cover image Good Night, Mr. Holmes

Good Night, Mr. Holmes

Carole Nelson Douglas. Tor Books, $18.95 (408pp) ISBN 978-0-312-93210-7

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. (Nov.)