Author: Nancy Springer
Title: The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery
Narrator: Katherine Kellgren
Publication Info: Recorded Books, Inc., 2006
The upcoming Enola Holmes movie on Netflix made me aware of the existence of this first book in a series about Sherlock Holme’s sister. I’ve read all of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes writings and numerous non-canonical works by other writers, and this is definitely a good addition to that body of work. Enola Holmes is certainly more interesting than the mystery sister introduced in the BBC’s deeply-flawed final series of Sherlock, who also had an odd name starting with E – Eurus.
Enola is the much younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft who grows up isolated at the family’s estate after the death of her father and her mother estrangement with her brothers. The novel begins on Enola’s 14th birthday when her mother disappears without a trace. Her famous brothers arrive and Mycroft decides to send the non-gender conforming Enola to a finishing school. Enola decides instead to run away and investigate her mother’s disappearance on her own, stumbling into another mystery along the way.
Springer does a good job avoiding making Enola immediately as intellectually brilliant as her more famous brothers, allowing her to develop these skills over the course of the book. She also does a good job showing the Holmes brothers dismissive and chauvinistic attitudes – which is straight from Conan Doyle’s characterization – and the restraints Enola has to work with in as a woman in Victorian society. Although I know the book is a series, I was surprised by the unresolved conclusion. Nevertheless, I would like to read more about Enola Holmes.