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The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan (Enola Holmes Mysteries #4)

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,372 Ratings  ·  225 Reviews
When Enola Holmes encounters her friend Lady Cecily hiding behind a pink fan, she finds it peculiar. Cecily is being held hostage in an abysmal orphanage, forced into a miserable marriage. Enola joins forces with the much older famous brother Sherlock who she has fought desperately to elude, and risks her own freedom to rescue her friend.
Hardcover, 183 pages
Published 2008 by Philomel Penguin Young Readers
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I will come right out and admit that I definitely allowed myself to picture a particular Mr. Cumberbatch throughout the Sherlock cameos in this story, which had me laughing quite heartily. I loved the scenes that Sherlock shared with Enola, the sibling relationship was humorous and tense, quite realistic given their difference in age. Again, I was impressed with how clever and thoughtful Enola was, always thoroughly thinking things through before launching off. That doesn't mean she doesn't impr ...more
Feb 22, 2011 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Another good story in the Enola Holmes series. This one has Enola to rescue, after Lady Cecily is again in grave peril! Enola is resting in the Ladie's Public Lavatory after a day of shopping when she encounters Lady Cecily (from The Case of the Left-Handed Lady). Cecily is dressed in a very curious and cumbersome gown and seems to be in the process of shopping for her trousseau. Lady Cecily manages to ask Enola for help using the language of fans before her guardians whisk he away and Enola is ...more
Oct 25, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it
Enola Holmes Mystery The Fourth. And considering how much time the book devotes to our dear hoyden's desires to find a friend, soul-mate or mother, there is plenty of time for a right load of swashbuckling and derring-do. She doesn't quite swing from the chandeliers but only because there wasn't one to her convenience. She really should be sliding down those bannisters on the cover - no really. Beyond the bannister surfing and the rope swinging this one really benefits from a proper generous sli ...more
An Odd1
Jan 11, 2015 An Odd1 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
"Ye gods!" .. "Ye reeking gods!" .. "Ye gods with corns and bunions!" .. "He limped away" p 110. And that is how narrator Enola 15 deals with suddenly meeting older brother Sherlock. Her style "I will spare the gentle reader" p 111 keeps us back in the Victorian times, when the upper class conveyed messages with fans and flowers.

Lady Cecily's father has two sisters, "Lady Otelia Thoroughfinch, Viscountess of Inglethorpe" and "Baroness Merganser, Lady Aquilla", who all want her son Bramwell to m
Terri Lynn
What a rollicking good time I am having reading these books about 14 year old Enola Holmes, the very resourceful younger sister of Sherlock Holmes and Mycroft Holmes whose mom ran away to join the gypsies leaving Enola with a lot of money to support herself on. Sherlock and Mycroft want to put her in a boarding school to learn to be a lady and trophy wife one day but Enola is having none of it. She is living on her own in London and helping people solve mysteries while dodging Sherlock and Mycro ...more
Jan 12, 2010 Beth rated it liked it
Not as good as the previous Enola Holmes mysteries, but the relationship between Sherlock and Enola became the main focus in this one rather than the actual mystery plot. Whether that was intentional or not, I cannot tell. For me that shows a distinct lack of polish. However, I still like it, and think these books on average smarter than the average YA novel for older elementary to middle school students.

Quite liking how Sherlock makes comparisons and contrasts between his little sister and he.
Aug 22, 2013 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
I think this may be my favorite of the series, for two reasons:

1) Enola has a female friend and a female network of contacts that she probably would consider friends if she weren't so bad at friendship. She is allowed to have female friends. She is allowed to have fellow feeling for women. She is allowed to be female and to accept and enjoy that femininty, even while she refuses to follow the standard Victorian course for women.

(view spoiler)
May 06, 2011 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yet another entertaining installment in the Enola Holmes mystery series.

In this, the fourth installment, Enola finds herself once again having to rescue the Left-Handed Lady, from a terrible, constricting fate.

Since it had been over a year since I'd listened to the "Left-Handed Lady" I'm afraid some of the impact of her return was lost on me, and I had to rely on what was included in this book to refresh my memory. That said, I was thrilled that much of this book finally focused on Enola's relat
Jenn Estepp
Oct 11, 2008 Jenn Estepp rated it liked it
I don't know. I guess maybe I'm over this series already. While I liked this one better than the third book, I'm still really irked by the fact that so much of Enola's success relies on chance and coincidence. She'd be a much stronger heroine if that weren't the case.

