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!
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, recently released from NAL, is her first venture into mass-market psychological suspense. Born in Montclair, New Jersey, Nancy Springer moved with her family to Gettysburg, of Civil War fame, when she was thirteen. She spent the next forty-six years in Pennsylvania, raising two children (Jonathan, now 38, and Nora, 34), writing, horseback riding, fishing, and birdwatching. In 2007 she surprised her friends and herself by moving with her second husband to an isolated area of the Florida panhandle, where the birdwatching is spectacular and where, when fishing, she occasionally catches an alligator.
3.5 stars Quite different from the tv show (which I think is superior), but as long as you know what you're getting, this is pretty fun in its own way.
Enola's mom disappears (like the show) but in the book, it appears that she has left because she's sick and tired of being told what to do by the men in her life (Sherlock and Mycroft). Instead of taking Enola with her, she gives her clues to a small fortune that will help her start a new life if she chooses to run away, as well. In other words, Enola's mom doesn't come off quite as cool in this first story as she does in the show.
Another difference would be that in the tv show, it's mostly Mycroft that comes off as a sexist douchebag and Sherlock is the one who is secretly helping (or at least turning a blind eye) to his little sister's hijinks. Not so in the book. Sherlock is a sexist ass. A big one.
The Missing Marquess isn't so much a young love interest for Miss Holmes as he is a 12 year old boy with an attitude. But Enola herself is only 14 so there may still be a romance in the future.
The gist is that Enola's mom disappears on her 14th birthday and it turns out that she's been fleecing Mycroft for money. She was supposed to have all kinds of things like gardeners, horse stables, and a governess for Enola. Not so much. And at first, it looks as though she's absconded with all the money and taken off to parts unknown. However, in Enola's birthday gift are clues. And with each solved clue, she finds a fat wad of cash. Which is a good thing because Sherlock and Mycroft, both disgusted at the way Enola has been allowed to run wild, are planning to stuff her into a corset much too small for her size and send her off to a boarding school to make a lady out of her.
Enola plans a clever and daring escape and hits the road to make her way in the world. She trips over her first case when she discovers that a young boy wasn't exactly kidnapped but more than likely ran away from home. Of course, that isn't the end of the story as the two get thrown together and end up solving another case together. Enola isn't a savant like Sherlock, but she does manage to piece together enough clues to keep it interesting. I'm assuming that as the series goes on these characters and their stories will all grow and change, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it all turns out. Definitely reading the next one.
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.
Pacing-wise, the plots seemed lopsided. The titular "missing marquess" doesn't feature till over halfway through. What seems at first to be the main mystery, the mother vanishing at the beginning, happens right away but also takes half the book to get the search underway, and then it is quickly derailed by the another, somewhat more interesting but undeveloped, story. I found Tewkey more appealing as a character but he didn't get a lot of page time, and then whatever else happened to that story happens off-page so the reader doesn't see any resolution of either story.
Also, it just struck me that the frame narrative, which opens with Enola dressed as a boy heading somewhere in London, is never closed. Sloppy. And odd.
I first read The Case of the Missing Marquess back in 2009, but remembered little of it - so when the Netflix film adaptation was announced, I knew a re-read was a must. This is the first installment in Nancy Springer's Enola Holmes series, following the (mis)adventures of Sherlock and Mycroft's teenage sister. In this book she's just turned fourteen - I assume the film adaptation has aged her up to sixteen at least, given that is star Millie Bobby Brown's age, but we'll have to wait and see.
As I remembered, this is a fast, breezy read with a compelling girl version of Sherlock at its center: its easy to envision Enola as Sherlock's eccentric (to the standard's of the time) kid sister, tremendously gifted like her siblings but with the additional challenge of navigating the social expectations Victorian England expected of well-to-do young ladies. Also, one of my favorite aspects of this book is the hints, however brief, of Sherlock's sense of camaraderie and fraternal responsibility towards Enola - it is an excellent example of showing the great detective's humanity while remaining true to his own well-documented quirks and eccentricities. Women who throw Sherlock off-kilter are my favorites, and Enola and her mother are no exception.
