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Good Night, Mr. Holmes (Irene Adler #1)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  1,611 ratings  ·  114 reviews
Miss Irene Adler, the beautiful American opera singer who once outwitted Sherlock Holmes, is here given an unexpected talent: she is a superb detective, as Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker can attest. But in matters of the heart she encounters difficulty.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published June 15th 1991 by Tor Books (first published October 1990)
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So to preface this with a disclaimer: I am the kind of person who is planning to get an Irene Adler tattoo. So there's that.

This is a really fun pastiche. It's not serious, it never tries to be, and it revels in being just a shade over the line of 'absurd'. Notably, it's also very Holmes-lite; the focus is strongly on Irene and her female Watson stand-in Penelope, and later, her canonical husband Godfrey Norton. Which leads me to one of my favourite things about this pastiche: it's basically a s
I couldn't finish. I hate, HATE not finishing a book I've started and rarely review them, but I start this at the beginning of December and it's now the end of April, and it deserves something for all my effort. Have a gold red star.

You know, I understand the fascination with Irene Adler. Holes never showed canonical interest in her but was miffed he was outsmarted by a woman--and she's smart. But Irene is only half the story in this book.

Like Holmes has Watson, Irene has Nell, an unrelated acqu
The first in the series followed by
Good Morning Irene (The Adventuress)
"Parris Greene" (short story)
Irene at Large (A Soul of Steel)

This a story interwoven with the Holmsian story about the one woman, Irene Adler, who could match Holmes, hence, she intrigued him as no other could. Adler also has her faithful chronicler, Nell Huxleigh, who is a capable companion but not quite able to match Adler's nimble mind.
The intrigue and period stereotypes are appropriate. Adler is a competent woman faced w
An Odd1
"Goodnight, Mr Holmes" (Irene Adler 1) by Carole Nelson Douglas, is the parting line of Irene, disguised, mocking Holmes' pursuit during "Scandal in Bohemia". Coda has imitation research. Extras are okay reader's guide and interview. Douglas sticks to the bones of Doyle, yet gives another side and back story.
Set in the same London 1890s with similar tone and vocabulary, Watson gives prelude and other chapters. Mostly country parson's orphan Penelope Huxleigh takes the role differently of narrat
Let me start by admitting that I enjoy Sherlock Holmes, but I am not a Holmesian. I think the actual canon is pretty good, occasionally great, and that Doyle showed rather too plainly his growing dissatisfaction with the series. What Doyle DID do right was create an unforgettable character, an icon, one that writers today would KILL for. Holmes is a character that has survived numerous movie and TV shows, including a cartoon, and inspired literally hundreds of writers to try their hand at a new ...more
While the Holmes/Watson pieces are quite well written, most of Irene Adler's detection work is driven by fortunate coincidence. There is far too much babbling about clothes, Adler's assistant must be one of the most irritating sidekicks I have ever come across and the pair of them are unbearably smug whenever they perceive they get one over on Holmes.
Read over 50 pages of this pastiche, didn't find the story interesting at all so back to the old used book shop she goes. I love Sherlock Holmes but this book did absolutely nothing for me.
This parallels a Scandal in Bohemia, starting a few years earlier with the association of the narrator Nell with Irene Adler, going on to describe Adler's adventures from the perspective of the protagonist rather than the object of someone else's story. The book starts off a bit slow and some of the themes were kind of clumsily handled* in the first 25-30% of the book, but it builds into a pretty satisfying ending that both ties up the canonical adventure and an additional original mystery rathe ...more
In a nutshell, if you like mysteries set in Victorian England, with lots of spot-on period details and engaging/endearing characters, then this book is for you. And by the way, Victorian England in this instance does not equal boring and stuffy.

Before I get on with the review, no, this is not a horror, science fiction or fantasy novel, nor was it penned by an author just starting out, so yes, I freely broke out of my own set of reviewing parameters.

Carole Nelson Douglas is an accomplished author

To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman.
in ‘A Scandal in Bohemia’

This is probably a book I wouldn’t have picked up on my own. I do love Mr. Holmes just as much as the next person, and a re-telling of ‘A Scandal in Bohemia’ based on Irene Adler’s – the woman – side of the story is a quite compelling outline. That being said, I often postpone my readings of the original Sherlock adventures and, since most my primary school readings were mystery books, I have for many years naturalized a sort o
This was a fascinating re-working of the Irene Alder storyline, and how it ties into the original Holmes story that featured her. In this, it succeeds admirably -- the bulk of the work is about Irene as a person onto herself, singer, investigator, and friend of the narrator Penelope Huxleigh. She comes off as a whole and complete person, brilliant and fallible, wild yet precise. You can easily see, int he tale, why Norton would fall for her -- and why she was The Woman for Holmes.

