I am late to the Enola Holmes bandwagon, but having recently seen the first Netflix movie, which I quite enjoyed, I was thrilled to read a book or two. This is the eighth book in the series, but my first journey into the series (other than the film).
Enola Holmes is the (much) younger sister of the noted detective, Sherlock Holmes. While their mother raised Enola to be every bit as observant and deductive as Sherlock, living in Victorian England doesn’t provide opportunities for a women to use these skills. In fact, Enola isn’t even allowed to be her own person. Since their mother died, Sherlock is technically responsible for his sister until she legally becomes an adult (and presumably will marry). Fortunately he recognizes her abilities (even if he doesn’t always admit it) and gives her some leeway.
Enola’s friend, Lady Cecily Alastair, has often needed Enola’s skills to rescue her from some of her father’s plans for her and with the start of this book, Enola believes that Cecily may be in need of rescuing once again. Why else would Enola be turned away at the door without even seeing her friend?
Enola helps Cecily escape, only to be quickly found by a detective hired by Cecily’s mother. Cecily makes another escape, this time without Enola’s assistance, but now, alone in London, with a secret she hasn’t even told her friend, Cecily will need Enola to find her and help her once again.
This book (and the series) is targeted to YA readers and it’s really terrific. Enola is a great character – a young, smart woman – every bit as smart (or smarter!) than her famous older brother but not recognized for her skills … she’s a great role model for young readers.
She’s out of place (out of time) with her quick wit and sassy attitude but this plays off as teenage rebellion – recognizable in any era.
Sherlock makes just enough appearance to remind us of Enola’s pedigree as well as the detective skill level she needs to aspire to. But this is very much a girl-positive novel and Enola will best her brother and definitely put Cecily’s father in his place.
This is a light read (nothing at all like Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novels), it’s quick and fun. I want to read the entire series!
Looking for a good book? Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade by Nancy Springer is top-notch YA mystery/adventure historical novel that is female positive and a heck of a lot of fun to read.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
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Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade
author: Nancy Springer
series: Enola Holmes #8
publisher: Wednesday Books
hardcover, 240 pages