Monday, August 8, 2011

Finishing Up Enola

This weekend I read the final three volumes of the Enola Holmes mysteries.  I have enjoyed this series very much for its strong heroine, its inclusion of a well known classic character and for its historical integrity.   This will be a very quick three for one review.
I was not as impressed with this volume as I had been with the others.  I felt that, in many ways, it was a repeat of book 2.  Enola was, after all, finding the exact same person as in that earlier book, Lady Cecily.  It seemed that Enola was employing the same devices as she did the first time around too.  I was a little bored.  This might be due to the fact that I don't find Lady Cecily nearly as fascinating as Enola does.  She, in fact, has been my least favorite character in the entire series.  I am amused that the synopsis for the book refers to Lady Cecily as Enola's "friend".  That is using a rather broad definition of the word.  The one thing that made this book interesting for me was the interaction between Enola and Sherlock and how their relationship changed yet again.  This time they had a truce and they worked together.  That was wonderful.

The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline
It only took reading the prologue of this one for me to say, " Ah, now that's more like it."  This book is my favorite in the series after the original.  Not only do we have more delightful encounters, or near encounters, between Enola and Sherlock but there is also the added presence of Florence Nightingale as a character.  Ms. Springer does a delightful job of again accurately displaying history but also giving her own twist to the motivations of a well known figure in history.  (She does include a very brief end note explaining what is true and what is fabricated.)  The mystery in this one is tied up in the work of Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War and gives the reader a graphic picture of what life was like for those who fought it and the people who cared for them.

The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye
Sherlock has finally figured out the fastest way to find Enola and its a good thing because he has received a communication from their missing mother that is for her.  At the same time they are both tied up in a case involving a missing noblewoman.  The book pulls together all the missing pieces in a tidy way and leaves the reader with a sense of closure.  (Inexplicably to me Lady Cecily is brought up by Enola again at the end and it is said she has affection for her.  I remain completely baffled by this one aspect of the books.  She doesn't even really know Lady Cecily,  she is fascinated by her own conjectures of Lady Cecily's personality.  I really want to point out to her the difference and wish someone else  Mycroft?  Sherlock? would.)  I was amused by the way, once the message from their mother has been deciphered and they are all a little depressed, Mycroft continuously demands tea as though that will make it all better.

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