Monday, November 26, 2012

May Have Revived My Interest In Sherlock Holmes

I've written about Sherlock Holmes quite a bit  here over the years. As I've often said, I read the Holmes books when I was a youngish teenager, but as an adult, I don't know why kids are fascinated with him. The publishing world certainly is, but child readers? I don't get it.

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.


2 comments:

tanita davis said...

This is another on my ETERNAL TBR list - I read the first one and made a note to check out ALLLL the others. Good, good stuff.

gail said...

I was impressed on so many levels. The fact that the solution to the mystery that was specific to that book was so believable and good and fitting with the time of the story was notable. Quite honestly, I often find the mystery in mysteries for young people to be a little lame.

I'll probably get the first book in the series for my thirteen-year-old niece.