Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Book Review: Enola Holmes Mysteries #4

The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan

by Nancy Springer

A mystery that is not Nancy Drew? I bet you're shocked! Found this at the local library used book sale and had to pick it up. Who could resist Sherlock Holmes' little sister? If she is half as good as her older brother...Let's find out.


Confession - we haven't read the previous three books in the series. Did it matter? Not at all. Okay, I'm sure I was missing some background information, but Enola gave basic pieces while thinking about the case. Great action and Enola is brilliant!


I really liked the story, but the disguises have me confused...most outfits from the Victorian and Edwardian eras were not easy to put on and take off, yet Enola is able to change her appearance in a matter of minutes. 


I really liked this story and Enola as a main character and detective. You do have to suspend a bit of reality when you read this though. I can't imagine a 14-year old girl being able to move so easily about a city. I could be wrong.


Action, adventure, mystery, intrigue...what's not to love. The story flowed well and I learned a few new words. 


I totally agree with Haley and Lanie. 
Some parts of the story were hard to believe. But as we are Harry Potter fans... Enola is a brilliant detective; however, she is shortsighted when it comes to her brothers. Yes, Mycroft may want to see her make a good match, but Sherlock...I think he knows his sister would not be happy in a conventional home. He lets her slip away more than she understands.


The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan (Enola Holmes 4)The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan by Nancy Springer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am a lifelong Sherlock Holmes fan. Not a mega fan because I haven't read absolutely everything in the cannon and I'm not exceedingly fond of other authors using Sherlock in their work, but sometimes curiosity gets the better of me. As is the case here.

In this series (yes, series - I'll get to that in a minute) we meet Sherlock's and Mycroft's younger sister, Enola. She is fourteen but her brothers are already worried about her making a good match so her future is secure. Enola is independent, intelligent, industrious, brave, calculating, educated, well read, and a master of disguise. The last is amazing considering the fashions of the time, especially women's fashions.

Once again, I find myself reading out of order because the publisher couldn't be bothered to put a number on the cover or spine. This is book 4. Luckily the story is not dependent upon the previous adventures, so I was not lost. In other series, one wouldn't be so lucky.

The story unfolds like the pink fan in the title. We meet the victim or client in a ladies lavatory in London and from there action and adventure ensue. Enola works on her case and tries (not always successfully) to avoid her older brothers.

This was a fun read. The story is told from Enola's point of view with great vocabulary (are you familiar with the word "salubrious") as well as interesting near cursing (i.e. there was no cursing). From my description above and, if you are familiar with Sherlock, you'd figure Enola is rather precocious. It is good to have a dictionary nearby.

The reader can learn a lot from this story. The vocabulary...coded messages to solve...and the language of flowers...all very interesting.

Why didn't I give this five stars? First, Nancy Springer tried very hard to use the language and writing style one would find in the late 1800s with a modern twist and sometimes it seemed as if she was trying too hard. Or that Enola was trying too hard to be an adult when she was only 14. Second, Sherlock. Enola bumped into Sherlock two times during the story. Both time she was concerned that he would find out where she was living and try to take her back to Mycroft. It bothered me that she did not know her brother knew exactly where he could locate her and was letting her be as well as placating Mycroft in "trying" to find her. Plus Mycroft would have known what Sherlock was up to as well.

I really liked this book and if I were to happen upon other Enola Holmes mysteries I'd be happy to read them.

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  1. This book/series sounds great! If only I'd known about these back in my Nancy Drew days. If I come across one, I'll definitely give it a read. Stopping by from the Kid Lit Blog Hop.

    1. Hi, Tiffiny! Thank you for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed the review. :)

  2. This sounds like a series my daughter would enjoy. Thanks for the heads up about the series not being numbered. I too have found myself reading books only to find out they are second or third in the series, but not marked as such. Happy you linked this to the Kid Lit Blog Hop.

    1. Hi, Stacie! thank you for hopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed our review. We're always happy to add to someone's reading list. Others do the same for us. So many books, so little time. :)