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Unfortunately, the book itself is pretty terrible, bad enough that I was dreading having to pick it up again before I finally gave up. Never a good sign.

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Worst thing first: Despite the fact that we're reading a book from Irene's point of view, about her summer, her mystery, she's still consistently defined in context of Holmes. The opening line of the book tells the reader that she's Sherlock Holmes' first girlfriend. We aren't introduced to Irene; we're introduced to Irene-who-dated-Holmes. Here's the thing: Irene is ostensibly our main character. The fact that Sherlock Holmes is the main character of Doyle's stories doesn't mean he has to be the most important person here.

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Irene isn't Watson, and I dislike the way her narrative reads like she's standing in for a chronicler Holmes hasn't yet met--especially because she can't just be his chronicler and friend. She has to be his girl friend, and that has to be a characteristic so utterly defining to her life that we hear about it before anything else. Maybe my opinion on how they've written Irene would be salvageable if there was any real life to the characters, but in general, they're flat and boring. This might well be a flaw of translation, since the book was originally published in Italian, and some of the sentences flow oddly.

I think there's great potential in the idea of giving Irene Adler narrative control.

Manual Ore di terrore (Piemme pocket) (Italian Edition)

This isn't the book to do it, though--or, at least, not well. View 2 comments.

Sep 15, Barb Middleton rated it really liked it Shelves: mystery , friendship. Sherlock fan here. I like the films. I like the TV shows.

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I like the literature. The eccentric Sherlock with his brilliant deductive skills are my cup of green tea. This book references the classic but puts a twist on the narrative using Irene Adler's voice to frame the story rather than Dr. Irene was Sherlock's only love interest in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "A Scandal in Bohemia"; hence, when Irene claims to be Sherlock's only girlfriend she is referring to when they were adults in th Sherlock fan here.

Irene was Sherlock's only love interest in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "A Scandal in Bohemia"; hence, when Irene claims to be Sherlock's only girlfriend she is referring to when they were adults in the original classic. This story isn't a romance, although the boys are intrigued by the unconventional Irene. The focus is on the developing friendship of Irene, Sherlock, and Lupin; three teenagers solving a murder mystery. The first person point of view makes it easy to understand and the Victorian illustrations and backdrop add flavor to the setting.

Suspense abounds in this fast read. She is stifled by the Victorian rules regarding female behavior and it makes her rebellious. This might get lost on the reader as the author doesn't go into depth but only mentions it in the first chapter that frames the story. Irene just thinks about how the butler is telling her to be like a lady and later we see that she does not get along with her mother. Irene consistently bucks conventions saddled on women as the boys don't expect her to do anything dangerous or throw any punches.

She surprises them in many different situations and exposes her untraditional ways. Sherlock and Irene immediately have a battle of wits before she convinces him to help her escape from the Butler that is looking for her. A juggernaut of adventures ensue that made me read the whole book in two hours.

Their escape takes them to a boat owned by Sherlock's friend, Arsene Lupin, and the three flee to an empty mansion. All three use the place for a break from the pressures at home and to be independent. On the way back they find a dead man on the beach with a note in his pocket and follow the clue. The two boys try to protect Irene but soon find out that she is perfectly capable of protecting herself. Or her butler is. They invite her over for boxing lessons showing how they view her as an equal. This is quite progressive for Victorian times and the spunky Irene enjoys the freedom.

The twists and turns of the mystery had me baffled and the resolution was satisfying. Irene's parents do not get along particularly well and we discover that Irene adores her father and resents the substitute butler at times even though he genuinely cares for her. After he gets her out of some scrapes and she calls him by his first name, she shows a slow maturation as her respect for him grows and she realizes that he does care for her.


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She does not understand her mother's lack of intellectual curiosity and later we learn that she is an orphan. She's punished for her impulsive behavior, but it has no effect on her because she doesn't value her mother's opinion and her curiosity for the world overrides her fear of authority. She's not going to be a Victorian woman that is happy in the domestic sphere.


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  • She's a feisty intellectual that is rebellious and has power struggles with her mother and butler. While the butler makes some inroads with connecting with her, the mother does not. The father making faces in boring social arrangements setup by the wife shows a certain disrespect to his wife and encourages Irene in her rebellious actions. He models some of the behavior seen in Irene. This dynamic makes for an authentic family and great discussions.

    Dec 01, Valerie rated it it was amazing Shelves: netgalley. A young girl, Irene Adler, is on summer vacation in Saint-Malo in With not much to do and a lot of adventure in her spirit, she comes across William Sherlock Holmes, who introduces her to his friend Arsene Lupin. The three quickly get caught up in a murder case when they find a dead body on the shore. The police aren't having much luck in figuring out who the dead man is, let alone what happened to him. Thankfully the three young friends are also quite great detectives. Will they be able to solve the case?

    This is a fun new series for middle readers.

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    The publisher recommends ages , and I agree. It will appeal to the older kids who know who Sherlock is, but the story itself stands alone as a good mystery.

    go here Even if the reader figures out part of what is going on, I am sure the ending will still be a surprise. I love mysteries. I am not the best at solving them, so the fact that I didn't figure it out doesn't mean that no one will, but I still think it was a good surprise ending. The author, Irene Adler, is actually Sherlock's love interest. I do not know the whole back story behind this, but it has definitely made me want to look into it. The history, the mystery, and the characters will draw the young readers in. I am definitely looking forward to more from this series.

    Jul 15, Kate rated it liked it. I'm new to the world of YA reading as an adult, that is , so I may not be the best person to review this book. Based on the library where I found it, I'm guessing the target age is around grade 4. The book begins with the narrator introducing herself as Shelock's girlfriend. I'm all for a fun, young female take on Sherlock, but does she have to be his girlfriend? How about just a friend, his long-lost cousin, another sister, a local girl, etc.?

    The girlfriend thing really sat poo I'm new to the world of YA reading as an adult, that is , so I may not be the best person to review this book. The girlfriend thing really sat poorly with me. We learn that at the time the story takes place, the narrator is twelve and Sherlock is "a few years older" I'm guessing about 14, based on the age difference between Sherlock and Mycroft. Now, to be fair, there's only a slight whiff of romantic action in the story itself blushing, hands brushing, long looks, etc. I guess we are to surmise that the girlfriend bit comes later.

    Rather, I dislike the framing device as it sets up the text with this idea that access to the story happens because of romance.