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The Case of the Missing Marquess

(Enola Holmes #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  8,342 ratings  ·  997 reviews
When Enola Holmes, sister to the detective Sherlock Holmes, discovers her mother has disappeared, she quickly embarks on a journey to London in search of her. But nothing can prepare her for what awaits. Because when she arrives, she finds herself involved in the kidnapping of a young marquess, fleeing murderous villains, and trying to elude her shrewd older brothers—all ...more
Paperback, Reprint 2011, 216 pages
Published November 8th 2007 by Puffin (first published February 16th 2006)
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Aug 29, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I finished it, which is more than I can say for my previous attempt at reading Springer. Maybe something about her style is just not for me. I remember really disliking the protagonist of her book I tried, which wasn't the case here; I felt neutral toward Enola. I had the general sympathy I would always feel toward a bright young woman feeling confined by social strictures, but other than that she didn't seem that interesting, or as smart as the author was telling me she was.

Jun 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Women have always upset Sherlock Holmes’s equilibrium (see Irene Adler from the original short stories or Mary Russell from Laurie R. King’s fantastic mystery series). Holmes’s family background is one aspect of his life that has received scant, if any, attention in the various Holmes pastiches that have appeared over the years. In the first Enola Holmes mystery, Nancy Springer dares to imagine a most unconventional mother and much-younger sister for the famed detective, both highly ...more
Mar 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, mystery, history
I thought this could be either really good or really annoying. There have been so many Sherlock Holmes spin-offs, and part of me wondered whether we really needed his little sister thrown into the mix. Well, I, for one, am delighted to meet the acquaintance of Miss Enola Holmes, even if poor Papa Doyle never knew this belated child of the family he created. What a delightful character! She is intelligent and resourceful without being annoying, a perplexing and pleasing blend of the expected ...more
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
Jun 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Any young girl adventurer, or those who like to read about them


A cute, quick little story that I read in a couple of hours last night. It does have some dark parts that some parents might not like for their young children, though - i.e. it references the Ripper murders at one point, talking about a prostitute who was slit open.

Enola, the scandalously younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, sets out to unravel her own mystery when her mother disappears. She also has to deal with the prospect of going to boarding school, the horrors of
Update: Movie ETA Jan 1, 2020

A movie deal for this series has been made!

Loved it.

For parents - as the heroine passes through a bad part of Victorian London there is brief mention of prostitutes/ladies of the evening - without explanation/showing what that means, drunks, poor dead in the gutters. Tastefully done, should not bother most older children/pre-teens, but some parents may find this bothersome.
I chose this to listen to with my nine year old daughter. We recently finished listening to Philip Pullman's Sally Lockhart series, which we loved. I'm not sure how I found this series which also features a strong young female protagonist but I'm glad I did.

What grabbed my attention from the very beginning of the book was the author's ability to paint a vivid setting. The first words describe the place, the month the year, the time of day: the East End of London, August 1888, after dark. She
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hannah by: Barb Mechalke
Shelves: 2012-reads, mysteries, ya
Excellent YA mystery series opener for fans of YA, mysteries, Sherlock Holmes-themed pastiches, etc.

I had some initial trepidation over reading this (I disliked the precocious Flavia de Luce from Alan Bradley's The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie). However, Enola Holmes is a nice surprise in the guise of period-piece teen detective. If Sherlock Holmes had a baby sister, she would surely be in the mold of Enola - no doubt.

Author Springer has penned a short, satisfying story with authentic
This was a very quick read, and as such, my review will be quick as well.

Overall, I enjoyed this book quite a bit, but there were some things that were a little off-putting for me. Initially, the writing -- using lots of dashes -- and sentence fragments, was a little hard to adjust to, but adjust I did, and it stopped bothering me as much around the middle of the book. But my main issue here, is that the title case isn't actually even revealed to be a case until after the middle of the book. So
2018 Re-Read
A slow start but as the book continued I remembered why I treasured this series as a teenager. Enola Holmes is resourceful, clever, and uncertain. She's a great heroine for younger readers and the stories contain fun mystery. If I was reviewing it today, I might give 3 stars instead of 4, but I'll preserve the initial rating for old time's sake.
Mar 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ann by: Katie - thanks! :D
Now I think about it, most YA books (especially fantasies or action/adventure) do involve a mystery of sorts. That said, I can think of few YA books that are, actually, mysteries - complete with a missing person, a detective, and hidden clues. So, in that respect, I was very pleased to read this, and found it refreshing and unique.

