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The Detective and The Woman: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes
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The Detective and The Woman: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes

(The Detective and the Woman #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  162 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Irene Adler, American opera singer and the one woman who outsmarted Sherlock Holmes, finds herself a widow at thirty-two, wealthy but emotionally broken. At the same time, Sherlock Holmes finds himself unable to return to England after faking his death at Reichenbach Falls and is drawn into an investigation of two men with designs on a woman they call Miss A, who is none o ...more
Paperback, 220 pages
Published April 16th 2012 by MX Publishing
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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Angela Misri
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reading these stories by Amy Thomas feels like milling through guests at a party and running into old friends - with all the joy and excitement that comes with it. The friends in this case are Holmes and Adler, and they are written with such respect and depth that you can't help but feel you are rejoining the well-told canon on a newly discovered case. Conan-Doyle created The Woman and gave her a remarkable personality that stands the test of time. Thomas takes those beginnings and develops Adle ...more
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very well written book; the author has managed to keep both Irene Adler and Holmes in character. At first I worried this book may be a silly intent on romance but my worries were unfounded. Here, "the women" is rather a substitute for Watson. I thougth the case would be much more complex but at the end it was rather simple, much in the venue of ACD less ambituos short tales. In summary, a fun, short read.
And I just loved that end!
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Nope. This absolutely did not work for me, but not because of the writing.

I bought this as an audio book, and that was a mistake. The narrator did the Sherlock voice with an American accent. I can't even imagine how any narrator could possibly think it would fly with a listener to hear Sherlock Holmes speak with anything BUT a British accent. I found it jarring and distracting just wrong every time she spoke his part. I could not get past that, and simply could not continue listening to the book
After her experiences with the King of Bohemia, Godfrey Norton, any number of men in her past, and even Sherlock Holmes, Irene is not in a trusting mood. Holmes’ difficulties with women are well-documented. Still, they’re able to put their doubts about one another aside (sometimes with difficulty) in the interests of solving the case. Their efforts lead them into both the highest echelons and lowest dregs of Floridian society, requiring quite a few costume changes, acting skills and outright sub ...more
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
November 1, 2012: I am so excited to read this book! I love Sherlock Homlmes, but even more about the woman should share the glory!

November 16, 2012: I very much enjoyed this short mystery. What a great story teller! It was easy to read, enticing mystery, and great characters. Thank you, Amy! I look forward to more by this author.
Amy Perry
May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
One of the better pastiches I've read, Holmes remains in character, the romance is subtle and Irene is a force to be reckoned with. The plot moves quickly and is interesting. A good read. ...more
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
this would be a 5-star book had the mystery been a tad stronger... otherwise Amy Thomas gets Sherlock Holmes and his world near perfectly... her writing has the proper tone and voice and language and mannerisms and feel, just exquisite! one could almost think this book was penned by Doyle himself, much like the Holmes books by Horowitz... i love how Irene Adler is such a huge part of the tale, in some ways larger than Holmes, though maybe because more can be fashioned for her since Holmes is so ...more
May 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
I confess I'm not an expert on Holmes but I have read at least half of the stories so I have more than a cursory familiarity with Conan Doyle's great detective and this was not him. The Detective And The Woman read like a cozy mystery, which in and of itself was readable but would have been better if it had had novel characters. Instead it felt like the author did a lot of name dropping and made references to Holmes stories to force her characters to resemble Conan Doyle's but I just didn't buy ...more
Greg Burrell
Nov 06, 2020 rated it liked it
An average Sherlock Holmes pastiche. I like that it was set during The Great Hiatus and didn't go overboard with the usual Holmes tropes. They "mystery" was a trifle and, frankly, quite forgettable. I feel Amy Thomas did a good job with Irene Adler, this felt true to character. Her Holmes, however, was a little off. It felt more like the late-period Holmes, not one right in the middle of his career. Unfortunately, the book went on about ten pages too long as the author felt the need too add (or ...more
Apr 03, 2018 rated it liked it
A short little novel that incorporates Irene Norton, nee Adler, and Sherlock Holmes in a case not long after his supposed demise at Reichenbach Falls. A short little ditty of a story with no frills. Kind of at the other end of the spectrum from the novels written by Carole Nelson Douglas which use Irene Adler Norton and her side kick as the main characters.
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars.

Interesting read. Bittersweet ending.
Philip Jones
Sep 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
This novel begins with Irene Adler Norton looking at the corpse of her husband, Geoffrey Norton, who died of a heart attack. The new widow turns to the only other life she knows and embarks on a concert tour in her native America. Next, Sherlock receives directions from his brother, Mycroft to leave his refuge in Venice, after the affair of the Reichenbach, to sail for the new world with sealed orders. Sherlock and Irene meet at her concert in Orlando, Florida under Mycroft’s direction.

This is t
Elizabeth Varadan
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I seldom have time to read a book more than once, but this was such a satisfying mystery, I had to read it twice—the first time for the story, the second time for the sheer pleasure of the writing. The detective of the title is Sherlock Holmes. The woman is Irene Adler, who outsmarted him in A Scandal in Bohemia, lingering in Sherlock’s mind ever after (according to Dr. Watson) as “the woman”.

Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft, sends him to Florida after coming across an enigmatic message signed Barnet
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what classes of creative writing has this Amy Thomas followed, but the result is underwhelming. Alternating Holmes' and Irene's standpoints is unspectacular, as the story simply goes on without any overlapping or twist: it's just a segment that's seen from his eyes, the next one through hers, and so on. Besides, the first and the third person are used inconsistently: all the Irene chapters are using "I," but the Holmes chapters are always "Holmes did this," "he did that." Prepostero ...more
Thomas Turley
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sherlock-holmes
This well-written pastiche, the first in a successful trilogy, reunites Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler, The Woman who defeated him in “A Scandal in Bohemia,” during The Great Hiatus. Like W.S. Baring-Gould in his “biography” of Holmes, Ms. Thomas clears the way by disposing of the husband Miss Adler acquired in the original story. However, the similarities end there. Instead of encountering his beautiful nemesis at an opera house in Montenegro, Holmes tracks her down—at the behest of Brother My ...more
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The return of Irene Adler!

My thanks to Steve and Timi at MX Publishing for my review copy of this book. May Undershaw stand forever as a beacon in remembrance of the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle!

Possible spoilers, but I really strive only to whet the appetite…

Irene Adler, you may recall, was married to Godfrey Norton at the end of “A Scandal in Bohemia.” Now it seems that their marriage turned out badly. Unfortunately, Godfrey Norton proved to be a cruel man who married Ire
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I normally dislike pastiches that feature Irene Adler. This is the first one I've read that I feel is true to the spirit of the original character but still manages to work out a plausible relationship between Adler and Holmes. I loved the idea of exploring Holmes' hiatus, and hope that the author takes this topic up again in future works.

My only complaint is probably just me being fussy -- anachronisms or misunderstandings of period customs/objects throws me right out of the mood. In this case
Dan Bernier
Feb 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2016
It was OK. I enjoyed it well enough.

The plot was unsturdy. The final reveal only works because the author holds back an important plot point until the end. Without that, I'd have known the ending half-way through the book.

The supporting characters were flat, though both Holmes and The Woman were rendered well enough.

The writing was unpolished - it needs both a good editor, and more experience from the author. Tropes, clichés, lazy word choices. It almost felt like fanfic. (It basically is fanfic
May 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
The pairing up of Holmes and Adler attracted me to this novel, as it did not take a "romantic" approach to their relationship. The "mystery" plot seemed underdeveloped/forced as I was not intrigued by the motivations of the antagonist and was not anxious about his potential to inflict harm (though, Adler's character was deathly afraid of the protagonist before the story really began to develop). While Adler's character started out very strong in the first few pages of the novel, she softened and ...more
Aug 13, 2012 marked it as only-if-stuck-on-a-lonely-island
First book ever to lose me at a quote:

"Irene was different. If Watson was a pipe and slippers before a warm fire, she was a Nor’easter, an American storm that blew wherever it chose and sent everything in its path head-over-heels. With surprise, Holmes realised that he felt deep anger, rage against a dead man. No person had the right to lock up something so wild."

What made me stop was the mention of Nor'easter. Why on earth would Holmes think about US meteorology? Wouldn't it be unnecessary
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
More like 1.5 stars.

I highly disliked the shift between being in first person during Irene's chapters and 3rd person during Holmes' chapters. The book had some grammar and spelling errors that were hard to overlook and the actual case was just mediocre. And probably my biggest pet peeve in a Sherlock Holmes pastiche is for Holmes to refer to Watson as "John," even in his thoughts.

I did like the character of Irene for the most part. However, the last twenty pages or so were either completely unne
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-on-padd

The Detective and the Woman by Amy Thomas follows Sherlock Holmes in a case that takes place in Florida when Holmes is believed to be dead after the final problem.  In this story, Holmes' companion is the famed Irene Adler. The only woman to have ever beaten him; to Holmes she was The Woman. The story was a little fuddled in the begining and slow to start out.  When this book gets its legs underneath it however it flows well. I was gripped by the case and Thomas' use of action. The ending felt l
I always believed there was more to Irene Adler than being a clever jewel thief, that out smarted Sherlock Holmes. This wonderful book explores that relationship ,while they work on a threat to her and Sherlock's life.I found this book witty,and charming. The mystery was also well plotted out. I hope it opens the door to many such adventures. ...more
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this tale of Holmes & Adler in late 19th century Florida. Fast paced and fun. Was nice to hear a female first-person protagonist in a Holmes story. (Not sure why Thomas decided to make the Holmes chapters third person.) Definitely could have used a good copy edit, but this is easily forgiven because the plot was so good. Recommend.
Jul 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy read. As you would expect, The Woman (which she's often referred to in the book), is Irene Adler. This is the 1st book of 2 that the author has published, but she is currently writing the 3rd. It was an interesting read, but not top-notch. I'll read the 2nd one, however.
Favorite line: "I put on my black silk gown and felt it slide over me like confidence".
Ben Blick
Sherlock Holmes ruined forever!!
Valerie Hill
Mar 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A pleasant and intriguing pastiche, although the location and mystery itself were not that appealing. I like my Sherlock Holmes in England.
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Eh. Two stars seems too low a rating, and three stars seems too high. 2.5 stars? I didn't hate it, it was okay, but only that. I expected something better. ...more
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a very enjoyable Holmes pastiche with THE WOMAN. It was interesting reading about their relationship as they solved the mystery.
Calvin Daniels
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Completely enjoyed this one. Great take on Holmes and Adler. Must read for Holmesian fans.
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Amy Thomas is a mystery author based in Fort Myers, Florida. She possesses a passionate love for knitting, Sherlock Holmes, and the New York Yankees.

Other books in the series

The Detective and the Woman (3 books)
  • The Detective the Woman and the Winking Tree: A Novel Of Sherlock Holmes
  • The Detective, The Woman and The Silent Hive: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes

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