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.