Similar to most, I first heard about the Enola Holmes book series when the Netflix adaptation was released last year. It looked like a fun little romp, but I try to read books before I watch adaptations, so this one has been on my TBR list for quite a while!
Enola Holmes is the 14yr old sister to the famous Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. She is an entirely author-created character and doesn’t exist in the original canon, but this is such a smart way to introduce Sherlock Holmes and this writing style to younger children. Enola lives with her mother and their hired help on an estate in the north of England. Her mother has always been a bit flighty and eccentric, but when she doesn’t return from a day out, Enola writes to her brothers for the first time in 10 years.
No one can find Mrs. Holmes and Mycroft quickly takes control of the household, deciding that Enola is to be sent to boarding school. Enola now understands why her mother left; she doesn’t want a man or anyone telling her what she has to do with her life without having her own input. Thus, on her way to school, she makes excuses to leave the carriage and runs off. She decides to head to London after taking some of her mother’s clothes and money and ventures out of her own. On the way, she stumbles onto the case of the Missing Marquess and ends up on an adventure to help another young person running from home while trying to keep herself alive in the process.
I really enjoyed this! I barrelled through it and it was really engaging the entire time. I can see why this series would make for a great Netflix movie as Enola is firey and smart. Maybe she isn’t as smart as her genius, overbearing brothers, but she’s got a lot more determination than they expected. Enola is a great character for middle-grade girls and boys to relate to and the ciphers in the book are a really cool way to introduce younger kids to puzzles and word games. Really enjoyed this one. If I knew any kids I would buy them this series for sure. Also, the new cover art is really neat. I’m a sucker for color-coded book covers!
Title: Enola Holmes and the Missing Marquess
Author: Nancy Springer
Three Descriptors: Fun, Fast-Paced, Descriptive
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