I really enjoyed Springer's style (even though at times it was a bit too detailed/rambling, and I think some younger readers might not enjoy that style as much since
Having decided to hoard the latest escapades of Flavia De Luce for hopefully better days ahead I cast my nets and twitched my literary feelers seeking a palatable substitute. It's never been totally dismissed that Sherlock had a canonical sister. He mentions a possibly hypothetical sister several times in The Copper Beeches. The debates go on. It's been a while since I dipped my toes in the YA sea. I've had lots of fun in the past when I have dived in but these days there does seem to be rather ...more
May 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Lemony Snicket
Enola Holmes is the much younger sister of Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes. Raised by her Rationalist mother in the country, Enola runs wild and a bit uneducated. But then, on her 14th birthday, Enola's mother vanishes. Sherlock won't look for her, and Mycroft is too busy getting Enola enrolled in a boarding school to teach her to be a proper lady. So Enola makes a plan and runs away to London to find her mother.

Lots of action and adventure, with some clues and cyphers thrown in for good measure.
Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kribu by: Moonie
Enjoyed this quite a bit - my only real complaint is that it was too short!

Then again there wasn't a lot of plot (since it's the first book in a series, I'd assume the next ones might have a little more plot and a little less world-building / introduction / setting), so the shortness means it never felt padded or over-written, which is also not a bad thing.

Enola Holmes (the much younger sister to Mycroft and Sherlock) is a great character - sensible, daring and with a good narrative voice.
Quick, light, enjoyable.. There's not much to say about this book. It was a cute little whodunit type mystery starring Sherlock Holmes's little sister Enola. I read it over the course of about two hours, which is pretty darn quick for me (I'm a slow reader, I like to savor the words, deal with it), but somehow it didn't lack for character development like a lot of shorter stories do. It didn't blow me away, but it was a fun way to pass an evening, and I might even read on in the series if I'm ...more
Giselle Bradley
I really adored this reread!! The writing was very engaging for me and I thought it was really funny and beautiful. This is a wonderful start of the series. I just wish that this book was a little longer as I want to spend more time with the characters. Sherlock Holmes is so much better in this than he is in the original.
Dec 13, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fbr-2012
This is a pretty cool little adventure/mystery in the life of Sherlock Holmes's little sister Enola. She's a cool kid with lots of smarts and a quick wit.

It was fun for the most part, though I did get tangled quite a bit in all the talk of petticoats, bustles, and corsets. Yeah....
I loved this series when I was younger, and I really enjoyed meeting up with Enola again. Really fun to read, especially the bits where Sherlock makes an appearance.

February 2018: I'm upgrading these to five stars. I love them at an irrational level.
Izabella (Pages Full of Stars)
~ Pop Sugar 2019 Reading Challenge - A Book Featuring An Amateur Detective ~

Oh yes, this was a lovely read! As soon as I saw that it's a middle grade mystery paired with historical fiction, and it's a Sherlock Holmes retelling/spin-off but with the main character being a female, I knew I had to pick it up, and it didn't disappoint me.

It's a very quick read, but it drew me in immediately. Enola is the type of characters that I like - smart, resourceful and driven, it was a joy to read about her
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
It was too short! Maybe this means that I need to keep on reading the series of books.

I’m rooting for Enola Homes!! I like her character very much!!
Terri Lynn
I never let labels like "children's book", "for young adults" or "adult fiction" guide my reading choices. A good story is a good story and those labels are only good for the purpose of filing a book on a shelf in the library or a bookstore. Maybe not even there if it keeps adults from reading great stories because they are labeled for children or young adults.

This romp through Sherlock Holmes' London and its surroundings is a confection of a story that I loved so much, I now intend to read the
This is a wonderful and delightful YA read, part feminist retelling, part just plain fun. This is what Sherlock Holmes stories might have been if the main character had been a fourteen year old girl who has trouble submitting to any kind of authority, especially that imposed by men.

