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The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery Paperback – November 8, 2007


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Series: An Enola Holmes Mystery
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (November 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142409332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142409336
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 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 Enolas 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 Enolas bravery and common sense are, even as she often struggles with conventional reactions. She wants her brothers affection, or indeed anyones, but knows that a socially accepted life will strictly limit her freedom and learning. Enolas 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 5-8. Springer, author of the popular Tales of Rowen Hood series featuring Robin Hood's daughter, mines the classics once more, and finds Sherlock Holmes' 14-year-old sister, Enola Holmes, who also has keen powers of observation. Enola lives alone with her mother on the family estate. Mrs. Holmes has always been a free spirit, but Enola is shocked when, on her birthday, her mother goes missing. Sherlock and Mycroft, Enola's long-absent, much-older brothers, arrive and assure her that they will look into the disappearance; she will be sent away to boarding school. Determined to avoid that fate, and anxious to find her mother on her own, Enola leaves for London, where she thinks her mother may be--a plan as shaky as the bicycle she sets off on. Along the way, she becomes enmeshed in another disappearance, the case of a young marquess, who seems to have been kidnapped, and in true Holmes fashion, Enola uses her powers of deduction to figure out his fate. This is a terrific package. Springer not only provides two fine mysteries (complete with clues and ciphers to solve), breathtaking adventure, and key-eyed description but she also offers a worthy heroine, who will be the center of a new series (the cover proclaims this "An Enola Holmes Mystery.") Enola is a high-spirited girl, just the right mix of nascent nineteenth-century feminist and awkward teen, with a first-person voice that's fun to hear. Readers can move from this to Phillip Pullman's Victorian thrillers, the Sally Lockhart trilogy, which begins with The Ruby in the Smoke (1987). Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author


"Conform, go crazy, or become an artist." I have a rubber stamp declaring those words, and they pretty much delineate my life. Conforming was the thing to do when I was raised, in the fifties. Even my mother, who spent her days painting animal portraits at an easel in the corner of the kitchen, tried to conform via housecleaning, bridge parties, and a new outfit every spring. My father, who was born into a British-mannered Protestant family in southern Ireland, emigrated to America as a young man and idolized the "melting pot" because at last he fit in. Once in a rare while he recited "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" or told a tale of a leprechaun, but most of the time he was an earnest naturalized American who expected exemplary behavior of his children. My mother was a charming Pollyanna who would not entertain negative sentiments in herself or anyone around her. As their only girl and the baby of the family, I was coddled, yet hardly ever got a chance to be other than excruciatingly good.

My "conform" phase lasted right into adulthood. When I was thirteen, my parents bought a small motel near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and I spent most of my teen years helping them make beds and clean rooms. I did not date until I went to college -- Gettysburg College, all of seven miles from home. it was the height of the sixties, and I grew my hair long, but eschewed pot, protests, and "happenings." Instead, I married a preacher's son who was himself conforming by studying for the ministry. Within a few years I was Rev. Springer's wife, complete with offspringers, living in a country parsonage in southern York County, PA.

Here beginneth the "go crazy" phase.

Because I had never been allowed any negative emotions, I began to hear "voices" in my head. First they whispered "divorce" (not permissible), and later they hissed "suicide". They scared me silly. I couldn't sleep; images of knives and torture floated in front of my eyes even during the daytime; something roared like an animal inside my ears; my wrists hurt; I saw blood seeping out of the walls; panic jolted me like a cattle goad out of nowhere. Is it necessary to add that I was clinically depressed? The doctor gave me Valium and sent me to a shrink. The shrink took me off the Valium and told me I had a problem with anger. (No duh.) The next doctor zombied me on the numbing antidepressants which were available at that time. The next shrink said I had an adjustment problem. And so on, for several years, during which I somehow managed to stay alive, take care of my kids, handle the vagaries of my husband, sew clothing and grow vegetables to get by financially, cook, can preserves, show up at church, do mounds of laundry and publish "The White Hart" and "The Silver Sun"--yet not one of the doctors of shrinks ever suggested that I might be a strong person, let alone a writer. All of them were intent on "helping" poor little me "adjust" to being a housewife, mother, and pastor's wife.

