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The Case of the Missing Marquess

(Enola Holmes #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  11,909 ratings  ·  1,499 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published February 16th 2006 by Philomel (first published 2006)
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Linda Bailey This series has some very high level vocabulary, some very ugly London street activity and highlights the complete and utter lack of women's rights in…moreThis series has some very high level vocabulary, some very ugly London street activity and highlights the complete and utter lack of women's rights in 1888-89. Another question might be, "How mature is the reader?" The Enola Holmes series would be enjoyed generally by mature females, 12-15, with an interest in historical fiction or crime solving or powerful female characters.

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Average rating 3.86  · 
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Aug 29, 2009 rated it liked it
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, t
Jun 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Mar 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, mystery, ya
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 mann ...more
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 the
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.
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
Jun 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 wh
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
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Hannah by: Barb Mechalke
Shelves: mysteries, 2012-reads, 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 deta
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
May 06, 2012 rated it liked it
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. T
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.
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this mystery story and how action-packed it was. I also liked Enola so I'm quite invested in reading more books about her!
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 t
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
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. Defi
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.
Such similarities to Flavia De Luce and Enola Holmes:

1. Both young girls solving crimes.

2. Both ride bicycles.

3. Both are set in England.

4. Both live with single parents with employees.

5. Both stories have cliffhanger endings.
May 06, 2013 rated it liked it
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 guardia
Apr 09, 2012 rated it liked it
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 ev ...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
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....
Yolanda Sfetsos
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, historical
As soon as I found out about the Enola Holmes movie coming to Netflix, I was interested in checking it out. So, when I found out it's based on a book series I started looking into it.

Imagine my surprise when hubby showed me the cover of the first book and I realised I actually have a copy. I mean, how could I forget this lovely cover? And that it's one of the many books we found during our pre-pandemic thrifting adventures! 👀

I was so excited I read it right away.

Enola Holmes lives with her moth
Katie Mccain
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sherlock-holmes
I just love it when a book proves me wrong. Despite being an avid Sherlock Holmes fan, I only became acquainted with the Enola Holmes series through the Netflix trailer. I wasn't impressed. The characterization, Hollywood action over Holmesian intellect, the 'not like other girls' rhetoric combined with a disdain for traditional femininity (embroidery certainly gets a lot of heat)... none of it was appealing to me. Still, I have a rule that if I'm going to judge something I'd better be informed ...more
Jessica Marcheline
Jun 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
Title: The Case of A Missing Marquess

Author: Nancy Springer

Rating: 1/5

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
Mary Pagones
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Four stars for an adult book. Four and a half for its middle school-intended audience.

The idea of running away, the descriptions of food and clothing, and the beautiful evocation of the 19th century countryside and London would have won me over as a young reader.

The downside is the lack of a real, solved mystery and the fact that Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes behaved so out of character. I love Enola as a suffragette sleuth, but her brothers could be any pair of priggish, stuffy Victorian gentleme
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With the announcement of the Enola Holmes movie, we decided to read the first book in the Enola Holmes series, The Case of the Missing Marquess in our Year 6 book club. Unsurprisingly, the book is much better than the movie (even considering Henry Cavill - sorry Henry). The book is full of fun disguises and clever ways that Enola learns to consider her environment, to move around undetected and to start living on her own terms.

When Enola’s mother disappears and doesn’t return, Enola is forced t
Grace W
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
(c/p from my review on TheStoryGraph) This is one of those very rare moments when the movie far outshines the book. To say I strongly disliked this book is to put more passion into it than I actually feel. This is, and I cannot emphasizes this enough, a story with more coincidence that actual mystery solving. Almost all the pieces of the plot fall into her lap as opposed to her going out and finding clues. Enola herself is not a particularly enjoyable character to follow nor is her POV a particu ...more
Raoufa Ibrahim
Sep 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Have you ever wondered why there are no pockets in women clothing? Why we should wear like this or walk like this? Enola used to do whatever she pleases, she lived outside of her time. Until, her mother disappeared in her birthday.

Sherlock and Mycroft will come to see her after 10 years of separation, they did not expect to see Enola like this! So, Mycroft especially will try to make her a “lady” but Enola of course will refuse and escape.

This is a middle grade story, it’s light and amusing. I
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!!
Spencer Soria
Update: I did a book and movie comparison video for this one if you'd like to check it out here:

This was a very mediocre book. It had a bit of a strong start, moved along the story very slowly, had some cool moments, but overall felt very bland. I'm not sure if the story continues with the rest of the series because the ending here wasn't satisfying. We started with one goal and ended up fulfilling another we didn't care too much about. If this was meant
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Goodreads Librari...: Add cover 2 6 Oct 19, 2020 04:09AM  
Are you in line for the new Enola books coming... 3 13 Sep 12, 2015 01:43PM  
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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

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)

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