Monday, November 26, 2012
May Have Revived My Interest In Sherlock Holmes
I put off reading the Enola Holmes books by Nancy Springer because, without recognizing a child/Holmes connection, I didn't feel any compelling need to read a Holmes story about his younger sister. I wasn't very hopeful.
Well, I stumbled upon the last book in the series, The Case of the Gypsy Good-bye, and, since the author and I are Facebook friends for some reason, gave it a try. Wow. A marvelous book.
This series appears to have had an arc involving Enola's (and Sherlock's and Mycroft's) mother disappearing. Enola has been on the hunt for her and while doing so has taken on her own cases. She's also been on the run from Sherlock and Mycroft because, since she's only a female in her early teens and they are the men of the family and this is the Victorian Era...Well, you get where I'm going with this.
It was incredibly easy to come up to speed with that back story. Additionally, this volume includes a mystery that really is well done with a marvelous solution, especially for those of us interested in women's history.
The writing is just incredible. Enola's first-person narration makes her sound like a young woman from another time, which is exactly what she's supposed to be. The historical world-building is fascinating without becoming a tedious lesson in what it must have been like to live in nineteenth century England. The detail...Well, I've already said incredible, haven't I?
And Springer uses the world Suffragist. SuffragIST and not SuffragETTE, which would have been considered derogatory. I would have forgiven a lot, just for that one point. But I didn't have to forgive anything.
The publisher lists this book as being for ages 8 and up. I found it in the YA section of my local library, where I believe it belongs, if only for the sophistication of the historical world and voice.