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Nancy Springer’s Enola Holmes Mysteries May 17, 2010

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.

     With the popularity being enjoyed by the latest Sherlock Holmes movie, I thought this would be a good time to introduce to you Nancy’s Springer’s wonderful series about Sherlock’s younger sister, Enola. These books are touted on Amazon as to be for ages 12 -14, but I assure you, the Lycan Librarian was on the edge of her seat reading each and every one of them. If the name sounds familiar, Nancy Springer, a self-proclaimed nonconformist, is also the author of, among others, the Rowan Hood books, stories about Robin Hood’s daughter.  One can rely on the author’s characters always being strong, capable, unique, and admirable.
     Enola Holmes’ mother disappears on her 14th birthday, leaving her future in the hands of her arrogant, adult brothers, Sherlock and Mylock. Enola shuns their idea of sending her to a finishing school so she may learn proper female skills and manners, so escapes into the city where she supports herself as a Perditorian, one who finds lost people and things. As she solves mysteries, she also finds clues, mostly ciphers, left by her mother, about why the girl was deserted and where the mother might be.  Enola is as great a sleuth and genius as one might expect of the sister of the great Sherlock Holmes. She is a master of disguise and very astute and intuitive, and in each adventure she solves a case, usually even outwitting her big brothers.

     Enola’s soft spot for the needy gives Springer the opportunity to clearly display the harsh realities of the Victorian poor. The tender-hearted heroine does her best to shod the orphan with feet blue from the cold or offer at least a few coins to feed the hungry, and it is this empathy, among the numerous other talents and virtues that her young character exhibits, which rounds her out so well and brings her so vividly to life.

     Of THE CASE OF THE GYPSY GOODBYE, the sixth and latest book of the Enola Holmes mysteries, I fear I can say little without spoiling the story for you. However, I can say that the mysteries Springer lays at her protagonist’s feet in this series are often just about as odd as you can get, and that is the very reason these novels are so delightful. Enola is a fabulous heroine to root on through her adventures, and a fine and noble role model for the young girls, and anyone else, who reads these books.



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