Wednesday, June 11, 2008
The Case of the Left-handed Lady
Enola has set up, since the first mystery, a reasonable semblance of an existance for herself, complete with a few different identities and associated disguises. Although set up as a "scientific perditorian," she is mostly concerned, at first anyhow, with keeping herself hidden and figuring out how much her brothers know about her whereabouts, as well as adapting herself to keeping safe on the dangerous streets of Victorian London. Her newfound passion for helping other disguised as a nun doesn't help any, as she performs this role at night, wandering among the slums.
Through the book, a strange series of events turn out to be related as she is drawn into the mystery of a missing girl, learns about some radical new political movements of the time, and set upon at night herself.
Parallel to this runs the continued avoidance of her brothers, complete with a trick message left by one to trap her, a bit of snooping on her part, and a direct run-in with the ever-so-sharp Sherlock Holmes. Thsi plot will clearly continue to push through any future volumes as well, and at the end of this book, she is determined to keep herself from their grasp, telling them via newspaper ad to 'rot.'
I like the blend of suspense from the two plotlines here, I like Enola's spunk and intelligence, and I especially like the high level of explanation as to Victorian customs that is done throughout, somehow without being overly intrusive. This is a great series for a girl who likes some adventure and some smarts in her reading, but won't leave the girlier girls behind, either.