Although brief, Springer packs her intro to Enola and her world with a richness and depth that make this middle-grade novel a standout historical. I love watching Enola find her niche in a family whose intellect and age disparity relative to her cast long shadows over her life: she's skilled at ciphers and the language of flowers, the latter especially associated with the women and therefore of particular use to Enola as she seeks to apply her special brand of Holmesian investigative techniques to life in London. I never finished this series, but re-reading this book and my excitement over the upcoming film has me determined to change that.
Original 2009 Review: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 unconventional women well capable of throwing his order-loving world slightly off-kilter.
Fourteen-year-old Enola has never known her considerably older brothers. She’s lived a relatively secluded life with her mother on the family estate, convinced her brothers want nothing to do with her because of the gossip surrounding the fact that she was an “unexpected” addition to the family. However, all of Enola’s assumptions about her life and family change when her birthday arrives and her mother vanishes. When Sherlock and Mycroft descend on the estate in search of their wayward parent, Enola discovers the family dynamic is far more complicated than she’d ever surmised. And while she craves a relationship with her brothers, Enola quickly realizes that she has little desire to acquiesce to their plans for her future – and if their mother is to be found, she must be the one to do the finding. Armed with her mother’s last gift – a cryptic book of ciphers – Enola sets out to make her way in the world and finds herself in more danger than she could’ve possibly imagined, needing all her untapped skill as a member of the Holmes clan in order to survive.
The character of Enola is an absolute gem. She’s got spunk and gumption, and as a woman has a special set of skills and insight that her famous brother lacks, thanks to his rather dim view of the “fairer” sex (my favorite Sherlock quote is when he refers to Enola’s “limited cranial capacity” – ouch!). Springer includes lots of interesting info about ciphers and the language of flowers, the knowledge of which helps set Enola apart from her family and make up her own special skill set. The Missing Marquess is an all-too quick, but thoroughly absorbing read. Springer packs a lot of atmosphere and detail into each chapter, resulting in one of the best YA reads I’ve come across. I cannot wait to discover the further adventures of the one and only Enola Holmes!
روايه عن هولمز لأ مش المحقق الشهير شيرلوك هولمز إنما أخته إينولا لكن شيرلوك وأخوه مايكروفت متواجدين في الروايه وبتدور أحداث الروايه عن إينولا هولمز إلي بتفاجأ يوم عيد ميلادها باختفاء مامتها وسابت خلفها أدله على اختفائها فتقرر إينولا تقتفي الأثار وتضطر تتنكر بصوره ولد
المزايا: 1-إثاره وغموض معظم الأحداث 2- خفيفه مناسبه أوي للمبتدئين في القراءه 3- page-turner
The case of Sherlock Holmes' missing younger sister! Whodathunkit?
Pitched at a reading level slightly higher than the justifiably famous Nancy Drew series, THE CASE OF THE MISSING MARQUESS introduces young readers (who I predict will be thrilled to their toes) to Enola Holmes, the hitherto unknown, late-arriving younger sister of Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes.
Having just turned 14 years old, Enola discovers that her mother has disappeared leaving no clue as to her whereabouts. She is torn between loving devotion and worry for her mother's welfare and a deep sense of anger and disappointment at the possibility that her mother has simply left and abandoned her to her own devices. When she calls for the assistance of her two brilliant older brothers, she is horrified to discover that, having failed dismally to discover what happened to their mother, they mean to take over her life and force her to attend a stultifying boarding school for gentle young ladies.
Picking up the thread of the investigation herself, Enola quickly determines that her mother has left her coded clues as to her conduct. Enola also uncovers a significant stash of money which her mother had effectively embezzled from the household accounts over a period of many years. When Enola also flies the coop cleverly disguised as a grieving wife in widow's weeds, she heads for London to find her mother and to evade her brothers' clutches and the impending spectre of boredom at boarding school.
The pedal goes to the metal and the story accelerates into high gear when Enola, far from maintaining a low profile and an effective disguise, finds herself involved in the kidnapping of Viscount Tewksbury, who is being held on a boat moored in the Thames River by a couple of very nasty thugs.