Like many tales
Luciana Darce
Desde que descobri a existência de uma série literária tendo como protagonista ‘A Mulher’ que estou me coçando para ler esse título. Irene Adler aparece em um único conto das dezenas de histórias que Conan Doyle escreveu para o mais famoso detetive da ficção, e é um testemunho ao engenho do autor que com uma aparição tão rápida e passageira, ela seja uma personagem tão interessante.

Talvez o fascínio se deva exatamente a isso. Adler é elusiva, cheia de mistérios não decifrados pelo leitor; ela fo
Steven Peterson
Irene Adler shows up in the corpus of Sherlock Holmes’ works, in “A Scandal in Bohemia.” This book represents that story in a larger context—from the point of view of a close acquaintance of Adler’s. And the effect is altogether delightful!

The story is overwritten in its style as is Doyle’s work on Holmes. In the book the Bohemian scandal is only a small part of a much larger story. “Good Night, Mr. Holmes” is a work from the point of view of Penelope (“Nell”) Huxleigh. The story is told from he
This is the ultimate in fun (but not "fluffy") comfort reading for me. I discovered this series years ago and have read this novel with great pleasure many, many times since. Normally, I am a Sherlock Holmes purist, but there's nothing about this tale of Irene Adler (told from the point of view of her friend and chronicler Penelope Huxleigh) that clashes with the original Arthur Conan Doyle story in which she appears. (It may take some liberties with the timing & description of some minor de ...more
If you love Sherlock Holmes, you will most assuredly enjoy Carole Nelson Douglas' "Good Night, Mr. Holmes." If you are indeed a Holmes affectionato, you will recognize this title and immortal line: "Good Night, Mr. Holmes." The mysterious Irene Adler - "the woman" to Holmes - spoke this parting line while she was disguised as a man, ironically both mocking and bidding farewell to Holmes near the end of "Scandal in Bohemia". How interesting and enjoyable it is to see Adler developed into an even ...more
I enjoyed this book. Irene is really a riot, an adventuress other than of the Victorian era. The absence or ignorance of some of the historical and daily technicalities made the story weaker, but Douglas' characters and prose are refreshing and professional; the book was a joy to read, almost relieving. I find that Douglas has made me willing to overlook my own historical obsessions to accept and enjoy a great book.
The whole tale unravels spectacularly across the globe, even through that illusiv
Elizabeth Varadan
I love mysteries set in the Victorian Era, and I am a fan of “all things Sherlock”. So I was doubly delighted to discover Carole Nelson Douglas’s witty mystery series featuring Irene Adler, the opera singer in Arthur Conan Doyle’s “A Scandal in Bohemia.” In Doyle’s adventure, the King of Bohemia hires Sherlock Holmes to retrieve a photograph from Adler that would compromise his coming marriage. Adler turns the tables on them both and gets away with the photograph.

Goodnight, Mr. Holmes, the firs
Carol Nicolas
I've always been a big fan of Sherlock Holmes: his agile mind, razor-sharp whit, cunning deduction, and his ability to ascertain the facts from the most miniscule evidence, all the while accompanied by his kind-hearted, bumbling friend and chronicler, Dr. Watson. I've enjoyed all the different versions of Sherlock Holmes that have appeared through the years. This morning I finished yet another Sherlock Holmes book: Good Night, Mr. Holmes, by Carole Nelson Douglas. Her book is based on Doyle's "A ...more
I love Sherlock Holmes stories, and I have enjoyed reading the series of books by Laurie R King about Mary Russell and an ageing Sherlock Holmes. So when I heard about this series I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy.

Although I enjoyed the book - I was somewhat disappointed too. The characters of Irene Adler and Penelope Huxleigh are certainly well written characters, and their exploits entertaining. There is a marvelous parrot called Casanova, and some great adventures, for these two women
Irene Adler is a character all her own who can and does match wits with the famous Sherlock Holmes. Her cohort is Penelope Huxleigh, who narrates the story and serves as Irene's companion (Watson). Just to eliminate confusion in this discussion Irene calls her Nell throughout the tale.

This is an entertaining read placed in 1890s London, based on Arthur Conan Doyle's 'A Scandal in Bohemia'. Irene's passion is opera and her career seems to be taking off. She combines her singing with investigatio
Though Douglas gives Irene Adler an interesting view, and even more insights to the famous Sherlock Holmes character (which one can agree with or not are not strictly necessary to enjoy this one) and even gives more than one parallel to equal Sherlock Holmes, to which we can later see as reasons for her to be seen as an equal to him (which is appreciate to see as she did outwit him). And even to see the much forgotten Godfrey Norton character be given dimension and even depth to see why Irene wo ...more
Bardziej kojarzę Irene Adler z amerykańskiej adaptacji filmowej, niż z oryginalnych opowiadań o Sherlocku Holmesie (za dawno czytałam). Zostało mi wyobrażenie Irene jako kobiety pięknej, tajemniczej, niezwykle bystrej i bezwzględnej. Irene miała być kobietą niezależną, działającą na granicy prawa, a nawet czasami miała pracować dla tej "ciemnej strony". Panna Adler z powieści Carole Nelson Douglas jest przede wszystkim... miła. Miła, uczynna, wielkoduszna. Czasami, faktycznie kradnie ciastka z c ...more
Eleanor Waxman
This was a quick, fun read. It was lighter than the mysteries I usually read, and bordered on part mystery, part historical fiction, but was quite enjoyable. This is the back story to the Sherlock Holmes case entitled "A Scandal in Bohemia".

