Review of The Case Book of Irene Adler; San Cassimally; Green Okapi Press 2014; pp 189
– Shana Susan Ninan
A thief and an investigator – that’s what Ms Irene Adler is. And she plays her part right down to the t. As a contemporary of the famous Sherlock Holmes, and at times, circumstantially against him, Adler comes to Holmes’s refuge. She gets Holmes to hire her in place of Ms Turner, the housekeeper. Armed as Mrs Hudson, with good disguise put on, Adler tells her side of the story this time. Let me assure you, in the solving of the cases mentioned, she’s adept and insightful, sometimes even seeming to outwitting Holmes. Their intellectual connectedness is thoroughly explored in San’s work.
Three most brilliant minds of the time – Moriarty, Holmes and Adler – comes under one roof in one of the stories, and you hold your breath, waiting for the unthinkable to happen. I shall let those who’ve not yet got a copy of San’s book to wait it out and read the rest of the happenings that follow the three masterminds.
Adler’s cases range from ambitious thefts, disguising as gypsies to retrieve a Romany child to redeeming her gay friend’s esteem and even tying the knot with her gay friend to save his skin in society. She learns to ride the horse, hunt game and use the gun deftly, all taught to her by her friends at the Club des As, a common group of friends who are out to right some social wrongs.
The author’s trademark playwright background and love of theatre comes through in the plots. Adler herself being a not-so-famous actor who’s now turned to a different occupation. San hails from Mauritius and received his education at Manchester and Cambridge Universities and is a prize-winning and produced playwright.