what I’m reading Wednesday – Enola Holmes series

For many, the Netflix movie was their first introduction to Enola Holmes, but Nancy Springer created the character in 2006 and there are now SEVEN books in the series.

I don’t remember why I picked up the first book all those years ago – I guess the idea of Sherlock having a younger sister lured me to the pages, but it was clear that this was more than a gimmick. Enola has a voice of her own. She is feisty and funny and done with everyone’s baloney.

In fact, for the first half of the series, she not solves six separate mysteries, but also evades her brothers Sherlock and Mycroft, who are determined to send her to a reform school to learn to be a proper lady.

What I love about this series is that on the jacket it says the books are for children. The library has them shelved in the Children’s Fiction section. But Springer does NOT talk down to her readers, using the vocabulary that Enola would have used and some of the action sequences are very intense! I always joke that if you want your child to be the one in their class that knows what “garrotte wire” is, then this is for you!

I will say I do NOT like the direction they are going with the latest cover. While the original covers were not my favorite, I felt like the most recent reprints were very interesting but for some reason book 7 (which is cataloged in YA for some reason) has a very YA look:

2006 Edition of Book 1
2007/2011 reprint
2020 Book 7

Oh well, at least it isn’t Millie Bobbie Brown (…now that I look at it, it’s as though an artist drew Millie…then was told they didn’t have the rights to the likeness so went into Photoshop and fiddled around until it looked not quite, but not unlike Millie).

But apart from the covers, this series is fantastic! I know some might say this is great for girls that love mysteries, but this is great for ANYONE that loves mysteries – girls, boys, kids, adults – Enola has LAYERS. And I believe if you’re a Holmes fan in general, there are plenty of Easter eggs hidden in the text. Even with my minimal knowledge from watching the BBC reboot a few years back had me smiling at a few throwaway lines about Holmes’ reputation and behavior and past adventures that Enola is aware of.

If you enjoyed the Netflix series or just want a great series with a strong, snarky female lead, especially once you could read with your kids, then I highly suggest picking up Enola’s adventures. Start from book 1 – The Case of the Missing Marquess – as it the series has a relatively complex set up and you’ll want to be there from page 1.

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