Doherty, Sep 2002, 25.95, 544 pp.
Sleuth Irene Adler is stunned that the man she thought might be Jack the Ripper escaped from his prison asylum and concludes that that he will kill again. Irene caught him before and feels obligated to do so again though she knows how dangerous that mission is.
However, the cat and mouse game takes quite a few twists even before it starts. First someone abducts her companion Nell Huxleigh. If that kidnapper is Ripper, Nell is already dead. Even before she can plan a course of action to rescue Nell if she lives, Irene learns that her spouse, barrister Godfrey Norton, has vanished somewhere in Bohemia. Once again she wonders if the escapee is involved. With the help of Bram Stroker and Pink, an expatriate American hooker, Irene begins her second war to stop the notorious serial killer whose calling card is a sea of red and rescue her cherished ones.
The latest Irene Adler Victorian mystery, CASTLE ROUGE, is a tremendous who-done-it that stars a wonderful sleuth. Irene is supported by a who's who of the times (fiction and real) blended cleverly into the story line to either provide insight into the heroine or propel the plot forward including Holmes and Watson. The investigation is strong engaging the audience with its insight into the late nineteenth century on the continent as a bonus. Carole Nelson Douglas deserves accolades and best selling status for this triumphant historical detective tale that will send readers seeking other Adler novels and other works by this delightful author.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner