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The Case of the Left-Handed Lady

– tekijä: Nancy Springer

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
5342533,523 (4.05)12
Pursued by her much older brother, famed detective Sherlock Holmes, fourteen-year-old Enola, disguised and using false names, attempts to solve the kidnapping of a baronet's sixteen-year-old daughter in nineteenth-century London.
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 25) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Enola Holmes, younger sister of Mycroft and Sherlock, has holed up in London with money left her by her mother. Enola was raised by her mother to be independent (as you might expect from somebody with a name that spells “alone” backward), and she creates a secret identity through which she can solve crimes. Her first case is the disappearance of Lady Cecily Alistair, who is believed to have eloped. But did she, or did something worse happen? And while Enola tries to solve this case, her brothers are on her own case…

I enjoyed this very much. It was full of action, tension, and atmosphere. The portrayal of Holmes was sympathetic, and I liked seeing Dr. Watson and Mrs. Hudson. The storyline is probably predictable for adult readers, but this adult had a lot of fun following Enola on her adventures and has already requested the third book in the series. They make good escapist reads, especially necessary at the moment (January 2021). ( )
  rabbitprincess | Jan 12, 2021 |
Enola is still in London, and has thus far still managed to stay free of her brothers and the restrictions they'd impose upon her. Granted, only Sherlock is looking for her very hard.

Enola now cycles between three different identities: Ivy Meshle, the secretary of the fictitious Dr. Ragostin, who supposedly specializes in finding missing people; Mrs. Ragostin, the naive child-bride of Dr. Ragostin; and the "Sister of the Streets," a mute nun who walks the poorest parts of London at night, giving out blankets, food, and occasional coins. An encounter with Dr. Watson reveals that Sherlock knows more about her current situation than she expected, so she attempts to contact her mother for advice and tries to find out what else Sherlock might know. In addition, she investigates a case that Sherlock rejected, the disappearance of Lady Cecily, daughter of Sir Eustace Alistair.

Despite what the title says, the true focus of this book wasn't really the mystery of Lady Cecily's disappearance. Instead, far more of the book was devoted to detailing Enola's disguises and other efforts to stay out of her brothers' grasps, as well as her yearning for familial affection she couldn't have. In the end, the mystery aspect felt more like a bit of background color, something to add action and danger to the last few chapters.

This was quick and easy to read, just what I needed after a very terrible last few days. Enola's various disguises were reasonably well thought out and interesting, and Enola continues to be a relatively believable intelligent but young and occasionally naive girl. I wasn't expecting the mystery itself to take up so little of the narrative, however, and Springer's Sherlock continues to be a bit of a disappointment. Enola has now, in disguise, crossed paths with Sherlock at least twice since running away, Sherlock was able to decipher at least some of Enola's messages to her mother (but not the easiest ones, for some reason?), and yet he still couldn't track her down. I understand that Enola needs to be smart enough to evade him so that she can stay free and the series can continue, but the solution to that shouldn't be to make Sherlock an idiot.

I suspect I'll continue this series - the books are quick reads, and I like Enola and want to see how her family situation works out. Springer's Sherlock at least works well for me as a character, if not as a character I'm supposed to believe is the Sherlock Holmes. I do wonder if the mystery aspect will ever get stronger, though.

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.) ( )
1 ääni Familiar_Diversions | Nov 27, 2020 |
Has some plot issues where Enola doesn't notice things that are made obvious to the reader.

As you progress through the book you realise to an even greater extent the core elements of her story, the first being that she is completely alone (Enola Alone) and the second being that the task she has set for herself is to subvert the system from within, as a Victorian woman (or, well, multiple different Victorian women according to her disguises). This opens up interesting avenues for understanding the constrained roles available to women in Victorian society, including that they had no authority of their own, instead needing to derive all of their authority from their male guardians or husbands. Since she is always in a female role, across a range of social statuses, you get to see the dynamics of class and of female to female and female to male interactions in this world.

Marred by a quite preposterous plotline conclusion enacted in an equally preposterous set of concluding scenes.

Unabridged audiobook:
Well read, with good variations in tone, by Katherine Kellgren.

The problem of the guinea and the sovereign (with slight spoilers):
Enola Holmes' misadventures with Victorian money continue.

In book 1, she bribed an impoverished shopkeeper to hide her briefly, bribed her with a £100 note, which in the modern equivalent would be trying to bribe someone with a £10,000 bill (or a $10,000 bill; ten thousand pounds is about $17,000 Canadian).

In book 2, she bribes a street vendor with a guinea ("I'll give you a guinea for the whole lot"). There are two problems. One is that a guinea is just over £1, which means she's offering a bribe of just over £100 in modern money. It's way too big of a bribe for the recipient and the task. The second problem is she couldn't give her a guinea, because there was no guinea coin or note in 1889. In 1889 there hadn't been a guinea coin for 75 years.