I just wished there were more teenage girls reading this series than there are reading the Twilight series. Somehow, I'm sure this would make the world a better place if they identified with Enola Holmes instead of
Sarah Sammis
Dec 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sarah by: Book Nut
The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer is the first in the Enola Holmes mystery series. Written for middle graders, it introduces a much younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, someone who is as smart and capable as they are but because of her youth and her gender has to struggle to live her life the way she wishes.

In this first volume Enola is in a quandary. Her father is long since dead and now her mother has run off with the family funds, leaving her with the staff and an
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ra-shortlist
Enola Holmes is the younger sister of the famed Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, whose name is a cipher of “alone”—which is how Enola finds herself on her fourteenth birthday, when her mother abruptly disappears. When Sherlock and Mycroft don’t seem interested in helping track down their mother, Enola sets off on the mission by herself, and becomes entangled in the kidnapping of a young Marquess, while trying to evade her older brothers. The mystery itself is fairly straightforward, but the ...more
Emma curtis
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
AMAZING!!!!! so good completley enjoyed it! it toook me a while to really start it and get into it but once i did i couldnt stop! its definatley a must read!
I loved the sherlock holmes story so when i was searching for a book at BYU i decided to give this one a try. And its turned out to be a great read. I love the feminine twist to the famous sherlock holmes.
definatley loved the adorable matching covers :)

School book reveiw: When i started reading this book I found it slightly hard to get in
May 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: My nieces, fans of Sherlock Holmes
Recommended to Terence by: Wealhtheow Wylfing's reviews of the series
Always on the look out for things to stock my nieces' bookshelves with and being a fan of Sherlock Holmes, I was very pleased to come across Wealhtheow Wylfing's reviews of this series on my update feed, especially as it's Hailey's birthday this month (May).

Enola Holmes is the much younger sister of Mycroft and Sherlock, and for the past 14 years has been living with her mother on the family's estate, Ferndell Hall. When Mum disappears on Enola's birthday, the girl comes under the direct
Destinee Sutton
This book was recently pulled from the Global Reading Challenge because it has the word "prostitute" in it. Sigh. So that prompted me to read it and, boy, are the GRC kids missing out if they don't read it despite it being pulled from the competition. It's a great mystery with excellent characters and lots of fun historical detail.

I didn't even notice the word "prostitute" and I was listening for it (I downloaded the audio book narrated by Katherine Kellgren--she's the best!). Enola
I don't think I will ever bore of reading about spunky, spirited, no-nonsense young girls. Partially from remembering of how much of a mischievous squirt I was at their age, and partially out of wishing that I could have had such grand adventures, I just love following along with their great gaffs and greater victories. If you enjoyed Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce, you will likely enjoy Enola Holmes as well. Now if only those two could go on an adventure together!
Karen ⊰✿
Apr 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
I just loved it. Enola is a great heroine - full of spunk and very resourceful, and the story took twists and turns that I would never have predicted.I gobbled this novel down in one sitting and I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series.
Prince William Public Library System
I'm not usually a fan of authors writing a series about another author's characters, but this is actually doing something interesting. As it turns out Sherlock Holmes has a significantly younger sister, Enola. Born twenty years after him, Enola's a bit of a scandal (a woman having a child later in life?! Gasp! Though I don't know the Victorian opinions about such a thing, it wouldn't surprise me if women having children later in life was a little questionable). Either way, Enola barely knows her ...more
Anushka (Dragon Reader)
This was a lovely spinoff of the classic Sherlock Holmes and a very quaint mystery. Enola was a very lovable character and I can’t wait to read more!
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Are you in line for the new Enola books coming... 3 12 Sep 12, 2015 01:43PM  
Enola Holmes fans: Hello! 1 5 Aug 17, 2015 09:12AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #7 The Case of the Missing Marquess 1 2 Feb 15, 2015 02:58PM  

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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

Other books in the series

Enola Holmes (6 books)
  • The Case of the Left-Handed Lady (Enola Holmes, #2)
  • The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets (Enola Holmes, #3)
  • The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan (Enola Holmes, #4)
  • The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline (Enola Holmes, #5)
  • The Case of the Gypsy Good-Bye (Enola Holmes, #6)