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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spider Dance


***** Spider Dance by Carole Nelson Douglas. Mystery.









This is the eighth book in the Irene Adler series.

Spider Dance picks up where Femme Fatale left off, with Irene and Nell in New York, searching for clues to Irene's origins. Sherlock Holmes is still in New York as well, and he's been hired to solve a gruesome murder in a society mansion.

Holmes' and Irene's paths cross when the victim turns out to be an elderly cleric who was a key to Irene's own mystery.

Meanwhile, Nellie Bly (also known as "Pink") is searching for a story to take the place of the Jack the Ripper story she's not allowed to write, and Nell's beau Quentin Stanhope has been assigned to keep an eye on Pink and ensure that she keeps the secrets, so he's spending a lot of time in her company, much to Nell's dismay.

This is a wonderfully complex story, with all the various threads interweaving, each one affecting the others. It's also emotional for all the characters concerned, and touches on the meaning of motherhood. In addition, it's a fascinating portrait of late-19th-century New York, made more vivid by the contrasting viewpoints of American native Pink and the very British Nell and Holmes.


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