Additionally, parts of this felt a little too didactic, the way the historical fiction can sometimes slip into - "and now I will educate you bluntly about life in this time period." Bleh.

But, the central story is compelling enough
Jan 10, 2012 Josephine rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
It took me a good 70 pages before I really got into this one and wanted to keep reading it. After that though, it actually turned into one of my favorites of the series and makes me want to go read some more Sherlock Holmes books to find out more of his personality and see how well it matches with these books. Which is kind of weird really that reading a historical fiction based around a historically fictitious character makes you want to go learn more about this fictitious guy.
Mar 16, 2015 Liam rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this as much as all the others. Very entertaining, clever use of old characters, and in general a lot of fun. Enola Holmes is awesome.
Feb 14, 2015 Kristine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, young-adult
Number #4 in the Enola Holmes series is my favorite so far! Sixteen year old Lady Cecily, who once again finds herself in trouble, manages to communicate her desperate distress to the quick-thinking, sleuth Enola Holmes, the much younger teen sister of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. The search for Lady Cecily is afoot. Where to begin? The only clue Enola has is a cheap pink fan.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Enola, Lady Cecily's mother has engaged Sherlock to help find her daughter. Voila! The
Jan 14, 2015 Marklessgirl rated it really liked it
It was very interesting and I liked it. I enjoy how the social commentary is.
Mary Ronan Drew
Feb 15, 2012 Mary Ronan Drew rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-book
Sherlock Holmes stories and novels by Conan Doyle are among those "classics" that one never wearies of re-reading. But once a year is enough. What are we Sherlockians to do with the other 50 weeks of the year?

We read pastiches, and among the most charming of those is a series of children's books by Nancy Springer starring Sherlock and Mycroft's much younger sister, Enola. Particularly clever is the donee, as Henry James would put it (if he were a Holmes fan - I wonder if he read Conan Doyle.) Th
Oct 26, 2008 Keli rated it really liked it
Shelves: lis-565, juvenile, mystery

Sherlock Holmes' younger sister, Enola Holmes, must use all her cunning to evade her brothers who wish to take her home and make her conform to Victorian ideals of femininity. However, this self-reliant daughter of a suffragette is able to maintain her independence while solving mysteries and aiding another young woman to avoid a forced marriage.


The author set out to marry her love of Sherlock Holmes with a feminist character. And while that's not intrinsically a bad thing, the age
Nov 26, 2009 Alicia rated it really liked it
Shelves: j
The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan is the fourth book in the Enola Holmes Mystery series. 14-year old Enola Holmes is the younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes who, like her brothers, has a talent for solving mysteries. With both of her parents out of the picture, Enola is left in the care of her two brothers, who think that their sister should act like a proper Victorian lady. But Enola, a smart, spunky, and self sufficient young lady, has run away from her brothers to start her own busi ...more
Vannessagrace Vannessagrace
Mar 21, 2009 Vannessagrace Vannessagrace rated it it was amazing
The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan is another winner for Nancy Springer. If you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan then you’ll enjoy the Enola Holmes Mysteries.

Enola Holmes is the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes and Mycroft Holmes who was born during her mother’s change of life, menopause. Her mother raised her not to be a lady but to be an independent woman. During Enola’s fourteen year her mother leaves her to fend for herself. Enola, spelled backwards is Alone, has the genius of her brother Sherlock
These books are just so fun. They have a fabulous protagonist in the freedom-seeking Enola Holmes, decent mysteries, a dash of feminism, a little Sherlock Holmes, and enough angst to keep you wanting to read more. Also, I listen to them on audiobook and the narrator is fabulous. Every time I'm not sure what to listen to next, or am feeling in an audiobook rut, or am waiting on an audiobook hold at the library, I listen to the next one in the series. I need to remember them for booktalking next y ...more
Nathalie S
Jul 08, 2015 Nathalie S rated it it was amazing
I am not sure why this book is only found in the junior section because it is a mystery that I think adults would enjoy as well, free from excessive violence, bad language and smut. Well, at least, this adult thoroughly enjoyed it and was very happy to see it is a series! Another reason I was both surprised and pleased that this was in the junior section was the free use of words such as dilettante, inanity and virago--yeah for encouraging the use of dictionaries in the young! Enola Holmes is th ...more
Marta E.s.
Dec 16, 2014 Marta E.s. rated it it was amazing
This book is called The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan by Nancy Springer, an Edgar Award winning author. This is the fourth book of the Enola Holmes Mystery series. This story is set in London in the 19th century. The main characters are Enola Holmes, the protagonist, Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, the two brothers of Enola who are trying to capture her and put her in a boarding school. In the first book Enola's mother had escaped the day of Enola's fourteenth birthday. Enola contacted her two olde ...more
Michelle McBeth
Dec 11, 2014 Michelle McBeth rated it really liked it
Out of all the books in this series, I liked this the best. The plot and characters were less complicated (in other words, the author did not try too hard) and the topics and maturity were much more appropriate for a junior novel.