Despite being fiction aimed at younger readers, THE CASE OF THE MISSING MARQUESS is engaging historical fiction which focuses on two main components of Victorian life - the seamier side of the Thames dockside district and the trials and tribulations faced by the feminine half of the population. As a character, Enola is exceptionally well developed. She exemplifies that baffling and ultimately paradoxical teenage blend of cock-sure bravado and angst and uncertainty; incipient adulthood contrasted against an occasional reversion to childhood fear; and, of course, self-direction and self-confidence versus the obvious desire for occasional adult guidance and assistance. Enola's budding femininity is also charmingly and endearingly presented in wonderfully good taste with all due regard to Victorian sensibilities. Sherlock, Mycroft and Lestrade, far from being satirized or poorly handled, conduct themselves exactly as any fan would think they might do faced with the situation of a missing mother and a worried younger sister.
What a great start to a new and exciting series. I'll definitely look forward to the next instalment. Highly recommended.
Me ha encantado! Aunque tengo que admitir que antes de leer el libro vi la película. No voy a comentar la peli (aunque si puedes mírala ;)), sólo decir que, como es lógico, hay algunas diferencias bastante evidentes entre el argumento y la novela. En el libro, nuestra heroína, refleja muy bien el carácter rebelde que la lleva a alejarse de los convencionalismos de la época. Ese desafiar las normas establecidas por la sociedad. Ese "soy yo" quien elijo mi camino. Realmente he disfrutado mucho del Londres que nos retrata la autora, con sus calles atestadas, sus sucias callejuelas y barrios laberinticos, Una muy buena documentación.
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 manners of the day and the bluestocking ideals of her mother. Best of all, she manages to be independent of her brother, both in terms of the story and in terms of my expectations. It makes sense that her detective skills are a "family trait" but Springer skillfully avoids too many comparisons between Enola and her famous brother by making Enola a child of her mother's later years--born when Mrs. Holmes was around fifty years old, Enola always felt that she was a burden. She never really knew her famous brother (or Mycroft) for they were almost grown and away to school by that time (they do make appearances in this book but it's not like Enola pairs up to go sleuthing with Sherlock or anything. Ultimately, it is her own knowledge as a member of the female realm that helps Enola find things Sherlock never could). Enola's father died shortly thereafter so she was raised by her mother--a woman whom we don't know much about for awhile (the story begins with her strange disappearance) but for whom I came to feel a very strong mixture of admiration and rage in how she dealt with the confinements placed upon her by society. (I cannot say much without giving away points of the story!) Enola decides to search for her mom, and along the way stumbles across another missing person, the young Marquess Tewkesbury. Adventure ensues!
While certainly not the most riveting mystery I've ever read, this story did provide a lot of food for thought in many unexpected ways... It presents a very fascinating look at the time period. It feels really strange to say it, but I couldn't help thinking of connections to Kate Chopin's "The Awakening" in terms of how a woman, who probably didn't want children and all her roles in society in the first place, has to deal with them when they are forced upon her by Tradition and Expectation. (I'm not saying Mrs Holmes chose the same as Edna, though.) Enola's mother chose to call her "Enola" for a reason... spelled backward, it is Alone. The question is, is this a curse or a blessing?
Despite it's "Middle Grade" classification, I definitely don't think this is a book for children as it deals with some difficult topics, nothing too graphic but there are prostitutes and destitutes mentioned and some of the seedier aspects of London come into view. I'd say the upper end of MG both for content and just the overall style and language.
I listened to the audiobook narrated by the fabulous Katherine Kellgren and heartily recommend that if you're inclined to audiobooks.
