Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade

Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade
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Release Date
September 06, 2022
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Enola Holmes, Sherlock's much younger, and feistier, sister, returns in an adventure of a confused young Baronet's daughter who is on the run from her father's devious schemes in Nancy Springer's Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade.

Enola Holmes, the much younger sister of Sherlock, is now living independently in London and working as a scientific perditorian (a finder of persons and things). But that is not the normal lot of young women in Victorian England. They are under the near absolute control of their nearest male relative until adulthood. Such is the case of Enola's friend, Lady Cecily Alastair. Twice before Enola has rescued Lady Cecily from unpleasant designs of her caddish father, Sir Eustace Alastair, Baronet. And when Enola is brusquely turned away at the door of the Alastair home it soon becomes apparent that Lady Cecily once again needs her help.

Affecting a bold escape, Enola takes Lady Cecily to her secret office only to be quickly found by the person hired by Lady Cecily's mother to find the missing girl - Sherlock Holmes himself. But the girl has already disappeared again, now loose on her own in the unforgiving city of London.

Even worse, Lady Cecily has a secret that few know. She has dual personalities - one, which is left-handed, is independent and competent; the other, which is right-handed, is meek and mild. Now Enola must find Lady Cecily again - before one of her personalities gets her into more trouble than she can handle and before Sherlock can find her and return her to her father. Once again, for Enola, the game is afoot.

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engaging and fast-paced mystery
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ENOLA HOLMES AND THE ELEGANT ESCAPADE is a delightful historical mystery featuring Sherlock Holmes's younger sister. Enola knows something is up when she pays a call on her best friend, Cecily, and the servant is unable to pass a message or let Enola see her. Enola hatches a plan to find out whether she is alright and soon is helping Cecily escape the cruelty of her father.

Not long after the escape, Enola finds that Sherlock Holmes is also on the case to find Cecily, but Cecily is too crafty to be caught. As Enola and Sherlock follow the clues to find her, they learn more about her father and his own dangerous dealings.

What I loved: This was a really quick and fun read that pulls the reader into Enola's charm once again. The case seems simple on the surface but is plenty delightful with ciphers and other twists that keep Enola on her toes. Cecily is a compelling character who has been subjected to much abuse at the hands of her father, leading her to develop dissociative identity disorder with two sides that are left or right handed.

The mystery is light and mostly around the missing persons case with a twist in terms of Cecily's father and his own misdeeds that help to bring the story to a mostly satisfying conclusion. While Sherlock is involved, it was great to see Enola besting him at this game, and their interactions throughout. This will work well for fans of Enola with this new and engaging mystery.

What left me wanting more: As a small thing, the portrayal of dissociative identity disorder felt very hollywood, in that it did not seem completely authentic.

Final verdict: A quick and engaging mystery, ENOLA HOLMES AND THE ELEGANT ESCAPADE is a charming read that will work well for older middle grade through YA readers.
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