The Enola Holmes Series by Nancy Springer

Series Synopsis: These books follow the much younger sister of master sleuth, Sherlock Holmes. She runs away to London after her mother disappears in order to escape her brother Mycroft who wishes to send her to boarding school. Adopting an array of disguises, Enola embarks on adventures much like her brothers whilst avoiding his detection.
This series consists of 6 books, each barely 200 pages. They are written by award winning author Nancy Springer who has written other works such as the Rowen Hood series and I am Morgana Le Fey.

I bought this book because of my love for the original Sherlock Holmes novels. They were short and cheap so I decided to give it a go. Due to its length and content, I finished within a day and was gagging for the next instalment. Usually I am terrible with finishing series but 5 books later and here I am.

Enola Holmes is the perfect heroine. She has the smarts and wits of her brothers yet manages to do it all in a wig, makeup, corset and skirt. She does not lack a vulnerable side though. The main plot line, throughout the books, is Enola's fight against the want to find her mother, who disappeared on Enola's 14th birthday. Placed in the care of her eldest brother, Mycroft, Enola is forced to flee if she wants to continue living a free life outside of ladies school and tight corsets. So she goes, embracing the name her mother gave her (alone spelt backwards),  off to London as it is the one place she believes no one will look for her.

Whilst there she creates a masterful and intricate life on the money her mother left her, creating a way of income and a lifestyle. But not without solving some cases along the way. The first is by accident before starting her own company, one to rival Sherlock's (hiding in plain sight and all that). All the while we are taken on a journey of hidden messages and taught a secret language shared only between Enola and her mother.

Each case is as daring and dangerous as the last as she faces cutthroats, thieves and stranglers in the night. But even though these are children's novels they have a dark and adult element about them portrayed in a subtle but tasteful way which makes them suitable for any age.

These books hold a similar writing style to Conan Doyle's but not so overtly that it becomes unreadable like other books. There is an astounding amount of detail and historical accuracy, from Marxist debates to the art of fans, which has me certain that Springer did more than her fair share of research.

This series is fun and energetic but at the same time it will break your heart as you are once again reminded of the lost little girl you are following.

This series is addictive and I highly recommend for a quick read: rating 4.5/5


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