In this story, an old character from The Left-Handed Lady is revisited. Lady Cecily is in trouble and runs into Enola in public. She leaves Enola a clue in the form of a pink fan. From this clue, Enola figures out what is endangering Cecily. During a rescue attempt, sh
Sue Moro
Jul 26, 2014 Sue Moro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enola Holmes

The Enola Holmes series are such delightful books! In this installment, Enola is once again called upon to rescue Cecily Adams, the Left-Handed young lady from book two. Enola encounters the girl at a lady's lavatory where she is obviously being held under the watchful eyes of two dowagers who do not have her best interest at heart. Cecily leaves Enola a pink fan with clues hidden upon it regarding her present, and intolerable situation, in the hopes that Enola will be able to rescue
Sep 18, 2015 Xyra rated it really liked it
I am a lifelong Sherlock Holmes fan. Not a mega fan because I haven't read absolutely everything in the cannon and I'm not exceedingly fond of other authors using Sherlock in their work, but sometimes curiosity gets the better of me. As is the case here.

In this series (yes, series - I'll get to that in a minute) we meet Sherlock's and Mycroft's younger sister Enola. (Second Enola character in as many weeks/books - very interesting). She is fourteen but her brothers are already worried about her
Nov 06, 2015 Patty rated it really liked it
It would be hard to not like these Enola Holmes stories. They are a younger version of Nancy Drew, set in England, in 1889. There is some historical information that is valuable that gives us some perspective of that moment of time in each series, as the main characters gets closer and closer to solving some challenging problem. Enola is a more complicated heroine. She doesn't have boyfriend problems. TG! But she does have brother problems and, like Nancy, she doesn't have a mum to talk to for a ...more
Jan 18, 2009 Molly rated it really liked it
I always make a point to ready any books that my daughter picks out at the library. I actually enjoyed this book! It was very well written, had a good story, and great character development. Such a breath of fresh air for children/juevenile books. It might be a bit advanced reading level wise for my daughter, (she is 8)but definitely a good book. I recommend it for any aspiring young reader.
Abigail Young
Oct 23, 2015 Abigail Young rated it it was amazing
When I was young my friend and I listened to these books on tape. We listened to them so many time we could recite this whole book! We would also play Enola Holmes. These books are a great introduction to the classic Sherlock Holmes books! They teach 10 year old girls about Sherlock Holmes and Robin Hood and make them want to read more!!
Aug 03, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it
While I enjoyed this book, this is where I felt like the feminism got super heavy-handed. Like, ok, yes, I agree, and it's a good thread and interesting, but there's a point at which it's like, "SEE THE FEMINISM?
SEE IT?" and I'm like, yes, please put your pink flag down, it's getting distracting. Y'know? I'm not saying it's not interesting, consistent and worthwhile but . . . don't undermine the plot or throw me out of the story with it.

Anyway, liked the fashion comments, funny moments, cool re
Nov 10, 2015 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: middle grade readers

interesting quotes (from hardcover edition with ISBN13 9780399247804):

"Partially due to the mellowing influence of his brother's well-aged port wine, and partially due to the passing of time and the certain events that have occurred, thoughts of his runaway sister no longer cause him sharp chagrin and even more keen anxiety." (p. 3)

"He quite meant it, I could tell, as indeed I should have realised all along, for Sherlock Holmes was a true gentleman -- that is to say, incapable of sensible behav
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Nancy Springer has passed the fifty-book milestone, having written that many novels for adults, young adults and children, in genres including mythic fantasy, contemporary fiction, magical realism, horror, and mystery -- although she did not realize she wrote mystery until she won the Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America two years in succession. DARK LIE
More about Nancy Springer...

Other Books in the Series

Enola Holmes Mysteries (6 books)
  • The Case of the Missing Marquess (Enola Holmes Mysteries, #1)
  • The Case of the Left-Handed Lady (Enola Holmes Mysteries, #2)
  • The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets (Enola Holmes Mysteries, #3)
  • The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline (Enola Holmes Mysteries, #5)
  • The Case of the Gypsy Good-bye (Enola Holmes Mysteries, #6)

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