هذا الجزء الأول من السلسلة الخيالية البوليسية ألغاز اينولا هولمز للكاتبة نانسي سبرينجر وهي تجربة مختلفة ولطيفة .. فكل الأعمال الأدبية والفنية تدور حول الشخصية المشهورة شيرلوك هولمز ولكنها المرة الأولي التي أجد سلسلة لإينولا ابنة 14 عام واخت شيرلوك وهي شخصية من ابتكار نانسي يبدأ هذا الجزء باختفاء والدة إينولا والتي تسعي للبحث عنها فتهرب إلي لندن وتؤسس مهنة سريعة خاصة في المباحث متخصصة في البحث عن الأشخاص المفقودين لتبدأ اول قضية لها بالبحث عن الماركيز المفقود جزء جيد جدا وخفيف عن شخصية عنيدة وذكية مثل إينولا وبأسلوب جذاب للكاتبة الأمريكية
Obviously it was the Netflix movie that made me aware of this series of children's books featuring the younger Holmes sister. I've held off watching the film until I'd read the book, so that gives a good indication of my hype level. It certainly fulfilled it's promise of being a quick fast paced adventure.
I really loved the initial setup with sets the whole series arc in motion, establishing Enola as a young 14 year old who's upset that her mother had disappeared on her birthday. You get a real sense of the age gap between her and older brothers Sherlock and Mycroft. The family dynamic is so fascinating and helps establish Enola as part of the cannon - The scenes with all three of them together were my favourite parts of the book.
There's also a self contained mystery that Enola is soon solving concerning the titular Marquess which only features in the second half of the story. It felt a little too rushed for my liking but highlights Enola as a more than capable equal to her famous brother and I'm sure the quick simple style will appeal more to the target audience.
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 then goes on to describe the physical surroundings with details that extend to the lighting; a few gas street lamps that remain unbroken after dark, and the light from pots of fire suspended above the cobble stones by men that sell sea snails, the sounds; the hurdy gurdy tipsy music, a young girl calling "Daddy, Daa", screams, laughter, drunken cries, the oyster sellers calling out, the smells: vinegar, gin and boiled cabbage, the stench of rotting fish and raw sewage and the sights: ragged children running in the street, someone lying about drunk or asleep or maybe even dead, broken glass, rats with their disgusting hairless tails and an unshaven man who winks and asks "don't you want some company". Throughout the description the reader (or listener in my case) is given historical context to better understand the period. It was unthinkable for a female to adventure out without the escort of a husband, father or brother and a gentleman wouldn't have spoken to a lady until after being formally introduced.
Enola's mother mysteriously vanishes on her fourteenth birthday leaving Enola a handmade book of cyphers as a gift. After some consideration and in opposition to the wishes of her older brothers Enola decides to search for her mother on her own. On her way to London she becomes involved in the disappearance of the young Viscount Tewksbury.
I enjoyed the way the author focused on women's role in Victorian society and the way Enola and her mother choose to deal with those expectations. The solution of the mystery regarding Enola's mother to revolve around information that would typically be known only to women was clever. Nancy Springer also weaves humor into the ignorant sexist expectations and I found myself laughing out loud at times.
The first few pages were so rich with detail that I was immediately hooked. I really enjoyed the details about the period including details of dress; the corset, the bust improver, the dress improver as well as conveyances; broughams, a coach and four, a handsome cab and the frightening course for widowed women according to English law. The historical details were rich and many and added so much to the fun of the mystery and adventure of the story that I cannot wait to listen to as many more of these stories as I can get my hands on. Katherine Kelgrin is a fabulous narrator and vividly brings to life the endearing Enola Holmes, who is by the way Sherlock's younger sister.
I highly recommend this audio book to fans of historical fiction and mysteries as well as to young readers (listeners) there is much to enjoy and take from this story. I will note that there are some mature references that some parents may want to investigate before sharing this with their children. For those parents I would also caution you to preview the soundtrack and movie `Grease' as well as the movie "The Journey of Natty Gann". (The `Grease' soundtrack inspired my daughter to ask "Mommy, what's a hooker?") Prostitutes are mentioned in this story but we don't spend any significant amount of time with them. What others may also find upsetting or objectionable is the abandonment of Enola by her mother.
My daughter and I loved this and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of `The Case of the Left Handed Lady'. (review November 12, 2011)
Enola Holmes wakes up on her birthday finding her mother to be missing. She thinks that maybe her mother might have left clues telling her where she might have gone. She disguises herself as a boy as it'd be easier for her to go look for her and not raise any suspicions. She takes up a few disguises throughout.
