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

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,086 Ratings  ·  148 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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Aug 23, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: holmes-pastiches
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
Jun 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not exactly Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Instead of Doctor Watson we have Miss Penelope Huxleigh, a parson's daughter left in poor circumstances by the death of her father. She is rescued by a Miss Irene Adler who prevents a street urchin from making off with Miss Huxleigh's belongings. Irene Adler and Sherlock Holmes have both been hired by a Mr. Tiffany of the jewelry fame, to find Marie Antoinette's Zone of Diamonds last known to possibly be in the hands of 'Black Jack" Norton.
Penelope and Irene e
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it! Great characters, great plot. Terrific humor!
If you always cared for Irene Adler, this is a must read, even if you never read another book in the series.
Dec 04, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 20, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Feb 12, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
"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
Dec 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My all time favorite detective series. Arthur Conan Doyle introduced the character of Irene Adler in "A Scandal in Bohemia". Irene shows up in a number of modern rewrites of Sherlock Holmes but almost everyone gets the character wrong. The TV series with Benedict Cumberbatch casts Irene as a modern day dominatrix who's a little too eager to beat people with her riding crop. In the Robert Downey Jr. movies, Irene is a hired hand for criminals and a sexual minx.

Both of those portrayals are wrong.
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.
Oct 24, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Caidyn (BW Book Reviews)

While I did really enjoy the characterization of all the women in this book, it just didn't hook me. My overall feeling was "Meh". It was a bit too long. Everything just dragged and there were pieces that I didn't see why I cared about, therefore I honestly didn't keep track of, aka the Zone of Diamonds. I could have cared less about that, although it did hook in different important characters. This hashed out details, characters, and brought us to the point where the ACD-canon left off with
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are a Sherlock Holmes fan, you will love this account of his first encounter with Irene Adler written from the perspective of Irene and her companion, Penelope Huxleigh.
Phylisha Stone
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
Lovedddd the strong character portrayal of irene adler. A woman ahead of her time in and era when second and sometimes third class citizens.
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little long but so well done.
Luciana Darce
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Fox Lake District Library
Although some felt this title read more like a romance novel than a murder mystery, it was interesting to see Sherlock Holmes from the perspective of Irene Adler.

Find this book at the Fox Lake Library:
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just amazing!
Jacqueline O.
Good Night, Mr. Holmes takes the familiar Sherlock Holmes short story, "A Scandal in Bohemia", and turns it on it's head, telling the story from Irene Adler's point of view. It also expands the story into a full-length novel. The author gives Irene her own Watson, Penelope Huxleigh, whom Irene calls "Nell". Nell narrates the story, and she is interesting in her own right. The daughter of a parson, when her father dies, she's left on her own. Nell does OK, getting a job as a governess. However, w ...more
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Steven Peterson
Mar 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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

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
Leslie Graff
As other reviewers have written, I really wanted to like this book. I loved the concept and was looking forward to the Holmes-like clues to readers linking Irene's narrative with the Sherlock stories we know so well. However, overall, this fell flat. The mystery of the work, or at least one of them, the diamond chain wasn't developed enough to be really interesting. The romance with the King of Bohemia was set up well, but there was so much time spent on the sidekick's tale that I lost interest ...more
Rena Sherwood
This was a lot of fun and a real treat to read. You do have to know the first Sherlock Holmes short story "A Scandal In Bohemia" pretty well before reading this or you will be completely lost. This is basically a retelling of "A Scandal in Bohemia" written from the point of view of Irene Adler's Watson-like companion, who really hates Sherlock Holmes. Douglas never makes it clear how Irene Adler feels about Sherlock Holmes, which leaves it up to the reader to interpret.


Here our cross-dressing su
Eleanor Waxman
Feb 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
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
Oct 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Carole Nelson Douglas is the author of sixty-three 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 28-book Midnight Louie contemporary mystery series. Delilah Street, PI (Paranormal Investigator), headlines Carole' ...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)