Reviews for Case of the Missing Marquess

Booklist Reviews 2005 December #1
/*Starred Review*/ Gr. 5-8. Springer, author of the popular Tales of Rowen Hood series featuring Robin Hood's daughter, mines the classics once more, and finds Sherlock Holmes' 14-year-old sister, Enola Holmes, who also has keen powers of observation. Enola lives alone with her mother on the family estate. Mrs. Holmes has always been a free spirit, but Enola is shocked when, on her birthday, her mother goes missing. Sherlock and Mycroft, Enola's long-absent, much-older brothers, arrive and assure her that they will look into the disappearance; she will be sent away to boarding school. Determined to avoid that fate, and anxious to find her mother on her own, Enola leaves for London, where she thinks her mother may be--a plan as shaky as the bicycle she sets off on. Along the way, she becomes enmeshed in another disappearance, the case of a young marquess, who seems to have been kidnapped, and in true Holmes fashion, Enola uses her powers of deduction to figure out his fate. This is a terrific package. Springer not only provides two fine mysteries (complete with clues and ciphers to solve), breathtaking adventure, and key-eyed description but she also offers a worthy heroine, who will be the center of a new series (the cover proclaims this "An Enola Holmes Mystery.") Enola is a high-spirited girl, just the right mix of nascent nineteenth-century feminist and awkward teen, with a first-person voice that's fun to hear. Readers can move from this to Phillip Pullman's Victorian thrillers, the Sally Lockhart trilogy, which begins with The Ruby in the Smoke (1987). ((Reviewed December 1, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Fall
After a purple-prosy introduction to the sights, sounds, and smells of Victorian London, readers meet fourteen-year-old Enola Holmes, Sherlock's kid sister. Plucky and insightful, Enola deciphers why her mother disappeared, and she bolts for the same reason: to avoid the strictures of a patriarchal society. While on the run, Enola solves a second mystery, again beating Sherlock to the punch. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2005 December #2
With gleeful panache, Springer introduces an innocent but capable young sleuth--the younger sister of Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes, no less--and takes her from wild English countryside to the soupy filth of Victorian London. Having led a free-spirited but cloistered life on the ancestral country estate, 14-year-old Enola Holmes is thrown for a loop by her mother's sudden disappearance--not to mention the subsequent arrival of her long-absent big brothers, both of whom turn out to be overbearing and dismissive of women. Rather than meekly knuckle under, though, Enola makes careful preparation (she thinks) and slips off to track her wayward parent down. On the way, she falls into the furor surrounding an apparent kidnapping (see title)--and then, barely does she arrive in the big city before some authentically scary ruffians snatch her, too. Naïve but a quick study, and more resourceful than even her renowned siblings, Enola resolutely surmounts each challenge that comes her way. By the end, she has rescued the spoiled young aristocrat, eluded her brothers, gotten a lead on her mother thanks to a series of cleverly coded messages and even set herself up as a "Perditorian"--a finder of lost things and people. A tasty appetizer, with every sign of further courses to come. (Fiction. 10-12) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2006 March #1

Springer (Rowan Hood ; I Am Mordred ) proves that she is as comfortable in England's late 19th century as she was in Sherwood Forest and Camelot with this debut title in the Enola Holmes Mystery series. Her heroine, however, is not. After Enola's mother disappears, her older brother, Sherlock (yes, that one), and oldest brother, Mycroft, whom she has not seen in 10 years, seem bent on forcing her into a steel-ribbed corset and sending her off to boarding school. But Enola ("which, backwards, spells 'alone ,' " she points out) rebels. Her mother has left behind a little book of ciphers, so the 14-year-old disguises herself and heads to London, where she hopes to outwit her brothers and find her mother. Readers will find the teen's internal monologue quite entertaining ("Always I felt to blame for--for whatever, for breathing--because I had been born indecently late in Mother's life... And always I had counted upon setting things right after I was grown.... So she had to be alive"). Along the way, Enola becomes involved in the search for the missing Viscount Tewksbury, Marquess of Basilwether, and hair-raising adventures ensue. Enola shows herself to be an intelligent, rational, resourceful and brave protagonist. Readers will look forward to hearing this heroine's unique voice again soon. Ages 9-up. (Feb.)

[Page 75]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews 2006 February

Gr 4-8 -In what is hopefully the start of an exciting new series, Missing Marquess features the intriguing, much younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. Enola was a late-life baby, causing something of a scandal in society. Her rather vague mother is a 64-year-old widow who disappears on Enola’s 14th birthday. It takes the girl a short time to realize that her mother left her some ciphers that indicate why she went away and how she is faring. The teen reluctantly enlists the services of her adult brothers, who quickly determine that Lady Holmes has been padding the household accounts for years. When they decide that their sister belongs at a boarding school, Enola escapes and heads for London dressed as a widow. There she is able to solve a mystery involving the disappearance of young Viscount Tewksbury. She decides to stay in the city, adopting a number of disguises, and become a "Perditorian," or finder of lost things or people. Springer focuses a great deal on the restrictions placed on Victorian females by showing how unusual Enola’s bravery and common sense are, even as she often struggles with conventional reactions. She wants her brothers’ affection, or indeed anyone’s, but knows that a socially accepted life will strictly limit her freedom and learning. Enola’s loneliness, intelligence, sense of humor, and sheer pluck make her an extremely appealing heroine who hopefully will one day find the affection for which she so desperately longs.-B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Library, Sag Harbor, NY

[Page 137]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.