Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Curse of the Jade Dragon by Nene Adams

Publisher:             P. D. Publishing

The Curse of the Jade Dragon is a period mystery set in London.  It's another book in the series featuring Lady Evangeline St. Claire and her partner Rhiannon Moore, who are the female counterparts to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, if the gentlemen were gay.

When Lina treats Rhiannon to a variety show that features a famous "Chinese" magician, they witness his murder in front of the entire audience.  Lina's natural curiosity has her already involved in the case before she is approached by a government official who wants her to conduct  a top secret investigation into what might really have happened.  Things are not what they seem and espionage between Britain and Russia is at the heart of the matter.  There will be kidnappings, murder attempts and all sorts of shady characters as Lina uses disguises and contacts to engage in the types of activities that thrill her and scare Rhiannon to death.  They have to outwit spies and government agents to discover who is manipulating the game before someone has the opportunity to kill them.

Sherlock Holmes fans will recognize the setting and feel of this novel.  It's rich in Victorian geography and culture.  Nene Adams is known for the meticulous research she does for her books and that allows her to create stories that are extremely accurate in their details.  There is the occasional reference to a word, object or attitude that is unique to the period and allows the reader to submerge herself in that time and separate from the present world.  The influence of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is obvious in the work and maintains the same sort of suspense yet fun that his stories are known for.  It's not so much a matter of figuring out "who" the solution to the mystery is as it is about how Lina and Rhiannon will prove what they know to be true.  The two characters reflect their role models perfectly, but with a feminine twist.

The Curse of the Jade Dragon is a quick mystery to read, perfect for an afternoon or evening of escapism.  There is a series of these stories available, so the reader may want to check them out also.

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