On Enola's fourteenth birthday, her mother disappears, and Sherlock and Mycroft, Enola's brothers, conclude that her mother voluntarily left. Enola is devastated but eventually discovers elaborate ciphers her mother wrote, which lead her to conclude that she left to live with the Romani people and escape the confines of Victorian society. Enola finds that her mother left money to fund her escape. When Mycroft, the eldest sibling, insists that Enola attend boarding school and learn to be a proper lady, she runs away to London instead. Throughout the series, Enola solves numerous missing persons cases, including a rescue of Dr. John Watson, while eluding her brothers' efforts to recapture her.
Reviewed by: The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery Elizabeth Bush Springer, Nancy The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery. Sleuth/Philomel, 2006 [224p] ISBN 0-399-24304-6$10.99 Reviewed from galleys Ad Gr. 4-8 Since the great fictional consulting detective Sherlock Holmes seems to have, at the pen of adult author Laurie King, improbably acquired a wife, it's not much of a stretch to find that his family now comprises a younger sister as well. Fourteen-year-old Enola, \"born indecently late in Mother's life, a scandal, a burden, you see,\" attempts some detecting on her own when her mother goes missing and her elder brothers Sherlock and Mycroft plan to send her off to boarding school and write their mother off as a lost case. Enola begins her investigation with encrypted messages in a book left to her by her mother that lead her to a considerable stash of money, but as soon as she ditches her brothers and takes off on her own for London, she gets sidetracked by another mystery, the disappearance of twelve-year-old Viscount Tewksbury Basilwether (who is also the titular marquess), that puts her life in peril. Although Springer supplies a few messages to decode (and shows how to decode them), she spends far more time discussing Enola's family affairs and running her through London's seedier streets and docks than establishing her powers of observation or logic, making this more a tepid Victorian family tale than a mystery. She does, however, slyly explore Sherlock and Mycroft's chauvinistic side and, accepting Victorian mores on their own terms, demonstrate that Enola may have insight into an entire panoply of feminine concerns that are never openly discussed, giving her an edge over her renowned brothers, who regard women as unfathomable. The novel's conclusion finds Enola opening her own detective service, and now that Holmes family relationships are established, perhaps subsequent adventures will show her skills to better advantage. 781b155fdc