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Friday, March 9, 2012
A Believeable View of The Woman
Except for the novels of Carole Nelson Douglas, I have always cringed at books and movies involving Irene Adler.
Now comes another exception.
The Detective and The Woman by Amy Thomas is a well-written, sometimes moving novel that takes place during The Great Hiatus, when most of the world believed Holmes to be dead. Thomas posits that at the beginning of that three-year period he was actually in Ft. Myers, Florida, at brother Mycroft's behest.
His mission is to protect Irene Adler, recently widowed by the untimely death of Godfrey Norton -- untimely because he was a brute whose earlier death would have been a boon to Irene.
Holmes and Irene are drawn into a social circle that includes Thomas Edison and his family, as well as a number of other historical figures who were in Ft. Meyers at that time.
That's interesting, and so is the plot, but the most engaging aspect of the work is the relationship between the detective and the woman. Their mutual admiration and respect deepens into a friendship and trust that even withstands a kind of betrayal by Holmes. Related from Irene's first-person point of view alternating with Holmes's perspective in the third person, this development is both convincing and touching.
And the last couple of chapters of the novel, after the main action of the story has concluded, will stay with me a long time.