Middle Grade · Mystery · series

Enola Holmes by Nancy Springer

The divine Netflix trailer brought this series back to my attention. Now that I have read the first book I cannot wait to get my hands on more!


SYNOPSIS

When Enola Holmes, the much younger sister of detective Sherlock Holmes, discovers her mother has disappeared—on her 14th birthday nonetheless—she knows she alone can find her. Disguising herself as a grieving widow, Enola sets out to the heart of London to uncover her mother’s whereabouts—but not even the last name Holmes can prepare her for what awaits. Suddenly involved in the kidnapping of the young Marquess of Basilwether, Enola must escape murderous villains, free the spoiled Marquess, and perhaps hardest of all, elude her shrewd older brother—all while collecting clues to her mother’s disappearance. from Goodreads.

A black and red cover featuring a teenage girl with curly hair in profile riding a bicycle.

REVIEW

Enola Holmes the Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer was originally published in 2007. Springer, who writes several different female-lead series, has six books for this wonderful mystery series featuring the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes. I just know I read book one years and years ago and I remember really enjoying it but the new preview for Netflix’s Enola Holmes movie has reinvigorated my interest in the book. Just look!

I am a certified sucker for books that are made into movies but I just all-out squealed when I saw this one! I immediately found myself a copy of the first book and tucked into my couch to reacquaint myself with Enola.

Whew does this book have layers! On its face, this is a mystery about a girl whose mother has gone missing further complicated by a missing Marquess. Dig just slightly deeper and there is some strong female lead vibes that will bring any reader joy. What genuinely surprised me was how much 19th century feminism is laid out for the reader. I just adored that Enola solved mysteries using information only a woman, and sometimes only a child, would know. Even though Enola was heavily critical of the fashion of the day, she still struggled with propriety which made her so genuine in my mind. The story makes clear the reality of a societal system that forces women to be utterly dependent on their male family members. Certainly, Enola and her mother could be victims of the times but their bright, lovely minds, and determination will help them break the suffocating molds of Victorian England.

This Edgar Award nominee mystery is marked for middle grade reading but it should be mentioned that London in the late 1800’s wasn’t Mary Poppins. Mentions of murdered prostitutes and the violence and desperation of the slums of England are not shied away from, although they are brief.

I love a tenacious female lead, especially a fourteen-year-old one! This historical fiction mystery series is one I am delighted to have re-discovered. I can only hope that the Netflix movie is half as good as the book. I’ll find out this Wednesday (September 23rd, 2020), when it premieres!


Tell me, please! Have you read this series? Are you excited about the movie?


6 thoughts on “Enola Holmes by Nancy Springer

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