Enola Holmes, estranged younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes begins her fourth mystery in one of her brilliant disguises as she learns Lady Cecily’s freedom is once again in jeopardy. After decoding a message on the Lady’s pink fan, Enola discovers that Lady Cecily is being held prisoner and will be forced to wed against her wishes. As Enola searches for clues, she narrowly escapes her brother, Mycroft’s domineering aspirations to turn Enola into a proper lady. As she gets closer to Lady Cecily, she also runs into Sherlock who has been hired to work on the same case. Eventually, the two must work together using Enola’s expert disguises to rescue Lady Cecily from her predicament.
Like the other books in the series, this Enola Holmes Mystery is filled with beautiful, yet complex language fitting the setting in Victorian England. Enola’s disguises, keen observations, and decoding skills make for a wonderful, suspense-filled story. Although not necessary to have read the earlier books in the series, it is helpful to understand references to Enola’s mother and the history behind her relationship with her brothers. With plenty of secret codes cleverly woven into the story and a climatic ending, this book is the most exhilarating of the series. Yet, in the end, Enola remains alone, as she wishes to be, hinting at continued expansion of this sophisticated series.
Author: Nancy Springer
Publisher: Philomel Books, 2008
Reviewer: Kristine Wildner, Holy Apostles School, New Berlin, WI