NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR
Winner of the American Mystery Award for Best Novel of Romantic suspense and RT Book Reviews Award for Best Historical Mystery.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s included short story, “A Scandal in Bohemia,” introduced both Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler: “She has a soul of steel. . . the face of the most beautiful of women and the mind of the most resolute of men.”
American aspiring opera singer Irene Adler rescues orphaned parson’s daughter Penelope Huxleigh from a London cutpurse, it starts a crime-solving alliance as strong as that of Holmes and Watson. Irene moonlights as a private inquiry agent while awaiting her career break, which brings her into the orbits of such luminaries as Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker and puts her on the trail on Marie Antoinette’s fabulous lost diamond belt. Her investigations also introduce her to a certain dashing barrister, Mr. Godfrey Norton. A prestigious assignment as prima donna at the Prague opera house almost makes Irene the Queen of Bohemia, but a royal murder and caddish Prince force her to flee back to London . . . where she will become the only woman to outwit Sherlock Holmes.
"Setting herself the task of creating a heroine worthy of Sherlock Holmes, Douglas... succeeds smashingly... Douglas writes in a voice that resonates of Dr. Watson's (or Conan Doyle's) when appropriate...this lively caper establishes Adler's sleuthing skills [and] has more going for it than the usual Holmesian pastiche, presenting a truly original perspective of the one whom the great detective himself dubbed "the woman." She's a superior woman at that; readers will doff their deerstalkers."—Publishers Weekly
"I am not exaggerating when I say this book is probably the finest Sherlockian novel published since 1915 [when Conan Doyle published the last of his four Sherlockian novels]... I am impressed with [Douglas's] storytelling ability...with her ability to reflect the minutiae of Victorian life accurately...her Sherlockian accuracy..,the life she breathes into the tough and clever Irene.Rarely do I read a "pastiche", as we have come to call Sherlockian novels, and come to believe it. But I think Carole Nelson Douglas has told the exact truth about Ms. Adler, and whenever I reread 'A Scandal in Bohemia' that truth will be part of the story for me."—Chris Redmond, B.S.I., ASH, The Waterloo Sherlockian Letter
“This rollicking story perfectly balances suspense, humor, and the Victorian atmosphere in a marvelously good read."—Joan Lowery Nixon, Houston Chronicle
“Read any good books lately? I have. Carole Nelson Douglas has kept me up several nights with Good Night, Mr. Holmes...about THE woman, Irene Adler. It kept me spellbound, so much so that I want to read its sequel. Douglas... apparently has many fans. That figures. She is an excellent writer."—Lincoln Journal-Star
"The detective in the deerstalker found few adversaries worthy of him: Moriarty, of course, and the brilliant and lovely diva Irene Adler...But was Adler the morally questionable "adventuress" Dr. Watson perceived? Not if we are to believe this delightfully flip mystery... Sherlock Holmes does [appear], but this is Irene Adler's turn in the limelight, and she proves her power both to deduce and entertain."—Toronto Globe and Mail
"an absolutely delicious foray into the world of Sherlock Holmes... This serendipitous tour de force is bound to please fans of Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody, and anyone who appreciates quick wit, intelligent plotting and a clever turn of phrase. Don't miss this truly delightful book."—Melinda Helfer, RT Book Reviews
Setting herself the task of creating a heroine worthy of Sherlock Holmes, Douglas, a Texas writer of science fiction ( Counterprobe ), succeeds smashingly. In providing an inventive, believable past for Irene Adler, the one woman (and an American at that) who ever duped Holmes, Douglas writes in a voice that resonates of Dr. Watson's (or Conan Doyle's) when appropriate, and links Adler's adventures with information offered about her in Doyle's ``A Scandal in Bohemia.'' Narrated with credible Victorian style and sensibility by Penelope ``Nell'' Huxleigh, a parson's daughter, this lively caper establishes Adler's sleuthing skills as she solves cases that involve Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker, among others. The novel has more going for it than the usual Holmesian pastiche, presenting a truly original perspective of the one whom the great detective himself dubbed ``the woman.'' She's a superior woman at that: readers will doff their deerstalkers.