Friday, July 23, 2010


The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline

An Enola Holmes Mystery

by Nancy Springer

This is the fifth installment of the terrific Enola Holmes series of mysteries, which I have been enjoying enormously.

Enola is the younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, who is on the run and living on her own in Victorian London, depending on her wits, facility for disguise, and her intimate knowledge of society.

When her landlady, who she has grown close to, is kidnapped, she leaps into action, trying to discover who has kidnapped her, and why. Once she discovers the root of the long-ago misunderstanding that led to this, she takes on the baddies to rescue her landlady, and ensure her future safety.

None of this is cut-and-dried, however, for she also risks exposing herself, and her brother is tangled up in the case, being a famous detective and all. She manages to escape her brothers again, but by the end, finds she will have to change her living situation to stay one step ahead of them. (This is, for the record, not a terrible spoiler about the mystery itself!)

One additional twist is added in this story - Springer has included a figure from history, blending truth and imagination in equal measure to create a likeable character. She notes at the end how much is real and how much invented, but it's a fun bit of speculation to engage in for the sake of the plot!

These books are terrific fun and a great read for someone who likes a spunky female heroine.

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