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Irene Adler Books In Order

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Publication Order of Irene Adler Books

Good Night, Mr. Holmes (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Good Morning, Irene (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Irene At Large (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Irene's Last Waltz (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Chapel Noir (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Castle Rouge (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Femme Fatale (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Spider Dance (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Private Wife of Sherlock Holmes (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Irene Adler is a series written by author Carole Nelson Douglas. The series of novels is not a retelling of Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories. Rather it uses his ideas as a platform from which to launch an entirely new concept, shifting the focus to Irene Adler, Sherlock Holmes’ much admired adversary.

+The Story

Carole Nelson Douglas’ series revolves around Irene Adler, a character that only appeared in one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories.

Carole makes a notable attempt to build upon her character, adding new sides and layers to the widely renowned anti-heroine. The Irene Adler series explores her life shortly before and after her famous encounter with Sherlock Holmes, injecting the famed detective into the story in a supporting role.

Playing an important role in the series is Godfrey Norton, Adler’s supportive barrister husband. A considerable portion of Irene Adler’s stories is actually narrated by Penelope “Nell” Huxleigh, Adler’s best friend, companion, and biographer.

With Sherlock making the occasional appearance, the trio traverses Europe solving crimes, along the way encountering famous historical figures like Oscar Wilde, Consuelo Vanderbilt, Nellie Bly and Bram Stoker among others.

+The Author

Carole Nelson Douglas is an American author born in 1944. With over sixty novels and short stories under her belt, Carole has produced works in a wide variety of genres, the writer best known for Irene Adler and Midnight Louie.

The author studied English literature and theater in University. Upon her graduation, she spent some time as a newspaper reporter. It was during this time that she came across an expensive classified ad seeking the right individual to take a black cat named Midnight Louie. She would go on to write a story about a plucky survival artist, telling the story from the cat’s perspective.

She revived the cat’s name for Midnight Louie, her feline PI mystery series.

Carole’s first foray into the world of fiction began in 1970, Garson Kanin, a famed director, playwright and novelist taking her first work to Doubleday and selling it shortly after.

Carole makes an effort to address women’s issues in her books, typically mixing genres from historical mystery to thriller and contemporary.

+Good Night, Mr. Holmes

Irene Adler is a beautiful American opera singer best known for her conflict of wits with Sherlock Holmes. More than her artistic skills, though, Irene is also a superb detective, her talents attested to by the likes of Bram Stocker and Oscar Wilde. Even Holmes would admit to her competency in this arena.

It is in the matters of the heart that Irene Adler encounters difficulty. When the tall, blonde and handsome Crown Prince of Bohemia proves to be a cad, Godfrey Norton will have to make an effort to convince her that not all handsome men are cut from the same cloth.

‘Good Night, Mr. Holmes’ is a really fun read. It isn’t particularly serious, and the fact that it doesn’t try to reach beyond its absurd plot is what allows it to entertain.

Written with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original works in mind, the first novel in the Irene Adler series is very Holmes-like. Irene Adler clearly assumes the role of Sherlock Holmes, displaying incomprehensibly impressive detective skills, with Penelope standing in for Watson, at least until her husband comes into play.

‘Good Night, MR. Holmes’ is little more than a story about women being friends. Irene and Penelope are drastically distinct characters whose flaws endear them to one another.

The story makes an effort to flesh out ‘A Scandal in Bohemia’, Carole injecting a few interesting puzzles into the plot though none of them are especially thrilling, this precluding their humorous elements.

The question of Irene’s strength as a character is the subject of much debate; she stands out as a competent woman, a detective with few peers, Carole uses her sleuthing skills as little more than a stepping stone to reach Irene’s true objective as a leading Lady of the Operative stage.

While the story winds closely around Sir Arthur’s original tale, the inclusion of luck and Irene’s friends makes for a number of drastic alterations that die-hard Sherlock Holmes fans might frown upon.

+Good Morning, Irene

Good Morning, Irene picks up from where Good Night, MR. Holmes left off, with Irene lapping up her obituaries in Paris. Things take an interesting turn when a drowned Sailor bearing the same strange tattoo Irene once saw on a corpse on Bram Stoker’s dining table emerges from the Seine.

A direct sequel to Good Night, Mr. Holmes, Good Morning, Irene picks up with the sleuth and her handsome husband honeymooning in Paris. As one might expect, they quickly become embroiled in an investigation.

A drowned body was recovered from the Seine and the tattoo on its chest draws Irene into a world filled with beautiful blind princes, political treachery, and sword duels.

Accompanied by Godfrey, her husband, and Miss Penelope Huxleigh, with Sherlock Holmes himself playing a part, Good Morning, Irene tends to divide readers, as does most of the Irene Adler series.

Fans of Cozy mystery series shouldn’t have a problem enjoying the story that is told within the second novel in the Irene Adler series, the wonderful dialogue, and exploration of society more than making up for the lackluster story.

However, fans of the mystery genre and Sherlock Holmes, in particular, will find Good Morning, Irene no less disappointing than its predecessor, many of whom have complained about the wasted potential, the poorly written characters and a plot that simply failed to deliver on its promises.

As far as her approach to storytelling is concerned, Carole Nelson Douglas seems to lean more closely to Agatha Christie than she does Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Good Morning, Irene has all the marks of a decent Sherlock Holmes novel, littered with tantalizing clues and clever concepts, and for some people it fails because it so closely resembles the typical Sherlock Holmes novel, essentially failing to live up to Sir Arthur’s standards.

Sherlock Holmes himself is mostly wasted in a novel that readers believe should have mirrored its predecessor and endeavored to embrace its silliness and absurd plots, though it would be an exaggeration to suggest that the novel completely fails in its ‘

Book Series In Order » Characters » Irene Adler

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