Enola Holmes and the Mark of the Mongoose
Grade : A

Nancy Springer’s Enola Holmes series continues delightfully apace with her heroine’s ninth mystery, Enola Holmes and the Mark of the Mongoose. Young readers who jumped into her adventures thanks to the Netflix movies will find their footing easily enough, and Springer’s spry sense of humor and nose for action scenes remain as strong as ever.

We’ve officially hit 1890, and Enola is nearing her sixteenth birthday. She continues to live independently from her brothers Mycroft and Sherlock, at a women’s club where she’s found friendship among her peers. She’s also going to school while balancing her social life and her work as a scientific perditorian.

Enola’s next case bursts through the door in the form of famous author Rudyard Kipling, whose friend, Wolcott Balestier, has been kidnapped. When he realises not only that Enola is female, but she’s also very young, he decides to turn to Sherlock to recover his friend before something terrible happens to Balestier.

Enola is understandably outraged, and decides to investigate the case on her own. She learns that literary agent Balestier was in England to sign some famous British authors in the hope of convincing them to publish their work in America. That, understandably, has brought him into contact with some very angry people. Enola soon realizes she and Sherlock must work together to bring Balestier home safe, but can the stubborn siblings manage to get along?

Every single Enola Holmes mystery is a privilege to read, and The Mark of the Mongoose is no exception to that rule. Enola is a pleasure to be around, funny, sly, active, and wonderfully flawed. As she’s grown and her world has expanded, Springer has deepened the reader’s knowledge of what Victorian London really was like for teenagers in Enola’s position, so we get to learn a lot about the universe surrounding her. It’s fun and educational at the same time. And yes, Enola’s penchant for disguises and hand-to-hand combat return in this volume.

It’s also always a privilege to spend time with Springer’s version of Sherlock, and the sibling relationship between Enola and her older brother remains quite delightful. They love one another, but their investigative minds continue to put them at loggerheads. Yet in the end, they pull it together and work side-by-side. As always, the mystery is entertaining and high-stakes and Springer does not skimp on the twists and turns.

What more can I say? Springer delights and Enola remains a wonderful character. I loved everything about Enola Holmes and the Mark of the Mongoose, and teenagers (and adults) everywhere are bound to love it, too.

Reviewed by Lisa Fernandes

Grade: A

Book Type: Mystery|Young Adult

Sensuality: N/A

Review Date : September 8, 2023

Publication Date: 09/2023

Review Tags: Enola Holmes series

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Lisa Fernandes

Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier
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