Femme Fatale (Irene Adler Series #7)

Femme Fatale (Irene Adler Series #7)

by Carole Nelson Douglas
4.2 5

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Femme Fatale (Irene Adler Series #7) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read Carole Nelson Douglas's six previous Victorian-era Irene Adler novels and I think this is a fine addition to the series. The American Opera singer Irene Adler was first introduced to the world as a character in the Conan Doyle/Sherlock Holmes story 'A Scandal in Bohemia' as the only woman to outwit Sherlock Holmes. Carole Nelson Douglas however, makes the character truly her own in the Irene Adler series opener, 'Goodnight, Mr. Holmes'. The author artfully retells the story of how the wily Irene, accompanied her friend and confidant Nell Huxleigh, befuddles Holmes and enamors a King, but this time from the perspective of Irene. In subsequent novels Irene and Nell, joined by Irene's husband Godfrey, crisscross Europe from London to Transylvania, and Paris to Monaco, solving mysteries involving queens and courtesans, Jack the Ripper and the Golem of Prague. Along the way they match wits and at times join forces with Irene's rival, Mr. Sherlock Holmes and encounter numerous historical characters including Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, Sarah Bernhardt, and Nellie Bly. The current installment, 'Femme Fatale' is an involving and multi-layered mystery in which Irene and Nell travel to 1889 New York City to explore Irene's hidden past and chase a murderer. They reunite with colorful characters from Irene's childhood and tangle again with Holmes. The solution to the mystery is a satisfying and natural one, which keeps the reader guessing (at least I was kept guessing) up to the end. But this story is more than just a puzzle. In this novel, as well as in the previous Irene Adler novels, the characters are vividly and completely drawn. I found myself reacting to them as if they were real people, and got to the end of each book wishing I could read more about them. They, especially the pugnacious Nell, are given depths and dimensions that leave the reader caring about them and wanting to know more. Supporting characters, like the vaudeville 'variety performers' that people Irene's childhood, are drawn perceptively with deft strokes that reveal the humanity beneath their unusual exteriors. The story revels in historical detail as well, evoking the smells, sights, and sounds of late nineteenth century New York. The story takes us to dinner at Delmonico's and on a visit to the Elephant Hotel on Coney Island, among other episodes. The author even employs a somewhat rococo writing style that echoes the ornamentation of nineteenth century novels. Altogether, this book was a treat, although for the complete experience, you could start with the beginning of the series, 'Goodnight, Mr. Holmes'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read Carole Nelson Douglas's six previous Victorian-era Irene Adler novels and I think this is a fine addition to the series. The American Opera singer Irene Adler was first introduced to the world as a character in the Conan Doyle/Sherlock Holmes story 'A Scandal in Bohemia' as the only woman to outwit Sherlock Holmes. Carole Nelson Douglas however, makes the character truly her own in the Irene Adler series opener, 'Goodnight, Mr. Holmes'. The author artfully retells the story of how the wily Irene, accompanied her friend and confidant Nell Huxleigh, befuddles Holmes and enamors a King, but this time from the perspective of Irene. In subsequent novels Irene and Nell, joined by Irene's husband Godfrey, crisscross Europe from London to Transylvania, and Paris to Monaco, solving mysteries involving queens and courtesans, Jack the Ripper and the Golem of Prague. Along the way they match wits and at times join forces with Irene's rival, Mr. Sherlock Holmes and encounter numerous historical characters including Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, Sarah Bernhardt, and Nellie Bly. The current installment, 'Femme Fatale' is an involving and multi-layered mystery in which Irene and Nell travel to 1889 New York City to explore Irene's hidden past and chase a murderer. They reunite with colorful characters from Irene's childhood and tangle again with Holmes. The solution to the mystery is a satisfying and natural, which keeps the reader guessing (at least I was kept guessing) up to the end. But this story is more than just a puzzle. In this novel, as well as in the previous Irene Adler novels, the characters are vividly and completely drawn. I found myself reacting to them as if they were real people, and got to the end of each book wishing I could read more about them. They, especially the pugnacious Nell, are given depths and dimensions that leave the reader caring about them and wanting to know more. Supporting characters, like the vaudeville 'variety performers' that people Irene's childhood are drawn perceptively with deft strokes that reveal the humanity beneath their unusual exteriors. The story revels in historical detail as well, evoking the smells, sights, and sounds of late nineteenth century New York. The story takes us to dinner at Delmonico's and on a visit to the Elephant Hotel on Coney Island, among other episodes. The author even employs a somewhat rococo writing style that echoes the ornamentation of nineteenth century novels. Altogether, this book was a treat, although for the complete experience, you could start with the beginning of the series, 'Goodnight, Mr. Holmes'.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1889 New York based journalist Elizabeth Jane Cochrane better known as Nellie Bly sends a wire to England to American expatriate and pal Irene Adler Norton. Nellie insists that someone wants to kill Irene¿s mother. Though having some doubts, Irene worked the Ripper case with Nellie who has some credibility with her. So she and her companion, Nell Huxleigh, head back to her hometown in the states.

In New York City, Irene quickly realizes that someone is killing people who know anything about her childhood. She herself contains only vague memories, but wonders what she has forgotten that has led to a series of murders. Soon her rival Sherlock Holmes, who she has out-sleuthed, enters the game in an effort to end a string of homicides tied back to Irene.

The latest Irene Adler tale, the woman who outwitted Holmes in Doyle¿s A Scandal in Bohemia, is a tremendous late Victorian mystery. The story line has an old world feel to it yet flows fast with plenty of insights into the late nineteenth century New York era and as a bonus, has loads of action. For fans of the series, Carole Nelson Douglas provides some tidbits about the former diva so that the audience has increased knowledge of her past. Historical mystery readers will appreciate FEMME FATALE and want to obtain the previous six Adler novels as this is a strong series.

Harriet Klausner