Enola Holmes, the much younger sister of Sherlock, is now living independently in London and working as a scientific perditorian (a finder of persons and things). But that is not the normal lot of young women in Victorian England. They are under the near absolute control of their nearest male relative until adulthood. Such is the case of Enola’s friend, Lady Cecily Alastair. Twice before Enola has rescued Lady Cecily from unpleasant designs of her caddish father, Sir Eustace Alastair, Baronet. And when Enola is brusquely turned away at the door of the Alastair home it soons becomes apparent that Lady Cecily once again needs her help.
Affecting a bold escape, Enola takes Lady Cecily to her secret office only to be quickly found by the person hired by Lady Cecily’s mother to find the missing girl—Sherlock Holmes himself. But the girl has already disappeared again, now loose on her own in the unforgiving city of London.
Even worse, Lady Cecily has a secret that few know. She has dual personalities—one, which is left-handed, is independent and competent; the other, which is right-handed is meek and mild. Now Enola must find Lady Cecily again—before one of her personalities gets her into more trouble than she can handle and before Sherlock can find her and return her to her father. Once again, for Enola, the game is afoot.
I have to admit, I’d never heard of Enola Holmes until I saw the Netflix movie. I really enjoyed it, so when this book popped up on NetGalley, I immediately requested it.
Can you imagine how intimidating it must be to have Sherlock Holmes as a brother? Enola is certainly up to the challenge and holds her own quite well. Don’t expect her to conform to society’s expectations of women in Victorian England. She’s a firm believer in women’s rights, lives independently of her brothers, and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. I loved her character.
Her friend, Lady Cecily, has a tyrant of a father who’s locked Cecily in her room and treated her as subhuman. Shockingly, part of this is because she’s left-handed, which is not looked upon kindly for a young woman in society. After Enola helps Cecily escape, she learns her friend has a dual personality, which figures prominently into the plot. And then Cecily disappears. Enola calls on Sherlock for help, and their banter and scenes together are among my favorites. Although he may not be quite fond of her methods, Sherlock respects Enola’s intellect, which matches his own, and listens to her.
This is the eighth book in the series, but each can be read as standalones. The author gives a bit of backstory, so I was never confused while reading this novel. Although the series may be geared to the younger YA crowd, adults will also enjoy it – I certainly did, and I’d love to catch up on the others.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.