June 14, 2012

Spider Dance **

** Spider Dance, Carole Nelson Douglas, 2004

In the final (as far as I know) novel of the series, Irene stays in New York on a mission to unearth the truth about her origins, particularly her mother.

On the upside, we have the full cast of characters we have come to know and love (excepting Watson), historical and fictional, and a gruesome murder in the Vanderbilt mansion to solve.

On the downside (for my reading tastes), in Irene's search for her mother, we have a seriously degraded SNR, pages and pages of interviews with various characters about what they remember, copious pages of declamation on women's rights and gender roles and social mores. And interspersed with the story we have an alternate narrative of an unnamed "dangerous woman" four of five decades earlier.

The issue for me is that I'm reading this series solely because it's an extension of the Holmes canon and involves a clever interpretation of an interesting character from that canon. As such, I'm looking for a mystery story and these other things, however well written they may be, are of no interest to me. But that is a creative decision that right belongs to the author, as it should. It just means that I am not the target audience for the last few books in the series. But I wish Ms. Douglas great continued success with her books


Sean said...

I am sorry that Miss Douglas did not write more books in the series, and am also sorry that the audiobooks are made for only the first 4. (I love listening to the audios-I digitised the old cassettes). Might I recommend Stephanie Barron's Jane Austen Mystery novels. It is also historical mystery fiction, but Georgian/Regency instead of late Victorian. I like them a lot, although not quite as much as I like the Irene Adler series. I see you read Pride and Prejudice, so I am guessing you will like it. In the series, Jane Austen is kind of like a younger Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote in that unlike Irene, she is not really seeking mysteries, but people invariably die around her! I am not sure if i will be notified of your response, so feel free to email me at sales at sjhfoto .com

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