Following the clues, on the way, she comes across a young man, Tewksbury, and helps him with a few things as well. Enola spends a lot of time following the clues to look for her missing mother and halfway through another mystery comes up. Enola solves everything and wins the day.
I love Sherlock Holmes so naturally, I was excited to read about his much younger sister. I liked Enola but not as much as I had wanted to because she was annoying as well but then again she's a teenager so I don't hold it against her. I liked Tewksbury but he wasn't there all that much in the book. I liked the mystery part but the pacing was odd. There were times when I just wanted to stop reading it and never pick it up again but I persevered. Overall, it wasn't a bad read.
Really fun! We loved the movie, so I thought I would try the book, which I've always heard good things about. And rightly so! Her descriptions, especially of the clothes, are wonderful. And Enola's reactions to everything from her brothers to the streets of London were great. A lot shorter than I thought it would, but a nice set up for the series.
Having watched (and loved) the Netflix movie adaptation first, the book is very different, but just as great. My middle school sons enjoyed both versions and are looking forward to the rest of the series.
Major differences: *Book Enola has not been trained in various martial art by her mother. In fact, *Book Enola does not have a close relationship with her mother at all. She's basically raised herself. (Although the book gives more details about why Mrs Holmes is sufficiently upset with her sons to disappear.) *Book Sherlock is a sexist jerk. Cute how the movie made him the more likable brother & Mycroft the domineering jerk. Book Mycroft is kinder, but gets all the responsibility dumped on him. *Book Enola is younger (14) as is the Viscount Tewkesbury (12!) and there is no romance. The mystery is also a lot less involved, as it's just the first of six mysteries in the series.
While Book Enola hasn't been trained to defend herself against assailants, she is still remarkably able to take care of herself for a sheltered 14-year-old. She shares her brother Sherlock's skills of deduction, although she has a different set of insight than he, which can give her certain advantages. I can't wait to see what she does next.
Soy una gran fan de Sherlock Holmes y de cualquier cosa relacionada con él. Me sonaban estos libros, pero en realidad no me decidí a leerlos hasta que Netflix estrenó la adaptación de este primer libro y me enamoré completamente de la historia y de la protagonista.
Las primeras 100 páginas son más o menos idénticas a la película. La madre de Enola desaparece y es entonces cuando se reencuentra con sus hermanos, Mycroft y Sherlock. Enola va descubriendo las pistas que ha dejado su madre y decide huir en su búsqueda para evitar que sus hermanos la metan en un colegio para señoritas.
A partir del punto en el que se escapa, es completamente diferente de la peli, pero me ha entretenido mucho. No debería estar comparándolo con la película, pero me resulta un poco inevitable, sobre todo teniendo en cuenta que la película me gustó mucho y fue lo que hizo que quisiera leer los libros. Básicamente, aunque la película está enfocada a todos los públicos, sí es verdad que el libro tiene un aire un pelín más infantil.
La trama en el libro es más sencilla porque se centra exclusivamente en la desaparición del marqués, que hace que Enola se olvide un poco de la búsqueda de su madre. Por ese motivo, todo el tema del sufragismo y los derechos de la mujer tampoco tiene la misma presencia que en la adaptación, pero solo es el primer libro y ya hay tintes de ello, así que creo que se seguirá desarrollando en los siguientes.
Enola es una gran protagonista, resolutiva e imparable, y hace que la historia no pierda el ritmo en ningún momento, por lo que se lee en un suspiro y hace que tenga muchas ganas de leer el siguiente.
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 which are told in some detail. She gets side-tracked with another mystery, and adventure ensues.
Littered through-out the story, also, are the trials and travails of a girl growing up in that time period. The barbaric undergarments, and societal restrictions of the upper-class, but also the more day-to-day horrors of the lower-classes. Very interesting historical tidbits for younger children to appreciate, I think.
I liked the character of Enola, and how she out-witted her two older brothers. I found myself chuckling at the depiction of Sherlock - both kind of accurate to his own stories, and yet from an interesting perspective, as the story is told in first person. Mycroft, who I really only know by name from the other stories, I didn't like in this one.
