cover image Good Morning, Irene

Good Morning, Irene

Carole Nelson Douglas. Tor Books, $4.99 (374pp) ISBN 978-0-312-93211-4

Douglas's first novel, Good Night, Mr. Holmes , was an impressive enough performance to demand an encore. Introducing Irene Adler--the only woman to dupe Sherlock Holmes--as a detective in her own right, however, the earlier work was a hard act to follow. Happily, spirited opera star and amateur sleuth Irene is up to the task in this new yarn, a rollicking and complex story brimming with Victorian atmosphere and details. Accompanied by her new husband, Godfrey Norton, and her faithful, highly sensible friend Penelope Huxleigh, Irene is in Paris, delightedly reading her obituaries after her presumed death in a railway accident, when she becomes involved in the case of a corpse that washes up on the shore of the Seine. In a coincidence acceptable to fans of Victorian stories, the body is frightfully similar to one Irene had once encountered chez Bram Stoker--it even has the same tattoo and also lacks most of the second finger on one hand. Irene's investigation takes her and others, including Sarah Bernhardt and Holmes himself, to the woman who is to become the first American princess of Monaco. Douglas makes inspired use of proper and sedate parson's daughter Penelope to chronicle the tale's wild escapades. (July)