The story is told by Penelope Huxleigh, Irene Adler's Dr. Watson. Irene rescues Penelope from the clutches of a street urchin who is attempting to rob her, and the two become roommates. Penelope learns to use a typewriter, eventually becoming a secretary for
Lindsay Stares
I wanted to like this book, and I sort of did. I guess I just wasn't swept away by it due to, well, knowing the entire story (more or less) beforehand. This novel introduces Ms. Douglas's version of Irene Adler (who stars in at least 7 more books, according to the inside flap), and covers the time leading up to and covering the events of "A Scandal in Bohemia". I think I'm glad that I wrote my mini-dissertation on Adler before reading this book, given that we come to many of the same conclusions ...more
I don't believe myself. I've read and loved Carole Nelson Douglas's other great mystery series, Midnight Louie and Delilah Street, yet I have not until now read her Irene Adler series, published over two decades ago. And just like her other works, it was fantastic! Great characters, great story, great scenes, great lines. I plan to read the rest of the series as soon as possible to make up for missing for so long what I expect to be more great books. Brava Madam Carole!
This book is the best adaptation of Irene Adler that I've ever seen. Finally, someone who actually understands the character of Irene! This was just a very fun read. I love stories about women who are friends, and there aren't nearly enough of them, especially in mysteries. This is clearly a character study, and I think that's just what's needed in the case of Irene Adler, a character who has been so badly misunderstood by so many adaptations.
The Irene Adler series is absolutely wonderful as imagined by Carole Nelson Douglas. For Sherlock Holmes fans you will remember Irene Adler as "the woman". Ms.Douglas gives us a wonderful idea of what a relationship between Holmes and Irene Adler might have been. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was far too much a man of his time to imagine a woman like this. :-)
Cathrine Bonham
"To him she was always the Woman." The woman that dear Watson speaks of is of course Irene Adler, Holmes worthy opponet from "A Scandel in Bohemia." Now her side of the story can finally be told.

Sherlock Holmes is really just a background character in this novel detailing the Irene's musical and detective career. Irene's adventure's are recorded by her faithful Boswell Nell Huxliegh.

The episodic nature of the memoire is tied together by Irene's continuing search for "The Zone of Dimonds" a dimo
What fun! I found Penelope a little too drippy and schoolmarmish, and the shifting POVs (why are there chapters narrated by John Watson?) unnecessary -- but Douglas's Irene Adler is the hero we all want: smart, resourceful, confident, independent. This edition also included a very funny mock-scholarly review of the career of Irene Adler vis-a-vis Sherlock Holmes, a good-natured dig at Sherlockians. Glad to have found this series; I am sure to return to it.
Dawn Muir-Frost
While I was drawn to this book for its relationship to Sherlock Holmes, I was also curious about how the author would tie in the character of Irene Adler. Although I did not know this character from Sherlock Holmes books I have read, I was familiar with the character from the recent movie starring Robert Downey Jr. as Mr. Holmes. Anyone who is expecting an entire book devoted to Sherlock Holmes, may be disappointed; however, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the author's clever way of tying in b ...more
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Baker Street Irre...: Good Night, Mr. Holmes 6 43 Apr 01, 2012 03:20PM  
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Carole Nelson Douglas is the author of sixty award-winning novels in contemporary and historical mystery/suspense and romance, high and urban fantasy and science fiction genres. She is best known for two popular mystery series, the Irene Adler historical suspense novels and the 25-book Midnight Louie contemporary mystery series. Delilah Street, PI (Paranormal Investigator), headlines Carole's noir ...more
More about Carole Nelson Douglas...

Other Books in the Series

Irene Adler (8 books)
  • Good Morning, Irene (Irene Adler, #2)
  • Irene At Large (Irene Adler, #3)
  • Another Scandal in Bohemia (Irene Adler, #4)
  • Chapel Noir (Irene Adler, #5)
  • Castle Rouge (Irene Adler, #6)
  • Femme Fatale (Irene Adler, #7)
  • Spider Dance (Irene Adler, #8)
Catnap (Midnight Louie, #1) Dancing With Werewolves (Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator, #1) Six of Swords Pussyfoot (Midnight Louie, #2) Brimstone Kiss (Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator, #2)

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