The Case of the Missing Marquess

The Case of the Missing Marquess

by Nancy Springer

Disguising herself as a grieving widow, Enola sets out to the heart of London to uncover her mothers whereaboutsbut not even the last name Holmes can prepare her for what awaits.

  • Series: Enola Holmes
  • Language: English
  • Category: Mystery
  • Rating: 3.85
  • Pages: 224
  • Publish Date: February 16th 2006 by Philomel
  • Isbn10: 0399243046
  • Isbn13: 9780399243042

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I remember really disliking the protagonist of her book I tried, which wasn't the case here; I felt neutral toward Enola. What seems at first to be the main mystery, the mother vanishing at the beginning, happenbs right away but also takes half the book to get the search underway, and then it is quickly derailed by the another, somewhat more interesting but undeveloped, story.

In the first Enola Holmes mystery, Nancy Springer dares to imagine a most unconventional mother and much-younger sister for the famed detective, both highly unconventional women well capable of throwing his order-loving world slightly off-kilter. Armed with her mothers last gift a cryptic book of ciphers Enola sets out to make her way in the world and finds herself in more danger than she couldve possibly imagined, needing all her untapped skill as a member of the Holmes clan in order to survive. Springer includes lots of interesting info about ciphers and the language of flowers, the knowledge of which helps set Enola apart from her family and make up her own special skill set.

Well, I, for one, am delighted to meet the acquaintance of Miss Enola Holmes, even if poor Papa Doyle never knew this belated child of the family he created. It makes sense that her detective skills are a "family trait" but Springer skillfully avoids too many comparisons between Enola and her famous brother by making Enola a child of her mother's later years--born when Mrs. Holmes was around fifty years old, Enola always felt that she was a burden. She never really knew her famous brother (or Mycroft) for they were almost grown and away to school by that time (they do make appearances in this book but it's not like Enola pairs up to go sleuthing with Sherlock or anything. Enola's father died shortly thereafter so she was raised by her mother--a woman whom we don't know much about for awhile (the story begins with her strange disappearance) but for whom I came to feel a very strong mixture of admiration and rage in how she dealt with the confinements placed upon her by society.

Wie auch ihre Mutter stelle sie sich gegen die Konventionen, die Frauen zu dieser Zeit auferlegt wurden, bzw. Auch fand ich den Schreibstil an sich angenehm flüssig und einfach, aber er trägt trotzdem zum Flair der damaligen Zeit bei und ist auch wohl ein bisschen anspruchsvoll bzw. Das Abenteuer von Enola ist spannend erzählt und während man erst noch einen Überblick über ihr Leben erhält, nimmt ihr Spürsinn immer mehr raum ein und entwickelt sich zu einem spannenden Abenteuer!

Enola, the scandalously younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, sets out to unravel her own mystery when her mother disappears. Mycroft, who I really only know by name from the other stories, I didn't like in this one. I will say that mystery stories, in general, lose a little bit when you know the twists and turns and how everything comes out. That said, the characters and characterizations and little bits and bobs from the time period continue to delight.

I enjoyed the way the author focused on women's role in Victorian society and the way Enola and her mother choose to deal with those expectations. The solution of the mystery regarding Enola's mother to revolve around information that would typically be known only to women was clever. The historical details were rich and many and added so much to the fun of the mystery and adventure of the story that I cannot wait to listen to as many more of these stories as I can get my hands on. I highly recommend this audio book to fans of historical fiction and mysteries as well as to young readers (listeners) there is much to enjoy and take from this story. (The Grease' soundtrack inspired my daughter to ask "Mommy, what's a hooker?") Prostitutes are mentioned in this story but we don't spend any significant amount of time with them.

If Sherlock Holmes had a baby sister, she would surely be in the mold of Enola - no doubt.

Overall, I enjoyed this book quite a bit, but there were some things that were a little off-putting for me. Initially, the writing -- using lots of dashes -- and sentence fragments, was a little hard to adjust to, but adjust I did, and it stopped bothering me as much around the middle of the book.

Now I think about it, most YA books (especially fantasies or action/adventure) do involve a mystery of sorts. That said, I can think of few YA books that are, actually, mysteries - complete with a missing person, a detective, and hidden clues. But, overall since this was told in first person, I felt Kellgren was a fine choice!

She spent the next forty-six years in Pennsylvania, raising two children (Jonathan, now 38, and Nora, 34), writing, horseback riding, fishing, and birdwatching.