm’s cup. When it comes to food, pizza ranks high on her list.
Somerset has three close relationships—Duchess “Keys” Brown, Joe Manning and Charles Stroud. Other special people in her life include Angus MacIntyre of the Ottawa Police Service and his wife Sally. She has a developing relationship with Christopher Guildersleeve, a police sergeant under MacIntyre, and an unusual friendship with a homeless man, Ray, and his dog Sam.
Other people who are a part of her life are Collette, who runs Somerset’s favorite coffee spot, Mrs. Gonzales, her cleaning lady, and Mr. Rashid and his teaching assistant/student Mr. Crawford at Carleton University.
Duchess “Keys” Brown
Duchess “Keys” Brown is a short, curvaceous thirty-one year old Jamaican who works at the British High Commission as Chief Communications Officer. She’s a world-class hacker and enjoys putting her skills to work to help Somerset out with her cases. She has infectious laughter, loves food and action movies. Her favorite drink is lemonade, but she also likes a rum and coke at the end of the day. Her favorite dessert is key lime pie. Walking keeps her weight down so she walks almost everywhere. She lives about a block from Ottawa’s Chinatown with another girl from Jamaica (Jewel). She has a computer room with four computers six monitors, four printers, and a heavy-duty shredder. Keys and Somerset became close friends when they met during one of Somerset’s earlier cases when Somerset pulled Keys out of a burning building.
Joe Manning is thirty-three years old, six feet four inches tall. He weighs two hundred forty pounds but not one ounce of it is fat. His father was an executive in a Singapore-based corporation and Joe lived there most of his life. His father gave Joe a substantial portfolio of the company stock and Joe now sits on the board of directors. Joe fell off the roof of a house when he was 10 years old and was seriously injured. He was successfully treated by traditional Chinese medical doctors, in Singapore, and intensive Tai Chi. He went on to become a Master in several martial arts and has his own dojo. He is also a certified physical therapist and has EMT certification. A Taoist, he is calm and centered. He likes all ethnic foods, tea, scones, and great wine and he cares deeply for Somerset.
Charles Stroud lives in London and was Somerset’s partner at Scotland Yard. He is thirty-two years old, six feet one inch tall and weighs one hundred seventy-five pounds. He has dark hair that flops down over his forehead, blue eyes, and a deep bass voice with a slight Sussex accent. He cultivates a Holmes-like appearance wearing a long duster coat and strides rather than walks. Charles comes from a middle class family. His father is a newspaper journalist, his mother works as a baker and she taught Charles how to cook. He has wanted to be a policeman since the day he was given a Sherlock Holmes book as a birthday present when he was ten years old. He lives to outwit criminals and he sees every day as a ‘the game is afoot’ day. He is boisterous and oozes charm that easily wins women over. He’s protective of Somerset because she was his partner. Charles agrees with Keys on the good things in life—friends, food and movies.
Christopher Guildersleeve is an Ottawa Police Detective Sergeant who works under Angus MacIntyre. He is 36 years old, and is, as Somerset says, “the spitting image of Prince Harry” with curly, red hair, red beard, and a ready smile. He was the only boy in his family, but he had four sisters who doted on him. He’s ex-military, hopes someday to move off the Homicide detail and onto the Tactical Team. He drives a Harley.