Friday, January 18, 2008


The Case of the Missing Marquess

by Nancy Springer.

This book starts with a premise that could make for cheese and disaster all over the place in the wrong hands - Enola Holmes, much younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft, has a sudden problem - her independent, strong-minded, older mother has disappeared.

She starts to realize why when she meets her brothers, and finds also that her mother has left her a message and the means to run off on her own, despite the plans of Mycroft, who wants to mold her into a proper upper-class young woman, not the untamed thing her mother has raised.

Along the way, she meets up with a young Marquess who is similarly looking to escape the confines of his family, and solves his missing persons case, all the while evading her brothers and some villains looking to kidnap the pair of them.

What makes this work is her independent spirit, her own methods of detecting (often enough by instinct or accident), and the fact that she is not some Sherlock clone in skirts. She in fact didn't really need the family connection, but it does make a nice tension that is not played too strongly. I really enjoyed this one, and will be looking for the other titles in the series.

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