Eventually I became resigned to the fact (as I perceived it) that I was an evil, sinful person with horrible things going on inside my head, and I stopped trying to fix me. I stopped going to doctors or therapists. Somehow I found courage--or desperation--to stop trying to conform or adjust or live a role.

"I am going to start taking an hour or two first thing in the morning to do my writing," I said to my husband.

"Fine," he said. He had reached the point where he would agree with whatever to humor the neurotic wife; to him it was just another of my brain farts. But to me it was the most important sentence I ever spoke. With that statement I stopped being a housewife who sometimes stole time to write, and I started being a writer.

Conform, go crazy--or become an artist.

By becoming a writer--by becoming who I truly was--I became well.

It was so simple. Although it did take years, of course; it takes a long time for good things to grow. Trees. Books. Me. Odd thing about books; they not only nourish growth but show it happening. In "The Black Beast, The Golden Swan" and many other of my early novels, you can see me dealing with the yang/yin nature of good and evil, struggling to accept my own shadow. In "Chains of Gold" and "The Hex Witch of Seldom" I start writing as a woman, no longer identifying only with male main characters. In a number of children's books I come to terms with my own childhood. And in "Apocalypse"--whoa, what a fierce, dark fantasy novel, the first thing I wrote after my income from writing enabled my husband to leave the ministry. I hadn't thought of myself as repressed when I was a pastor's wife, but obviously something broke loose when I shed that role. "Larque on the Wing"--whoa again, another breakthrough book that spiraled straight out of my muddled middle-aged psyche and took me places I'd never dreamed were in me.

It's been a long time since those days when I thought I was an evil person. I know better now, and I love and trust me even to the extent of writing "Fair Peril"--a more perilous novel than I knew at the time, interfacing all too closely with my life. Written two years before the fact, it foresees my husband's infidelity and my divorce. The most painful irony I've ever faced is that once I gained my selfhood, I lost my lifelong partner. He had supported me through episodes that would have sent most men screaming and running, but once I became well and strong, he transferred his loyalty to a skinny, neurotic waif all to similar to the young woman I once was. After supporting him through twenty-seven years of stinky socks, automotive yearnings, miscellaneous foibles, and the career change that put him where she could cry on his shoulder, I found this a bit hard to take. But I wouldn't go back to being Ms. Pitiful. Not for anything.

Now married to a rather remarkable second husband, after living 46 years in Pennsylvania I moved in 2007 to the Florida panhandle, where I spent a year living in a small apartment above the aforementioned husband's hangar in an exceedingly rural (swamps, egrets, snakes and alligators) airport. Now we have a real house about a mile from the airport on higher ground featuring tremendously tall longleaf pine trees with rattlesnakes and scorpions underneath them. Life is an adventure and I mean that sincerely.


Customer Reviews

When I think of private detectives, I always think of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and Mycroft Holmes.
Mel Odom
I highly recommend this audio book to fans of historical fiction and mysteries as well as to young readers (listeners) there is much to enjoy and take from this story.
Barb Mechalke
Enola's budding femininity is also charmingly and endearingly presented in wonderfully good taste with all due regard to Victorian sensibilities.
Paul Weiss

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on February 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
There's a real sense of relief that comes with reading a book that knows what it wants to do and then goes out and accomplishes it. Take Ms. Nancy Springer. Having given us some insight into Robin Hood's daughter ("Rowan Hood: Outlaw Girl of Sherwood Forest"), as well as that notorious King Arthur villainess ("I Am Morgan le Fay"), Springer turns her attention to a friend of her youth. According to this book, the author grew up with the "Complete Works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle". It was as a kid that she would be, "reading and rereading them over a period of years until she could find no more Sherlock Holmes stories to memorize". But rather than do as so many have done and continue Holmes' adventures (or, in some cases, that of his lady love Irene Adler) Springer had a better idea. Anyone who has read Doyle at any length knows that Holmes had a brother Mycroft (on whom Rex Stout's character of Nero Wolfe was partly based). But what about a sister? Holmes undoubtedly wouldn't have mentioned her to Watson and if she had any of the great detective's smarts her story would be a truly interesting tale to tell. With that thought in mind we come to "The Case of the Missing Marquess". A good old-fashioned mystery alongside an understanding of the role women were meant to play back in the 1800s, the book is fast-paced, truly enjoyable, and a great read for one and all.

