Saturday, September 12, 2020

Enola Holmes: The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer


This is one of those series of books that I've seen around so many times over the years, and never picked it up. The new show on Netflix (September 23) had me deciding it was finally time to read the first in the series and see just what it was about. I had another one of those "why did I wait so long?!" moments when I finished it this morning. 

Enola Holmes is the younger sister of Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes. Years after her brothers were born, their mother produced Enola, embarrassingly at an older age when respectable women didn't have babies. Enola is now fourteen, and it's her birthday. 

She lives with her mother at the family estate, and she's had a pretty free life since her father died years ago, and her brothers have not visited in all that time. She's smart, quick, and loves to ride her bike. She's corset free, and happy about it. Until the morning of her birthday, when her mother steps out the door and never returns. 

Enola doesn't understand why her mother would leave her, and her confusion and sense of loss are a bit heartbreaking. However, she telegrams her brothers, and they arrive. Shocked by Enola's appearance (she looks a bit like a wild child) they quickly realize all the money Mycroft has been sending for years for clothes, dance lessons, horses and gardeners has been squirreled away by their mother. Enola is in need of a boarding school and proper clothes for a proper young lady STAT. 

Enola isn't having any of that, of course. On the day she is sent away to boarding school, she runs away, having planned to reach London to look for her mother. She's   no slouch in planning and observing, and using codes to figure things out. But, she is only fourteen, and some things go awry in her plan. Can she save herself, or will she be forced to contact Sherlock for help?

I know the movie on Netflix will have a bigger story than the first novel, but I watched the movie clip and it certainly looks like Millie Bobby Brown embodies all the best of Enola Holmes. I can't wait to watch it. And who can say no to Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes?! I certainly can't, nor do I want to. 

I wasn't sure what to expect from this first novel, and I am happy to say it was a delightful read. Not at all what I expected plot wise, so I am eager to read the rest in the series and see where Enola's adventures take her.  This series says middle school, and I would say any child who loves mysteries and is a good reader would enjoy these. Very well written; full of adventure, observation, and putting clues together.

Rating: 4/6 for a great start to a mystery series for kids that was first published in 2011. The series is still in print, and will find new readers as the Netflix movie comes out in the U.S. September 23rd. On my way to buy the rest of the series! 

Available in paperback and audio. 

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