The Case of the Missing Marquess (Enola Holmes Series #1)

The Case of the Missing Marquess (Enola Holmes Series #1)

4.5 41
by Nancy Springer, Katherine Kellgren

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When Enola Holmes, sister to the detective Sherlock Holmes, discovers her mother has disappeared, she quickly embarks on a journey to London in search of her. But nothing can prepare her for what awaits. Because when she arrives, she finds herself involved in the kidnapping of a young marquess, fleeing murderous villains, and trying to elude her shrewd older

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When Enola Holmes, sister to the detective Sherlock Holmes, discovers her mother has disappeared, she quickly embarks on a journey to London in search of her. But nothing can prepare her for what awaits. Because when she arrives, she finds herself involved in the kidnapping of a young marquess, fleeing murderous villains, and trying to elude her shrewd older brothers—all while attempting to piece together clues to her mother’s strange disappearance. Amid all the mayhem, will Enola be able to decode the necessary clues and find her mother?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Springer (Rowan Hood; I Am Mordred) proves that she is as comfortable in England's late 19th century as she was in Sherwood Forest and Camelot with this debut title in the Enola Holmes Mystery series. Her heroine, however, is not. After Enola's mother disappears, her older brother, Sherlock (yes, that one), and oldest brother, Mycroft, whom she has not seen in 10 years, seem bent on forcing her into a steel-ribbed corset and sending her off to boarding school. But Enola ("which, backwards, spells `alone,' " she points out) rebels. Her mother has left behind a little book of ciphers, so the 14-year-old disguises herself and heads to London, where she hopes to outwit her brothers and find her mother. Readers will find the teen's internal monologue quite entertaining ("Always I felt to blame for-for whatever, for breathing-because I had been born indecently late in Mother's life... And always I had counted upon setting things right after I was grown.... So she had to be alive"). Along the way, Enola becomes involved in the search for the missing Viscount Tewksbury, Marquess of Basilwether, and hair-raising adventures ensue. Enola shows herself to be an intelligent, rational, resourceful and brave protagonist. Readers will look forward to hearing this heroine's unique voice again soon. Ages 9-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Enola Holmes, the much younger sister of the famous Sherlock Holmes, is growing up in Victorian England, where women are considered less intelligent and less important than men. After her father's premature death, Enola is raised by her mother, who then mysteriously disappears on Enola's fourteenth birthday. Knowing that she is the only one who has the clues to find her mother, Enola sets off for London in disguise. During her travels, Enola faces cutthroats and villains while happening upon and solving the famous kidnapping mystery of the Marquess of Basilwether. Although Enola's brothers underestimate her, she manages to hide from them while discovering how to keep track of her mother's whereabouts. The intriguing novel is the first in a new mystery series by Nancy Springer. Springer's use of historical facts, British dialect, and vocabulary create a believable work of historical fiction, convincing the reader of the setting and time period. The descriptive imagery also helps to draw the reader into the book. Cliffhangers in every chapter offer the reader continuous suspense and keep the pages turning. The excitement of this novel will surely compel readers to continue with the series. 2006, Philomel Books/Penguin, Ages 10 to 12.
—Katherine Bowen
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-In what is hopefully the start of an exciting new series, Missing Marquess features the intriguing, much younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. Enola was a late-life baby, causing something of a scandal in society. Her rather vague mother is a 64-year-old widow who disappears on Enola's 14th birthday. It takes the girl a short time to realize that her mother left her some ciphers that indicate why she went away and how she is faring. The teen reluctantly enlists the services of her adult brothers, who quickly determine that Lady Holmes has been padding the household accounts for years. When they decide that their sister belongs at a boarding school, Enola escapes and heads for London dressed as a widow. There she is able to solve a mystery involving the disappearance of young Viscount Tewksbury. She decides to stay in the city, adopting a number of disguises, and become a "Perditorian," or finder of lost things or people. Springer focuses a great deal on the restrictions placed on Victorian females by showing how unusual Enola's bravery and common sense are, even as she often struggles with conventional reactions. She wants her brothers' affection, or indeed anyone's, but knows that a socially accepted life will strictly limit her freedom and learning. Enola's loneliness, intelligence, sense of humor, and sheer pluck make her an extremely appealing heroine who hopefully will one day find the affection for which she so desperately longs.-B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Library, Sag Harbor, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
With gleeful panache, Springer introduces an innocent but capable young sleuth-the younger sister of Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes, no less-and takes her from wild English countryside to the soupy filth of Victorian London. Having led a free-spirited but cloistered life on the ancestral country estate, 14-year-old Enola Holmes is thrown for a loop by her mother's sudden disappearance-not to mention the subsequent arrival of her long-absent big brothers, both of whom turn out to be overbearing and dismissive of women. Rather than meekly knuckle under, though, Enola makes careful preparation (she thinks) and slips off to track her wayward parent down. On the way, she falls into the furor surrounding an apparent kidnapping (see title)-and then, barely does she arrive in the big city before some authentically scary ruffians snatch her, too. Naive but a quick study, and more resourceful than even her renowned siblings, Enola resolutely surmounts each challenge that comes her way. By the end, she has rescued the spoiled young aristocrat, eluded her brothers, gotten a lead on her mother thanks to a series of cleverly coded messages and even set herself up as a "Perditorian"-a finder of lost things and people. A tasty appetizer, with every sign of further courses to come. (Fiction. 10-12)
From the Publisher
Enola shows herself to be an intelligent, rational, resourceful and brave protagonist. (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

