|Carole Nelson Douglas: Chapel Noir|
(Hardcover), ISBN 0312854935
Fast forward a few months to find a restless Irene Adler and her faithful companion Nell Huxleigh at home in the suburbs of Paris. Irene's beloved husband Godfrey Norton travels somewhere in Europe on business for the Baron de Rothschild. Distraction arrives in the form of two French gendarmes. Irene gladly accompanies them. Not about to be left behind, Nell (disapproving as usual) tags along.
Nell soon wishes she hadn't. For the gendarmes escort Irene and Nell to a house of ill repute -- and worse, to a room in this maison de rendevous that more nearly resembles an abattoir than a scene for seduction. The savaged remains of two prostitutes lie scattered over the opulent room -- barely recognizable as human except for their shoes and bits of clothing.
In no time at all, Irene and Nell find themselves immersed and enmeshed in a mystery the likes of which they've never seen before. Could Jack the Ripper be at large in Paris? Or was the murderer a client of the most expensive and exclusive maison? British royalty, millionaire bankers, London playwrights and the great Sherlock Holmes himself whirl around Irene and Nell as they struggle to separate fact from fiction, lies from truth and finally, trust from the gravest suspicions.
Carole, you know I love you. I worship the very ground your dainty high-heeled feet trod upon. But know this, I hate cliff-hangers. Especially ones that involve my very favorite characters. However, much can be forgiven for the excellence of the research and the brilliance of the mystery you've laid before me. The fabulous Irene outdoes herself. Nell works her prim way under your skin and all the historical characters you tossed your net around come to fascinating life. For the sheer excellence of the read, I salute you -- brava!
But I beg you, please, hurry up and get back to work. I need to know what happens next.
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