I'll definitely be seeking out more of this fun little series.
(As a side-note, I found this series when a friend of mine posted a list of female authors in sci-fi and fantasy. Nancy Springer was one of several names I'd never heard of before, and I put her name, like the others, into the amazon search to see what came up. I was delighted by the possibilities of this series, so snatched up the first book. The rest, as they say, is history... or, at least, reviewed above. :> )
Wasn't planning on re-reading the series, but I was stalled out on the other book I was reading and needed something light and fun - and since the last two books are finally coming out in paperback (yay!) I picked this up.
I will say that mystery stories, in general, lose a little bit when you know the twists and turns and how everything comes out. That said, the characters and characterizations and little bits and bobs from the time period continue to delight.
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 the missing person in the beginning of the book is just background, apparently an overarching storyline to fill out the series. That's what I'm guessing.
Not to say that's bad, but it was a little strange to realize that the case I'd been following wasn't the real story at all.
Anyway, this was enjoyable, short and fun. I liked Enola quite a lot. I found her intelligent and independent, which I like, but I wish she'd maybe have smiled or laughed a bit. She seems so serious.
Likes: Concept. Mrs. Lane (Hope she is more developed and has more limelight).
Dislikes: CHARACTERIZATION. The so-called “cipher”. Everything about this book actually written.
Plot: Moderate. Predictable. A bit boring. In certain parts, a bit unrealistic. Quite disappointing. Not smart in the very least. (The code used is too simple, and used to repetitively without any variation.)
Writing Style: More telling than showing. Would be better in third person point of view. A lot of redundant details. Does not flow very smoothly.
Protagonist: ENOLA HOLMES. In three words: smug, snobbish, stupid. She does not see sense. Very childish. Head-strong to the point of not listening to advices of the more experienced. A lot of inconsistencies and lack of realism. Some instances of it:
1. Clueless one moment and the next moment, suddenly, street-smart. 2. She was supposed not to have upper-class upbringing and mingled all her life with lower class, but despised the lower class. 3. She admitted that she has no practical relationship with her mother. Poof, mother disappeared, she suddenly formed an attachment to her mother. 4. She knows of things children of her age with similar sheltered life would know nothing about. Such as procreation.
Beside the lack of consistencies, the protagonist also lacks a brain. The author tries hard to establish the protagonist with some pseudo-smart; it just fails miserably. Some examples:
1. Someone tried to help protagonist with her life and future, she just ran away (to a place she knows nothing about, based on a childhood fantasy) and when she realized her fantasy is just a fantasy, she has no sense to mend her ways. 2. The protagonist’s plan A failed due to her mistake, then instead of conceiving a plan B, she went on with Plan A, regardless of the fatal consequences. 3. She was able to buy a property even though she is under-aged, in disguise and knows nothing of those sorts of things (she lived in the country all her life and was not educated).
This character is just very unlikeable. I cannot empathize or relate to this protagonist. Just does not work. It may be better if the protagonist is older (maybe 18), better educated, and better developed with some character and common sense. Corporal punishment and discipline (like her brother suggested) will do her a lot of good. She is definitely not a role model for preteen girl, to whom this book is targeted.
Antagonist: The antagonist in the case regarding the marquess is very predictable and has so minute role. The whole book just revolves around protagonist being high and mighty.
However, the real antagonist in this book, in my opinion, is actually a woman by the name of Lady Eudoria Vernet Holmes. Mrs. Holmes is one of the few characters I actually hate, and having not meet her in this book, I would rather not meet her at all. Ever. She is a very accomplished “villain” and “liar”. A very successful one, rather. Mrs. Holmes, has successfully ruined her offspring’s life and future. Congratulation.
The main problem is lack of reason for her hate for her children. (I call this hate, because one simply does not treat another this way, unless one hates her). I would blame the child’s problem on the mother. However, Mrs. Holmes does not seem to have any excuse for neglecting her child like that. There is no scandal or any reasonable cause for one. I think she may have serious mental problem. I think whatever brilliance the children possess comes from their father. Too bad, Enola seems to have inherited her mother’s empty brain. (Or maybe, Mrs. Holmes had taken up with the gardener or the postman. And that would be insulting to the gardener and the postman.)
