ENOLA HOLMES AND THE MARK OF THE MONGOOSE, by Nancy Springer, Wednesday Books; Media tie-in edition, Sept. 5, 2023, Hardcover, $20 (young adult)
Sherlock’s little sister meets a literary great in Enola Holmes and the Mark of the Mongoose, by Nancy Springer.
In May of 1890, Enola Holmes is finally fully on her own and, no longer hiding from her older brothers Sherlock and Mycroft, attending classes and occasionally pursuing her chosen profession as a scientific perditorian, a finder of lost things and people.
Wolcott Balestier, the representative of an American book publisher, arrived in London on a singular mission — to contract with English authors for their latest works. When Balestier disappears on the streets of London one day, his great friend — Rudyard Kipling — bursts into Enola’s office looking for help in finding him. Brash and unwilling to hire a young woman, instead he turns to Sherlock Holmes. Convinced that evil has befallen Balestier, at the hands of rival American publishers who pirate the works of English authors, he sets the elder Holmes on the trail.
But Enola is not one to accept defeat, especially not to her brother, and sets off on her own – determined to learn the truth behind the disappearance of the young American. Can book publishing truly be so ruthless and deadly or can the missing man be rescued from his apparent fate and returned to his friends and loved ones?
The redoubtable Enola is determined to do just that, even if it means working with her brother Sherlock! —Synopsis provided by Wednesday Books
Enola Holmes and the Mark of the Mongoose is the ninth book in Nancy Springer’s in The Enola Holmes Mysteries.
This already popular series got a boost of new followers with the release of two Netflix films, and that’s for a good reason. In Springer’s deft hands Enola comes to life. Her prose is full of light and drama and it’s entertaining from beginning to end.
As with the other books in the series, Enola is the star and Sherlock is a supporting character. Here, Enola is the storyteller. She tells you everything you need to know in her conversational, and a touch snarky tone. She’s sitting next to you, recounting her tale with spark and joy.
All of the books in this series follow a similar format, and Enola Holmes and the Mark of the Mongoose is no different. Readers will enjoy the mysteries built on mysteries and the inevitable scrapes that Enola gets into. The pacing is quick, the vocabulary grand and the adventures enticing.
While the first six books in this series were recommended for ages 10 and up, books seven through nine are being billed as YA. The only reason I can see for this is that Enola is growing older. There’s nothing objectionable in it, and if my daughter had already read the first six books, I’d have no problem handing her this one. They’re not a bad read for adults, either.
Technically, you don’t need to read all the Enola books before Enola Holmes and the Mark of the Mongoose, but I suggest you do. They’re all great, and you’ll understand the asides better if you do.
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