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Synopsis

IRENE ADLER

Operatic diva. Femme fatale. Adventuress.

And one of the world's most intriguing detectives.

Before Caleb Carr, Anne Perry, and Laurie R. King, Carole Nelson Douglas gave readers a delightful look into Victoriana with one of the most impressive detective characters: Irene Adler, the only woman ever to have outwitted Sherlock Holmes, in "A Scandal in Bohemia." A charismatic performer and the intellectual equal (some would say superior) the men she encounters, Irene Adler is as much at home with a spyglass and revolver as with haute couture and gala balls.

And her adventures are the stuff of legend. She has faced down sinister spies, thwarted plots against nations, spurned a monarch and lived to reap a sweet revenge...and now is on the hunt for one of the true monsters of all time-Jack the Ripper. It was she who led a most unlikely group of allies through the cellars and catacombs of 1889 Paris in the search and capture of the suspect at a horrific secret-cult ceremony held beneath the city. But disaster has scattered those allies and the Ripper has again escaped, this time from the custody of the Paris police. Sherlock Holmes has returned to London, and Watson, to reinvestigate the Whitechapel murders of the previous fall from an entirely new angle.

Irene fears the Ripper will soon carve a bloody trail elsewhere and is eager to hunt this terror down. But terror has struck a little too close to home, for her own nearest and dearest are mysteriously missing--her companion/biographer, Nell Huxleigh, abducted in Paris and her barrister husband, Godfrey Norton, vanished in the wilds of Bohemia.

What should Irene do first? Search for Nell, Godfrey, or the Ripper? Though Irene has many highly placed friends, the Baron de Rothschild, Sarah Bernhardt, and the Prince of Wales can only offer money and good will.

For the actual pursuit, Irene must rely on an unreliable cohort, the American prostitute named Pink, who has proven to be someone with her own agenda, and Bram Stoker, the theatrical manager who was later to pen Dracula. The trail will lead back to Bohemia and on to new and bloodier atrocities before pursuers and prey reunite at a remote castle in Transylvania, where lthe Ripper is cornered and fully unveiled at last . . . a truly astounding yet chillingly logical answer to what the world has never known before:

Who was Jack the Ripper?

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