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Product Details

Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date:
Enola Holmes Series, #1
Edition description:
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"With gleeful panache, Spring introduces an innocent but capable young sleuth…. A tasty appetizer, with every sign of further courses to come."-Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“An extremely appealing heroine.”—School Library Journal, starred review

“This is a terrific package.”—Booklist, starred review

“Quite entertaining.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

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The Case of the Missing Marquess (Enola Holmes Series #1) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book! It combines the Victorian England world of Sherlock Holmes with a spunky determined heroine who wants to live her own life and shun conventions. Enola's wits enable her to solve mysteries and outwit her brothers Sherlock and Mycroft. Her heart pulls her to keep searching for her mother, who also appears to be unconventional for Victorian times. Enola's character will appeal to many of today's girls.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was outstanding! It takes an original and classic idea and transforms it into something bewildering! The Case of the Missing Marquess makes you wait in anticipation to see what kind of ending waits. It is the type of book you never want to put down. However, when you are finished with it, you regret you read it so fast, because it was so enjoyable! Enola Holmes mother goes missing on her fourteenth birthday she shows the ultimate courage by following her brother¿s footsteps. She investigates. When she is not satisfied with her unanswered questions she contacts her brothers who she has not seen in seven years. However, she shows a sign of reluctance because she is frustrated she could not figure it out herself. When her brothers come down they force her to try and act like a young lady and use a corset. However their attempts do not work because she rebels. A boarding school is no place for a free sprit so she does the best thing possible in the situation, she escapes, to London, disguised as a widow. The action of rebelling gives Enola a sweet taste of freedom that she has not felt in a long time. In her journey to London she hopes to find a bit of herself and her mother. While in London she reads a newspaper that says the twelve your old Marquess of Basilwether has gone missing. Enola's wild spirit decides to take on the challenge, and investigates the situation. She goes through many obstacles to save the Marquess and saves both of them from the clutches of the evil villain, known as Cutter. She also goes through all of this while keeping her whereabouts secret from her searching brothers. All of these events lead to an exiting and enthralling adventure of Enola Holmes and the Marquess of Basilweather. Nancy Springer did an amazing job on this book.
SJKessel More than 1 year ago
Springer, N. (2006). An Enola Holmes Mystery: The Case of the Missing Marquess. New York: Puffin Books. 9780142409336 After her mother has gone missing, Enola Holmes must call for her two older brothers, one of whom is the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. Threatened with boarding school, Enola instead decides to escape to search for her mother. She happens upon another mystery of a ten-year-old Marquess who is missing from his home. Enola's search for both the Marquess and her mother will take her to London where she encounters a number of different characters and dangers. Enola's voice feels authentic to the time period. This is both a strength and weakness of the novel. While giving it an authentic feel, it may make it harder for some readers to engage with. The text is well-researched and gives a lot of sensory details to try to bring the reader in. The experience of British women in the late nineteenth century is central to this novel. It shows the expectations upon women and the feminist experience and search for freedom within a restrictive society. And it serves as a strong start to the series of books showing Enola's mysterious cases that have followed it. I am nerdy enough to have grown up, believing the character of Sherlock Holmes to be downright sexy. Springer, at least for a large portion of the novel, manages to challenge this perception by having Holmes wander around encouraging pity for his young sister due to her small "cranial capacity." His perception of women, while authentic and humorous, angered my feminist sensibilities. Which, you know, is the point. Activities to do with the book: There are many lessons that this book could be incorporated into, especially those involving the history of Great Britain, the women's movement, Western thought and philosophy, the meaning and significance of flowers or exploration of Sherlock Holmes as a character. Students could create illustrations to accompany the story. This could take the form of portraits of the characters or even studies of flowers. Favorite Quotes: "I would very much like to know why my mother named me "Enola," which, backwards, spells alone. Mum was, or perhaps still is, fond of ciphers, and she must have had something in mind, whether foreboding or a sort of left-handed blessing or, already, plans, even though my father had not yet passed away" (p. 5). "I remembered Dr. Watson's listing of my brother's accomplishments: scholar, chemist, superb violinist, expert marksman, swordsman, singlestick fighter, pugilist, and brilliant deductive thinker. Then I formed a mental list of my own accomplishments: able to read, write and do sums; find birds' nests; dig worms and catch fish; and, oh yes, ride a bicycle" (pp. 29-30). "What on earth was he saying? That Mum had abandoned me? I sat with my mouth ajar. "Pity the girl's cranial capacity, Mycroft," Sherlock murmured to his brother" (p. 49). For more of my children's literature reviews, visit
