BookHound
Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

ENOLA HOLMES AND THE MISSING MARQUESS by Nancy Springer

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Nancy Springer is a noted fantasy author, but here lately she’s been re-writing some of her – and my – favorite childhood characters. I’ve always been partial to that Outlaw of Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood, but who knew he had a daughter? Nancy did. In fact, she’s written five novels about Rowan Hood and her merry band.

Morgan Le Fay has always been one of those strong woman, and evil, from Arthurian legend. But who knew her childhood stories? Nancy did. She wrote two of the young Morgan Le Fay.

When I think of private detectives, I always think of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and Mycroft Holmes. But who knew that Sherlock and Mycroft had a younger sister? Nancy did. And she’s just now penning the curious adventures of Enola Holmes, the fourteen-year-old younger sister of the Great Detective.

I first met Miss Enola Holmes in the novel, Enola Holmes and the Case of the Missing Marquess. I found her to be utterly brilliant, like her older brothers, and quite given to solving mysteries. Her deductive reasoning is a delight, as is her particular views on society.

Regrettably, young Enola is not a proper young lady. She loves traipsing through forests, wearing men’s clothing, and having hideouts that require journeying through streams and across muddy earth. She’s also quite fearless and knowledgeable about a great many things.

The first-person narrative of the novels revealed a lot of Miss Holmes’s character to me within a few short pages. I found her to be, not so much a carbon copy of Sherlock Holmes, but rather a young lady with all of Sherlock’s best qualities who was also equipped with the vision of youth and feminine perspective.

There are a great many puzzles in Miss Holmes’s life. Not in the least of these is the reason why her mother abandoned Miss Holmes on the morning of her fourteenth birthday. As much as that bothered and stymied young Miss Holmes, it also burdened me with curiosity and speculation.

But Miss Holmes’s mother left many messages behind for her young daughter. They shared a passion for puzzles and curiosities. Miss Holmes’s first name, Enola, is actually ALONE spelled backward. Once you understand that, you begin to worry at what prompted her mother to name her such. The name, though, offers hints as to how to solve the other mysteries her mother left her. The interpretations are so obvious when the solution is given.

After she discovers she’s been abandoned, Miss Holmes puts the police to searching for her mother, but at the same time she knows that if her brothers find her alone and uncared for they’ll ship her off to a young ladies’ finishing school. That’s not something Miss Holmes wants.

Before long, she figures out a way to escape the watchful eye of Mycroft as he stays there to set his mother’s affairs right. Then she’s on her way to London, the Greatest City in the world, on her trusty bicycle. Along the way I was treated to a great many descriptions of the time and land that were truly amazing.

It also doesn’t take Enola long to come across a mystery that haunts her all the way to London. While at the estates of the Marquess of Tewksbury, Enola takes the case long enough to figure out what happened to the young boy. She doesn’t dream that this endeavor will follow her all the way to her destination and place her squarely in the path of the worst danger she’s ever known amid London’s seedier alleys.

Enola Holmes and the Case of the Missing Marquess is a wonderful book for the 9-12 year old minds. It’s small and compact, not overly long, and physically fits into small hands quite well. Not only that, but the cover art is outstanding. I also liked the fact that the cover is printed right on the hardcover under the dust jacket.

The second book is called Enola Holmes and the Case of the Left-Handed Lady, and is already out. Enola Holmes and the Case of the Bizarre Bouquets is coming in January 2008. The first two books would make excellent gifts for the upcoming Christmas season.

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4 Responses to “ENOLA HOLMES AND THE MISSING MARQUESS by Nancy Springer”

  1. i lovvee this book!

  2. i love this book its so tottaly tubuer lol (inside joke)!!!lol

  3. this book was meant for the 9-12years but i am well lets say
    add 40 years to that , i do wish ms. nancy springer would write
    more of the Enola Holmes i feel as if i am missing something whats going on with her now did she find her mother ,did holmes
    catch up with her etc.

  4. thanks for enola holmes we need more


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