Originally published as Good Morning, Irene in 1991, The Adventuress is the second in a series of mysteries featuring Irene Adler, the only woman to ever have bested Sherlock Holmes.
In 1888, Irene Norton (née Adler) and her husband, presumed dead in a train accident, find themselves drawn into a mystery involving drowned sailors, strange tattoos, royalty in Monaco, and ancient treasures. With the help of her companion Penelope (Nell) Huxleigh, Irene’s own “Dr. Watson,” Irene decides to sort out these seemingly unrelated events. Along the way, she avoids discovery by Sherlock Holmes (on his own trail of these deaths), convinces Sarah Bernhardt to play Hamlet, and worries Nell to no end.
Douglas has Irene employ several of Holmes’s techniques, particularly the donning of disguises, and there are several subtle nods to fans of Conan Doyle’s detective. Occasionally, Nell Huxleigh lauds Irene too much, and the narrator could never be accused of being reticent. Still, a relaxing read for a weekend.