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. It is set in 1888, a time of kidnappers, cutthroats, and gypsies. Enola Holmes is a girl in the midst of all this and to top it off she just happens to be the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes! Then on her fourteenth birthday her mother disappears. Even worse she is told that she will be attending boarding school. This is the last straw! Enola decides to go looking for her mother and gets mixed up in the case of young Lord Tewksbury who has gone missing too. Though this story may be a little hard to follow it was a very good book. Nancy Springer mixes the trouble with being a girl with the problems of trying to lead your own life in somebody¿s shadow. I strongly advise everyone to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book i've ever read......i'm in the next book of this seris :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although this is only the first book I can tell this is going to be a very interesting series. As the author goes into the book, she starts right into the plot. You do not have to read the series in order but I would recommend it because the books are easier to follow this way. The Enola Holmes series is a great collection of books for both adults and kids the age of 11+ but the plot line might be difficult for some kids to follow. I think it was really ingenious that Nancy Springer created Enola Holmes because she is a lot easier for young girls and even boys to relate to. Sherlock Holmes is an amazing series as well but the language and terms used are more difficult for young kids to comprehend. These books are narrated by the young Enola Holmes who, when the book starts, as been abandoned by her mother on her birthday and the book continues she goe son this great adventure that continues throughout each book taking her deeper within the heart of London and its people. This is truly a touching series.
kidsmom More than 1 year ago
It was an interesting and easy read. I think it took too long to introduce the actual story, but I understand the need to set up Enola's character and storyline--plus the mystery with her mother. I enjoyed the take off from Sherlock Holmes. It was a fun way to breathe life into an old mystery series. Plus, using a girl is perfect and a great way to appeal to young female teens in a typically male-dominated genre. This book is great for the late elementary and junior high set. I even enjoyed it as an adult. The next two books in the series are already on their way--I bought them as soon as I finished reading this one!
pinkfairytale More than 1 year ago
Enola is smart and funny. This book is a very good girl mystery book.I have never read a more interesting mystery book in my life! I don't even like mysteries but this made me rethink only reading fairytales. Even though this is a great read I don't suggest it for the younger crownd of girls. There were questionable things throughtout the series - example : drunken people and the descriptions of the people in London's streets. Overall good books.
Sassy_Reader More than 1 year ago
This book is so engaging. I used it with my students, but we got so into it, I actually had to move on before we could finish it. However, they were borrowing the book from me and the library so they could know how it ended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recommend this book 100 percent because even though there were boring parts you never felt unattached to the book! I thought those ciphers in the book were a big part in it! One of the ciphers, close to the end of the book made it so that everything was coming together and making sense to me!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this book had a very gripping story.I really liked it but I think u should read it and tell me what you think of it :) P:S if u liked this series u should try Nancy Drew:-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just read it today and i thought it was a cliff hanger. It is suspensful and adventerous, but it is very short. I would recomend this to people of the ages of 8-13 who are looking for a terrific mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These are great books they are clean but in one of them a thug calls a woman a b**** fyi do u knoenoma spelled backwards spells alone its mentioned in most of the books
book4children More than 1 year ago
I have discovered the wonderful world of juvenile mystery novels. The Case of the Missing Marquess is the first book in the Enola Holmes Mystery series. I adored this book! It is full of adventure, problem solving, and interesting characters. Enola herself is a strong young lady that is a great heroine to read about. She is smart and independent and not afraid to get her hands dirty. I love the inclusion of Sherlock Holmes in the story and the way Enola both admires and despises her famous older brother. It is very cleverly written. Content: Clean
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book! If you are 13-16 years old and looking for a mystery choose this series!
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Mystryrdr More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed reading this book! Can't wait to read the others.
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