The Case of the Missing Marquess

The Case of the Missing Marquess

Book - 2011
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Now a Netflix original movie starring Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, and Helena Bonham Carter!

Meet Enola Holmes, teenaged girl turned detective and the younger sister to Sherlock Holmes.

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?
Publisher: New York :, Puffin Books, an imprint of the Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,, 2011, c2006
ISBN: 9780142409336
Branch Call Number: J SPR
Characteristics: 216, 10 pages ;,20 cm


From Library Staff

a middle grade historical mystery about Sherlock Holmes' younger sister

From the critics

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May 05, 2021

We read the book, then watched the Netflix movie, and spent the entire movie shouting out, "THAT didn't happen in the book," or "THIS is so not in the book," and "WHERE did that come from? Enola would never do that!"

First of all, the Enola in the book is only 12, not 16, so the emotional impact of her mother leaving her is considerably more understandable. In the movie, it was kinda like, "Uh, and? Woe is you, you have to go to school. You're old enough to take care of yourself."

Whereas in the book, it's a significant emotional abandonment. And the Enola in the book isn't surreptitiously falling in love with a boy!

But I digress with the spoiled popcorn.

Here's the book review: The book starts in August of 1888 with the specter of a woman dressed in black from head to toe, alone, wandering the worst, poorest streets of London, looking for a loved one in the bleak, miserable nooks and crannies, unsure whether she'll survive the night and where she'll sleep.

Hold this image, reader, in your mind as you read. It's what the story is barreling toward, from Chapter The First. Although you start with Enola at Ferndell Park, wondering why her mother named her that, and introducing you to the cypher that is her name (backward spelling of alone), it quickly progresses to her opening her birthday present without her mother and soon realizing her mother is missing and sending a telegraph to her brothers Mycroft and Sherlock asking them to come home.

Enola pedals to the station, where they're all shocked to learn the estate has no carriage. Indeed, they quickly surmise their mother has been bilking the estate of money by faking the employ of various servants, gardeners, drivers, tutors and governess for Enola. Ironically, in the same breath, Holmes is dismissive of the "female intellect," although that same "female" managed to pull the wool over his and his brother's eyes for a dozen years.

Holmes is downright offensive about it, calling their mother "odd," "senile," with the "innate untidiness of a woman's mind" and one who is "in her dotage" (for those of you who don't recognize this word, it means old, elderly, and mentally failing). Which, although offensive to modern sensibilities, is as it should be, character-wise, for Holmes.

Enola makes a list of questions to be answered about her mother's disappearance, mostly questioning why she was dressed so oddly (her undergarment "enhancers" had been emptied of their "enhancing" materials and left out for Enola to find), where she went, how, and without baggage. The dog leads Holmes to Enola's hiding spot, and he asks to see her list.

It is at this point Enola gets her brother's unspoken, tacit "approval," in that he tells her she's "covered all the salient points." Investigative points, he means. But unlike Enola, who's had some introduction to the ways of women in the 1880s, he fails to understand the clues he's looking at, although Enola over the next few weeks figures them out. She decodes her mother's ciphers, finds the money (or what her mother didn't take), and never gets anywhere near the girls' finishing school.

She takes a cue from her mother and leaves Ferndell Park on her own. Her attention is almost immediately hijacked by the Marquess' case at the train station. She overhears that the Viscount Tewksbury has been snatched from Basilwether Hall, and Holmes has refused to come investigate.

Instead of heading right away to London, she detours and heads to the Tewksbury estate, where she meets a pivotal character NOT in the movie: Madame Laelia, a Spiritualist Medium, and ... well, I won't ruin it.

Because now the game is afoot, and nothing is as it seems and wasn't in the movie. At all. So read on and enjoy!

IndyPL_CatherineS May 03, 2021

A fun mystery to spend the weekend with even if you haven't watched the Netflix version.

Mar 17, 2021

If this book has been available when I was ten, I likely would have loved it. Even at that age I was a fan of mysteries. Also, I read a few of Nancy Springer's books as a child and enjoyed them.

While I would recommend parents purchase Enola Holmes for their children; however, I wouldn't recommend it for adults. The story is quite short, and while that's not necessarily bad, I do wish there was more to the story.

Jan 08, 2021

I decided to listen to this after watching the Netflix film. The two vary quite a bit, but the novel is an fun romp of mystery and intrigue

Nov 22, 2020

I decided to read this series after seeing the Netflix movie based on this title. It does differ a bit from the movie but it's good in its own way with being a novel. Once you read it, you will understand why Netflix chose to adjust some things to make it work from the screen. I like how Enola is determined and clever with how she handles different things. A fun read for all ages!

Nov 15, 2020

I can't believe that I had never heard of these books before the Netflix movie came out.
They were very well written but contained content still appropriate for middle schoolers; an exceptional find amidst all the trashy writing we find in kid's books nowadays. Perfect for a middle schooler advanced in reading.

I also liked that Enola was fourteen. It seems as if book characters are either twelve/thirteen, or fifteen/sixteen. As a fourteen year old I mourned the fact that there were hardly any books about people my age. Until I discovered Enola Holmes!

The plot was a bit predictable, but overall engaging. I will say that the second book is a bit more intense with a better plotline, and I am looking forward to reading the third. I would recommend this book from anyone age 9 to 90! And read the book before you watch the movie (if possible), because it will raise you expectations for suspense, when the movie really combined elements from all 6 books.

Gina_Vee Nov 12, 2020

I can see the bits and pieces of the Netflix movie in this first book. It's a good series so far.

Oct 17, 2020

I love this book!!! Fabulous protagonist, wonderful writing. I was amazed by Enola's resourcefulness and determination.

Oct 15, 2020

I found out about this series after watching the new Netflix movie I love the series and movie the are both different but equally good

ArapahoeKati Sep 16, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed this tale of the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes. The Netflix film drops in September 2020.

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Add Notices
Sep 16, 2014

Violence: A knife scene where the 14 year old girl gets slashed at and her dress is slit open. Other minor violence

Sep 16, 2014

Sexual Content: References to prostitutes. During the knife scene the man alludes to raping her.

Sep 16, 2014

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Discussion of "crawlers". People so destitute they crawl through the streets. Discussion of dead bodies.

Jul 12, 2013

Violence: Enola finds herself in some sticky and slightly gruesome situations. Nothing to intense or graphic though.

Jul 12, 2013

Frightening or Intense Scenes: It get's a bit intense definitely not for anyone under 9.

Jul 12, 2013

Sexual Content: Some mild references to scandals and descriptions of woman's clothing and underwear at the time but nothing you wouldn't usually find in a tween/teen book.

Dec 18, 2011

Violence: what you'd usually find in mysterys

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Apr 09, 2020

CORI D. MORRIS thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Jul 21, 2019

black_swan_259 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 21

Jul 14, 2019

mdnormand thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Sep 16, 2014

mmcbeth29 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jul 12, 2013

Olive_Mouse_1 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 15

Dec 18, 2011

Brown_Dog_70 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 14


Add a Summary
Jul 12, 2013

When Enola Holmes' (the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes) mother runs away on her 14th birthday her brothers Sherlock and Mycroft decide to turn Enola into a "young lady" ready to be presented to society. However the adventurous, tomboyish Enola runs away. While on the run she finds herself in the middle of the mysterious disappearance of the Marquess of Basilweather. Embracing her calling as a Perditorian (finder of lost people and things) she sets out to find the young Marquess. This is the first book of the Enola Holmes series.

JCLAmyF May 28, 2013

The younger Holmes sibling attempts to solve her own mysteries. Totally charming, unique heroine.


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