Not long after, she bribes a cab driver with a sovereign ("The cabby looked askance at such an ill-clad fare, but I tossed him a sovereign"). Again this is a problem, as a sovereign (as best I can tell) is worth £1, which again is a £100 bribe in modern money, which is way too much. A sovereign, from someone dressed as a street seller, for a cab ride? If he's going to accept it at all, he's certainly going to remember it.

Which is an additional problem, in that her whole life in London depends on hiding, in particular from genius detective brother Sherlock. She needs to be invisible. Going around handing out gold coins to the cab driver who works on Sherlock's street corner is not a great way to go unremarked, nor is handing over either a totally imaginary gold guinea or the equivalent in 1889 coins to a poor woman selling oranges on Baker street.

(The sovereign she uses to bribe the cab driver would, with a small handful of others, have made a much more sensible bribe for the shopkeeper in book 1, incidentally.) ( )
  rakerman | Oct 6, 2020 |
Has some plot issues where Enola doesn't notice things that are made obvious to the reader.

As you progress through the book you realise to an even greater extent the core elements of her story, the first being that she is completely alone (Enola Alone) and the second being that the task she has set for herself is to subvert the system from within, as a Victorian woman (or, well, multiple different Victorian women according to her disguises). This opens up interesting avenues for understanding the constrained roles available to women in Victorian society, including that they had no authority of their own, instead needing to derive all of their authority from their male guardians or husbands. Since she is always in a female role, across a range of social statuses, you get to see the dynamics of class and of female to female and female to male interactions in this world.

Marred by a quite preposterous plotline conclusion enacted in an equally preposterous set of concluding scenes.

Unabridged audiobook:
Well read, with good variations in tone, by Katherine Kellgren.

The problem of the guinea and the sovereign (with slight spoilers):
Enola Holmes' misadventures with Victorian money continue.

In book 1, she bribed an impoverished shopkeeper to hide her briefly, bribed her with a £100 note, which in the modern equivalent would be trying to bribe someone with a £10,000 bill (or a $10,000 bill; ten thousand pounds is about $17,000 Canadian).

In book 2, she bribes a street vendor with a guinea ("I'll give you a guinea for the whole lot"). There are two problems. One is that a guinea is just over £1, which means she's offering a bribe of just over £100 in modern money. It's way too big of a bribe for the recipient and the task. The second problem is she couldn't give her a guinea, because there was no guinea coin or note in 1889. In 1889 there hadn't been a guinea coin for 75 years.

Not long after, she bribes a cab driver with a sovereign ("The cabby looked askance at such an ill-clad fare, but I tossed him a sovereign"). Again this is a problem, as a sovereign (as best I can tell) is worth £1, which again is a £100 bribe in modern money, which is way too much. A sovereign, from someone dressed as a street seller, for a cab ride? If he's going to accept it at all, he's certainly going to remember it.

Which is an additional problem, in that her whole life in London depends on hiding, in particular from genius detective brother Sherlock. She needs to be invisible. Going around handing out gold coins to the cab driver who works on Sherlock's street corner is not a great way to go unremarked, nor is handing over either a totally imaginary gold guinea or the equivalent in 1889 coins to a poor woman selling oranges on Baker street.

(The sovereign she uses to bribe the cab driver would, with a small handful of others, have made a much more sensible bribe for the shopkeeper in book 1, incidentally.) ( )
  rakerman | Oct 5, 2020 |
Really enjoying this series - this is the second and as good as the first. Sherlock Holmes' much younger sister, 14-year old Enola Holmes, has left home without a trace, trying to locate her mother, who has also disappeared. With financial help from her missing mother she has set up a business in London as a "scientific perditorian," which is a finder of things and people. Using costumes and disguises, she is able to elude her brother's efforts to find her while at the same time trying to locate the missing Lady Cecily, another young woman who Enola believes feels the same as she does about women's rights, freedom, and independence. The book skillfully incorporates the dank and despairing atmosphere of late 1800's London, with the customs of class and culture of the time. The story includes action, suspense, and a good chase scene. I enjoyed her meeting up with Dr. Watson as well as Sherlock Holmes - Enola is as clever as her brother. Looking forward to the next book! ( )
  PhyllisReads | Apr 27, 2019 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 25) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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"We would not be in this deplorable situation," declares the younger and taller of the two men in the small club-room, "if you had not tried to bully her into boarding school!"
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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Pursued by her much older brother, famed detective Sherlock Holmes, fourteen-year-old Enola, disguised and using false names, attempts to solve the kidnapping of a baronet's sixteen-year-old daughter in nineteenth-century London.

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