There is also some inconsistency in the character of Mrs. Holmes. Such as Mrs. Holmes is supposed to be very liberal. She mingles with the unsavoury and lower class, she does no give her daughter proper education for a squire’s daughter, she lets her child does things others would frown upon, but does not dare to carry out her late husband’s last wishes for fear of scandal.
This character is, in addition, a cocktail of lack of judgement, mental and social problems. She is childish when she is supposed to be more of half a century old. I was hoping for some exciting, potentially fatal justification of her abandoning her child. Disappointed. This character is very materialistic and does not value her own children. Money is not everything, Mrs. Holmes. You may give a great deal of pretention and lip service, but love is shown by action, not by words.
Conclusion: The long paragraph containing much ranting evidently testified to my personal feeling toward this particular book. The concept is very exciting and showed a lot of potential. However, the author choose to keep it save in some kind of Victorian Nancy Drew, but less exciting and less consistent. The book does not even feel very Victorian. The problem is when one chooses to write about a well-known classic character such as Sherlock Holmes, which is one of the most iconic literary characters, the expectation is set ever so high. It requires a bit of brilliance, and a bit of genius. Both are absent in this author’s work.
Moreover, I really don’t like the way the author brought up the theme of woman suffrage. The theme is exciting enough. However, I think the author is missing the point. Woman suffrage is about democracy and liberalism. The author seems to confuse this with anarchy. Woman suffrage is about equality and fairness, not lawlessness.
The overall theme has the strong presence of materialism and lack of respect for education and parental guidance. This is horrendous. The book advertises that money can solve everything. This is palpable, when a 14-year-old uneducated child can do everything she likes because she has a lot of money her mother embezzled. And the mother actually convinced her stupid child that the child actually deserved it, when the child had done nothing to earn it. Lack of education and parental guidance is the main problem for this child. When one just let her child does whatever the child wants and say or do nothing about it, the child is headed straight to ruin. She will run wild and all.
Thus, in conclusion,
It is not worth reading.
It is utterly ghastly.
It is a waste of my hard-earned money.
Recommended for: This is a book I will not recommend at all to children or young adult (teenagers).
I decided that I wanted to rewatch Enola Holmes the other day when I remembered there are books! I honestly loved the movie a lot the first time I watched it I wanted to see if the books were similar.
The first book felt more like an introduction to who Enola Holmes is. I liked learning more about her, she was quite interesting. It was nice reading about her little schemes and her adventures. I'll admit I had the movie in mind the entire time (which might not have been a great idea). They added so much to the movie. So much of what happened in it didn't really happen in the book so I was sort of looking for more excitement than I got. I enjoyed most of the story but I did feel a little bit underwhelmed. I was definitely expecting more but I think that's completely my own problem. Maybe I would have felt differently if I hadn't seen the movie?
I think the movie also downplayed Sherlock and Mycroft's personalities. They were much harder to stomach in the books (which was probably the point). I do wish there had been more depth into Eudoria's character. We never really saw her and it was mostly just mentioned what she was like. I also found the last quarter of the book to be rushed. I felt like things should have been a bit slower there. Overall, I liked this! Definitely going to continue with the series.
Thoroughly enjoyable! Enola Holmes is fourteen, and her mother has disappeared. After not finding her anywhere, she contacts her brothers, who are the famous Sherlock and the eldest sibling, Mycroft. Neither takes Enola seriously, and divulge the truth behind the family estrangement: who got to manage family estate. Enola resolves to ffind their parent, unaided, as neither brother is seriously interested in finding their mother, and Mycroft has improving, taming plans for Enola. She puts a cunning plan into effect, escaping to London so she can search for the woman. She ends up getting involved in a kidnapping case, and narrowly avoids Sherlock.
