I’m feeling pretty lucky at the mo’ because I’ve been fortunate enough to run across another fabulous sequel in my recent reading (the first being Hate that Cat – see post below). This one’s the second Enola Holmes mystery, and I’m just going to say it straight up, “I love these books.” Love them. Every reader has a certain type of book that is almost guaranteed to yank them out of a terrible funk. For some it might be mindless chicklit, or goofy romances, or great fantasy epics. For me it’s mysteries. A great mystery with Victorian flavour? Better still. Nancy Springer’s mystery series delivers in every way, and for that reason, I’m a firm believer in Enola’s happy-making powers.
To begin, read my review of the first book here. Now, don’t go running away to get the first book just yet. You might as well read my review of #2 and then go searching for both. Enola is in hiding in London, still searching for her mother, with her brother Sherlock doing all that he can to find his younger sister. But Miss Enola isn’t a Holmes for nothing. She shares many of her famed brother’s skills in disguise and detection and she decides to put those abilities into practice when a certain young lady, Cecily Alistair, disappears without a trace. Lady Cecily turns out to be a young woman far more complex and secretive than Enola imagined, and the spirited detective ends up on quite the journey into London’s seedy and sinister streets as she journeys towards solving the mystery.
Best Bits: The atmosphere in this story and in its predecessor is spot on, without being overdone. You do feel caught up in the sights and sounds of Victorian London. Enola herself is completely charming – clever and bold but with a streak of insecurity and uncertainty about the unorthodox path she has chosen. While the cover and larger-print format of the book might make you think it’s more middle grade, it is quite dark (deliciously so), and so is just right for teenage readers.
There’s a third Enola mystery out already (The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets), and a fourth slated for September (The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan). Good news for all mystery-lovers.