Enola Holmes and the Mark of the Mongoose by Nancy Springer
YA | Mystery | Historical Fiction | Adventure
Enola is back and just as determined and unstoppable as ever. And this ninth feature in the Enola Holmes series, Enola Holmes and the Mark of the Mongoose may just be one of my favorite adventures yet!
The younger sister of the world’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, is on the case once again! Mystery never seems to be far from this feisty, scientific perditorian — even when she’s trying to focus on classes instead of finding lost people. In The Mark of the Mongoose, Enola takes it upon herself to track down a missing American publisher. (And best her older brother, Sherlock, and a particularly rude “non-client” in the process… of course!)
Told from Enola’s first-person perspective, her voice makes for a quirky and fun read. This novel also features a few real-world characters including Rudyard Kipling, Caroline Balestier, her brother Wolcott, Florence Nightingale, Joseph Lister, and even a nod to Oscar Wilde. This addition of historical figures creates a really fun collision of fact and imagination, and highlights some of the individuals and events of the Victorian Era.
My son has recently gotten into this series and I love that it provides an easy introduction for younger readers to the world of Sherlock Holmes. We got to see a lot of Sherlock in this novel (and even a very short scene with Watson) and the brother-sister dynamic is always one of my favorite parts of the books. Their relationship has grown and shifted a lot over the course of the series, and this new dynamic of working together — and yet not — is such fun to witness. (Note: While this book can be read as a standalone, I would recommend starting this series in order if possible.)
The Victorian Era is always a favorite historical setting of mine, and this book serves to highlight some of the (unexpected) danger one may have encountered on the streets of the late 1800s. The world-building is well done and easy to visualize, creating an atmospheric setting. I love the little details (like Enola’s numerous costume changes, or her first ride in an elevator) that bring this time period to light.
Customary for Enola stories, the plot is fast-paced and entertaining. There is humor, light-hearted moments, and also a whole ton of adventure and danger. While the mystery is straightforward, Enola is constantly tracking down clues and suspects, making for a quick and action-packed read.
For fans of the Enola series, this latest installment is sure to delight!
Fans of the Enola Holmes series
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Copy of the book provided courtesy of the publisher, Wednesday Books. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the book:
(From the publisher) 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!