When Enola Holmes's mother disappears without a trace on the day of her birthday, her daughter doesn't fret too much. Her mother often wanders off on her own. She's a singularly single-minded woman, after all, and has raised Enola to be the same. But when it becomes clear, however, that Lady Eudoria Vernet Holmes is not coming back, Enola has no choice but to contact her two elder brothers: Mycroft and Sherlock.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mel Odom TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 21, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nancy Springer is a noted fantasy author, but here lately she's been re-writing some of her - and my - favorite childhood characters. I've always been partial to that Outlaw of Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood, but who knew he had a daughter? Nancy did. In fact, she's written five novels about Rowan Hood and her merry band.

Morgan Le Fay has always been one of those strong woman, and evil, from Arthurian legend. But who knew her childhood stories? Nancy did. She wrote two of the young Morgan Le Fay.

When I think of private detectives, I always think of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and Mycroft Holmes. But who knew that Sherlock and Mycroft had a younger sister? Nancy did. And she's just now penning the curious adventures of Enola Holmes, the fourteen-year-old younger sister of the Great Detective.

I first met Miss Enola Holmes in the novel, ENOLA HOLMES AND THE CASE OF THE MISSING MARQUESS. I found her to be utterly brilliant, like her older brothers, and quite given to solving mysteries. Her deductive reasoning is a delight, as is her particular views on society.

Regrettably, young Enola is not a proper young lady. She loves traipsing through forests, wearing men's clothing, and having hideouts that require journeying through streams and across muddy earth. She's also quite fearless and knowledgeable about a great many things.

The first-person narrative of the novels revealed a lot of Miss Holmes's character to me within a few short pages. I found her to be, not so much a carbon copy of Sherlock Holmes, but rather a young lady with all of Sherlock's best qualities who was also equipped with the vision of youth and feminine perspective.

There are a great many puzzles in Miss Holmes's life.
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Format: Hardcover
Fourteen-year-old Enola Holmes has always felt less important than her brothers - who are both more than twice her age. After all, Mycroft is quite the businessman, and Sherlock...well, he's the world-famous detective, who can solve any crime. Well, almost any crime. Enola, on the other hand, seems to possess nothing other than a strange name - it's the word ALONE spelled backwards - and a little more than average talent for drawing. So when Enola's mother disappears on the day of her birthday, Enola knows that something strange is going on. After all, while her mother has never paid much attention to her, she would never miss something as important as her own daughters fourteenth birthday. So, once the presents are opened - delivered to her by the servants - Enola sets out on a search for her eccentric mother. However, when she comes up empty-handed, she decides that it is time to contact the two older brothers, who have always tried to pretend that she didn't exist. But when they arrive, Mycroft, being the demanding man that he is, tries to send Enola off to a finishing school, where she will learn proper female trades, and manners. Enola is horrified by this thought. So, taking the money meant for her new school, Enola sets off into the wild blue yonder, in search of her mother, but encountering something much more sinister: the disappearance of a young marquess. Now, Enola, posing as a young widow, feels that it is up to her to find the runaway marquess; but she must evade kidnappers as she does so. Kidnappers who are thirsty for money, no matter what they must do to get it...

Nancy Springer is one of the most influential historical fiction writers out there. Her novels I AM MORGAN LE FAY and ROWAN HOOD: OUTLAW GIRL OF SHERWOOD FOREST, among others, were gems.
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