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"An absolutely ripping adventure, [with] a color and texture which will give you a vivid sense of being there, and time spent with unique and immensely enjoyable people." -Anne Perry on Irene at Large
"Her fine Sherlockian novels and her Midnight Louie books have turned Carole Nelson Douglas into a genuine mystery star. Pick one up and you'll see why."-Mystery Scene
"Readers will doff their deerstalkers."-Publishers Weekly
Posted April 15, 2002
How many times was Conan Doyle himself accused of harboring ill feelings toward Auguste Dupine? After the millions of times he repeatedly told critics that the feelings of Holmes in no way reflect his own opinions, must we still ridicule Douglas for the ideas of her heroine, who happens to be a Victorian feminist? I am a non-feminist who found this book and its predecessors thoroughly entertaining. I also realize that many critics grow weary of Penelope's references to propriety. This book would lose much of its central theme without the contrasting characters of Penelope and Irene. Let's all try to stay open-minded in regards to our criticism of Douglas' work. She has very difficult footsteps to follow. So please remember, as Doyle once quoted, 'A doll and his maker are never the same.'
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 23, 2014
Posted January 23, 2014
Posted November 30, 2013
Posted November 30, 2013
Posted October 12, 2012
Carol Nelson Douglass really out did herself on this Irene Addler
adventure. A real page turner in her style of suspence and intrigue.
Had me sitting on the edge of my seat until the last page.
Sherlock Holmes, Bram Stoker, the Duke of Windsor, and Buffalo Bill Cody all join "The Woman" in the hunt for Jack the Ripper at the Paris Exposition in late Victorian Paris. A page turning thriller, seasoned with historical details and possibilities. A delightful addition to the Holmes canon an the books of Nicholas Meyer and Laurie King.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 7, 2008
"Chapel Noir" and "Castle Rouge" are two halves of one very, very long novel. You can't enjoy them separately, but that's no reason not to wade in with Irene Adler and Nell Huxleigh on another Victorian sleuthing and competition with the indomitable Sherlock Holmes. <BR/><BR/>This time, Carole Nelson Douglas offers a new analysis of the Jack the Ripper murders and examines old and new suspects for the role of "Saucy Jack" as her inquiry agent, Irene Adler, investigates Ripper-like crimes in Paris. For help, Irene enlists the real-life Bertie, Prince of Wales, Baron de Rothschild, Buffalo Bill Cody and Bram Stoker. She delves deeply into religious cult symbolism and mystery and discovers through Richard von Krafft-Ebing's "Psychopathia Sexualis" that the Ripper's slaughters are far from unique. As we could well tell her with such modern examples as Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and John Wayne Gacy. <BR/><BR/>In addition to Penelope Huxleigh's exhaustive diaries are observations from a mysterious yellow journal and from the journal of the irritating Pink, a supposed habitué of a Paris "maison de rendezvous." These lead us on a harrowing journey through Paris, London, Prague and Transylvania to the far-fetched, but possible, conclusion of this entertainingly dark novel. <BR/><BR/>As admirable as Irene Adler is, and the perfect foil for Sherlock Holmes, for me the best character in the series has been--and remains--the very human, Nell Huxleigh. This prim and proper parson's daughter has a taste for grue and gore that she continually denies, yet she won't be left out of the adventure despite her traditional upbringing. Nell's stretching and growing personality provides the dry and wry humor that permeates the series, and in this story she has ample opportunities to see herself in new lights.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 19, 2002
Carol Nelson-Douglas has given us yet another episode of 'Why Women Are Smarter Than Men'. Imagine the row that would follow if a man wrote such a novel! Yet it is so typical of the feminist breed that predictably has to rag on men (even Sherlock Holmes becomes an arrogant fool at the poison pen of Nelson-Douglas) and declare themselves superior at every turn. One suspects that a latent sense of inferiority and insecurity lies at the center of the self-declared superiority and smugness, which an interview with the author, contained at novel's end, does nothing to dismiss. Readable and entertaining as it is, I found the constant pounding at the anvil of radical feminism to be an annoying distraction, particularly since Nelson-Douglas' 'superior female', Irene Adler, owes her very existence to Sherlock Holmes. Keeping that in mind, we quickly realize that, despite what the author/character may do, say or declare, no matter what anti-male point is being driven home, the author/character owes her literary bread and butter to the male she most prefers to slander. More, absent the fact of Sherlock Holmes, no one would even bother to peruse these books, save for the hope of glimpsing the much maligned male entity on whom all is predicated.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 1, 2001
It wasn't just the confusing narrations, or the overlong narrative, but to finish after 475 pages plus with an inconclusive ending is unfair to the reader. Nelson has done this consistently with her Midnight Louie series and still sells. It might not work with Irene, Nell, and Godfrey. Dr. Watson would never have played such a nasty trick.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 11, 2001
The novel, at first, was relatively difficult to get into. The point of view changes several times within the first five chapters and it often confuses the reader as to which character is telling the story. However, it does establish a certain pattern, becoming more accessible. I am a fast and thorough reader, but this book took me a bit of time to get through. I'm glad I didn't give up because although it may not have been the best novel I've read, I certainly think it was a worthwhile one. When Castle Rouge, the sequel, comes out I will not hesitate to pick it up and continue the saga.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 13, 2001
Posted December 9, 2008
In 1889 American Irene Adler Norton resides in Paris with her beloved British husband Godfrey. At first the social swirl provides Irene with much distraction, but that quickly turns boring for the only known female to outwit and out-deduce the great Sherlock Holmes. <P>Thus, when the police, acting at the direction of a higher up, ask her to assist with the inquiries into the murders of prostitutes, Irene jumps at the opportunity. Upon seeing the brutalized corpse of the latest victim, a horrified Irene immediately thinks of London and Ripper. Unable to resist full involvement, Irene begins to investigate the grisly homicides only to find that once again she competes with the internationally renowned Holmes. <P>Anyone who enjoys the full Holmes pantheon (not just Doyle¿s prime piece of heaven) will want to read the first Irene Adler novel released in several years. The story line is exciting as Victorian Paris comes to life through the eyes of Irene and her shocked companion Nell. Holmes also plays a secondary but important role. The who-done-it is cleverly designed so that it is elementary to Dr. Watson that this novel is quite appealing. Fans of Holmes will want to read CHAPEL NOIR, Carole Nelson Douglas previous Adler novels and demand a shorter gap for her next appearance. <P>Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 7, 2013
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