I bought this book several years ago specifically for Izzy. I *certainly* didn’t want to read it. One of my least favorite novels of all time was a Holmes pastiche.  So, it languished on the shelves until I decided to give it a read about 4 years ago.  And whaddaya know?  I fell completely head over heels in love with it and devoured every single book in the series.  There are six titles in total.

Fast forward a few years and Izzy recently selected this title for us to read together.  This was my second read and I wondered if I’d like it as much.  I did, and Izzy loved it too!  I hope she’ll go on to the sequels like I did!

What Springer did absolutely right is that she didn’t make Enola into a little Sherlock Holmes clone. Sure she’s bright and clever, but not really exceptionally so. Instead her defining characteristics are curiosity. creativity and determination. I really appreciate that as it’s so relatable for kids.  The Sherlock Holmes canon appeals specifically because Holmes is so far above us mere mortals.

Also, the plot line is surprising. I expected that Enola would team up with her brother to solve a great mystery. It doesn’t go down like that at all and I freaking LOVED this book for that.  Holmes actually plays a rather surprisingly antagonistic role!

The actual mystery in this story is rather slight and secondary, but that didn’t really bother me. This novel is really a way to  get to know Enola and her backstory. The following installments have meatier mysteries to enjoy.