I liked the anount of ugly, historical details Nancy Springer included in this story, from the rampant misogyny, poverty, dirt and criminal elements. Enola is such a breath of fresh air, who, despite her sheltered life, is ferociously intelligent and clever. I loved how she used “The Language of Flowers” and her clothing to communicate, conceal and manage so many challenges she encountered in this book. Woe to her snooty and dismissive siblings!
Enola Holmes ist nicht die neue Flavia de Luce! Ganz und gar nicht. Es besteht ein gravierender Unterschied zwischen klug sein und nur so tun als ob. Enola hat lediglich ein komplett übersteigertes, fast schon an Narzissmus grenzendes Selbstwertgefühl gepaart mit extrem kindischer Naivität, dass es nicht zu ertragen ist. Ich will nicht näher darauf eingehen, was sie da zwischen den beiden Buchdeckeln treibt. Es ist nicht der Rede wert, es sei denn, man möchte lesen, wie zwei überdurchschnittlich intelligente Männer sich in Troddel verwandeln, die sich von einem selbstgefälligen Teenager austricksen lassen. Lest Flavia und lasst Enola links liegen.
el primer volumen de esta saga de Enola Holmes ha sido de lo más entretenido, y desde luego que lo recomiendo si habéis disfrutado de la película, por la protagonista tan genial que tiene, y por la forma en que refleja la época en Inglaterra. Reseña: http://fiebrelectora.blogspot.com/202...
3-3.5 Lo quise leer a raíz de ver la adaptación en Netflix, que, desde luego, ¡me encantó! La primera mitad de la novela no se aleja demasiado, pero la segunda, y el desenlace, son bastante diferentes, y se omite bastante la parte de "lucha feminista"; de todas formas, ha sido muy entretenido, y desde luego que he quedado encantadísima con la protagonista, que no podría ser más echada p'alante. Desde luego, continuaré con la saga :3
I didn't get on very well with the film of this book, but then the internet and its dog told me that the books were much better. So, when I stumbled across this one in an op shop, I decided - why not?
At first, this book did indeed give me the raging irrits. For one thing, there's the treatment of the main character's brothers Sherlock and Mycroft. In the movie, Mycroft was a ridiculous straw misogynist (what a shame that the smartest Holmes brother should be reduced to this!!!) while Sherlock was a cinnamon roll. The book treats Mycroft much more even handedly, but counterbalances it by making Sherlock a misogynist, too.
For a second thing, the narrator reinforces the traditional over-the-top "corsets as weapons of the patriarchy" narrative complete with tight-lacing, punctured lungs, fainting-fits, and so on - omitting to mention how such corset-related shenanigans were very much on the extreme fringe of Victorian society and loudly denounced. My own reading into Victorian life and customs suggests a somewhat more nuanced picture in which corsetry operated as sensible and comfortable foundation wear for most women. Similarly, much mileage is gotten from a boy's being forced to cosplay as Little Lord Fauntleroy.
Once I got over these irritations, however, I found the book quite nuanced in some ways. I thoroughly enjoyed the way in which Enola intentionally employs clothing and social expectations to her advantage rather than trying to abandon them altogether: one of my favourite moments in the book comes when she considers disguising herself as a boy and then decides instead to dress as a widow, an identity that permits her to retain her femininity while adopting some independence. My irritations over the Little Lord Fauntleroy business were also soothed when the character in question realises that being dressed in velvet and curls is a good deal better than being naked on the streets. Finally, I also appreciated that although big bro Sherlock is maddeningly misogynistic in his views, Enola STILL admires and respects his good qualities and longs to win his respect as well, while recognising that his depression has to do with some of the worse things he says. It was a surprisingly, refreshingly empathetic and hopeful take on misogyny which I really wish we saw more of.
THE CASE OF THE MISSING MARQUESS did ultimately redeem itself in my eyes, despite reservations. I would still wish for a little more nuance: the concept of employing feminine clothing and social roles to gain a back-door sort of power did not originate with Enola Holmes in 1888, and most misogynists do not announce themselves with the words, "Ah, here we see the disorderliness of the female brain!" but the internet was right: this was a sight better than the movie.
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.