Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer

The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer is a fun, somewhat Sherlockian story featuring a feisty female protagonist.

It hasn't escaped the notice of Enola Holmes that her first name spelled backwards is "Alone." As the much younger daughter of the great Sherlock Holmes, Enola has grown up on the run-down family estate in the care of her eccentric mother, left often to her own devices. When her mother disappears, Enola sends for Sherlock and Mycroft, hoping that they will be able to solve the mystery of their mother's disappearance. Sherlock soon returns to London, promising to work on locating their mother, but not giving Enola much hope. Mycroft, bemoaning the condition of the estate and Enola's breeding and education (or lack thereof), determines to send Enola off to boarding school -- whereupon Enola runs away and sets out on her own to solve the mystery of her mother's disappearance. On the way to London, Enola stumbles upon another mysterious disappearance, and she just can't help but get involved. Perhaps a talent for detection runs in the family . . .

While I am not as much of a Sherlock Holmes aficionado as some I could mention, I did think this book was fairly well done. I liked the way Enola chose methods of escape and disguise that she felt Sherlock would not expect, and used the trimmings and trappings of a "proper young lady" to her advantage. The author obviously did her homework on the period, but she incorporated period details into the story seamlessly, without info-dumping.

I listened to the audiobook, narrated by the fabulous Katherine Kellgren. I first discovered her work by listening to the Bloody Jack series, which I have mentioned before on this year's threads. Kellgren does a great job of differentiating her characters, and really has a feel for light historical fiction such as this. I'll certainly be listening to more books in this series in the future.

(Reviewed from an audiobook borrowed through my library system.)

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