Enola Holmes: The Case of the Missing Marquess: The Enola Holmes Mysteries, Book 1

Book review by
Carrie Kingsley, Common Sense Media
Enola Holmes: The Case of the Missing Marquess: The Enola Holmes Mysteries, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Teen girl detective is a fun twist on famous family name.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value
Shows use of logic and reasoning and gives lots of information about history and nature.
Positive Messages

Don't let anyone underestimate you. Fight for what you believe in, be persistent, and plan ahead as much as possible. Use your brain.

Positive Role Models & Representations
Enola relies on herself to solve problems, using logic, bravery, and kindness.
Violence & Scariness
Fighting, kidnapping, and tension throughout, all age appropriate.
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Nancy Springer's Enola Holmes: The Case of the Missing Marquess: The Enola Holmes Mysteries, Book 1 is a fast-paced, engaging whodunit set in the times when Enola's estranged older brother, Sherlock Holmes, was the most famous living detective in England. Left alone after her mother's disappearance, Enola is determined to navigate a world in which men don't control a woman's future, defying her brothers to search for her mother. There are a lot of older English terms in the book to challenge younger readers, but the many small mysteries throughout the book and an action-packed plot provide plenty of pull to keep reading. There's tension throughout the story, but it isn't too dark for younger readers, and the adventure is great for all ages. This is the first book in a series. It has been adapted for a 2020 film titled simply Enola Holmes, available on Netflix Sept. 23.

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What's the story?

In ENOLA HOLMES: THE CASE OF THE MISSING MARQUESS, young Enola discovers that her mildly eccentric mother has disappeared and the key to finding her is most likely in London. To get there, Enola has to sneak away from and outwit her older brothers, Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes, who want to send the wild, willful teen to a refined boarding school. During her escape, Enola gets ensnared in a kidnapping mystery and must outrun a band of murderers with a new companion in tow -- all while watching for clues from her mother and hiding from her brothers.

Is it any good?

Set in the days of corsets and horse carriages, this girl-centered mystery keeps readers on their toes with quick action, engaging characters, and fun riddles. Enola Holmes: The Case of the Missing Marquess is a great twist on a well-known name; older brother Sherlock Holmes isn't the focus of the story, and Enola's adventurous, inquisitive attitude help her grow well outside the confines of her society. The language Enola uses fits the early 20th century setting, so it could take readers a few chapters to settle into the style, but it quickly seems like another character in the story. There's violence, tension, and anger throughout, but all of it mild -- and some even comical.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how society treats women in Enola Holmes: The Case of the Missing Marquess. How does it change a society when adult women can't own property, make financial decisions, or decide where to live?

  • What would you do if you were in Enola's situation? Who would you turn to for help?
  • What other mysteries have you enjoyed?

Book details

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For kids who love mystery and strong girls

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