Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer

The Case of the Missing MarquessThe Case of the Missing Marquess (An Enola Holmes Mystery) by Nancy Springer
published November 2007 by Penguin Group
224 pages (paperback reprint), Middle Grade

The very much younger sister of Sherlock Holmes, Enola lives in an estate outside of London with her disgraced mother and a small staff. On Enola's 14th birthday, Mrs. Holmes fails to return home to her daughter. When Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes show up to investigate their mother's disappearance, they conclude that Mrs. Holmes has been hoarding money intended for the upkeep of the house and has obviously run away. Now what to do with Enola?

This was one of those books that I wanted to like, but instead, I found myself arguing with the author in my mind. As you can see, the title of this book is The Case of the Missing Marquess - missing Marquess, not missing mother. We don't learn who the missing Marquess is until halfway through the book, and even then, I'm not so sure that I really cared about him. I wanted to know more about Enola's mother. And Enola! She is quite the character, but with all the problems I had with the plot, I couldn't enjoy getting to know her. There was also an especially lengthy discussion of women's clothing of the 19th century - which was mildly amusing but perhaps a little too foreign to have any meaning for today's readers. Some illustrations might have been nice.

In short, I didn't love it. But I'm a sucker for middle grade mysteries AND 19th century anything AND series. I might read the next book in the series just for the fun of it. Because I do like the idea of the series, and I think Enola might prove to be a sassy gal worth following.

Others liked it!
bookshelves of doom - "Highly recommended to young readers of historical fiction and to grown-up fans of the Holmes brothers [...]" 
Ms. Bookish -  "I finished reading this with a smile, eager to jump into the next book in the series."
Welcome to my Tweendom - "Chock full of feminist thought, class issues, as well as adventure [...]"



millymarie said...

What a shame this book/series looks like it is a lot of fun, but has potential. I do love the idea of Sherlock Holmes having a sister.

btw: you won an award at my blog. :D

NatalieSap said...

Truly, lots of others have loved the series - it just didn't thrill me.

Ooh! Why thank you! :D I'm not sure how I missed it!

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