book thoughts: The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye by Nancy Springer (2010)

If you’re not familiar with the WONDERFUL Enola Holmes series by Nancy Springer, let me give you the low-down:

Enola is the younger sister of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes.  On Enola’s 14th birthday, her mother ran away, leaving Enola a note telling her she should do the same if she wished to remain free.  After overhearing her eldest brother, Mycroft, speak of finishing school, Enola hopped on her bicycle and pedaled away from her childhood home and eventually found herself in London.  Knowing that a young girl alone stood very little chance in the big city, she disguised herself as a lady (shoving helpful things like daggers and notepads into her corset to give herself a few more curves) and create a fake male employer.  From the safety of this secret identity, she started a career as a finder of missing persons, all the while trying to avoid her brother.

The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye is the sixth novel in the Enola Holmes series.  If you went to a library or a bookstore, you might find these books tucked away in children’s fiction, but Enola’s stories can be read by many ages.  Young girls around Enola’s age (13-14) will enjoy the spunky heroines attitude as she solves the mysteries around London.  Older “girls” (like myself) will enjoy the interesting feminist tidbits floating around.  And I think everyone in-between will enjoy watching her encounters with her brothers and sending encoded messages to her mother. 

Springer mentions in her author bio that she read all of the Sherlock Holmes books as  a child.  I think when she sat down to write the Enola series, she did a great job of channeling Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s style – the language and vocabulary in these books are meant to appeal to avid readers.  Enola speaks as a girl of her time would to it might be a challenge for non-readers to pick up. 

I don’t want to give anything away about the story, but I will say that I really enjoyed ‘Gypsy Goodbye’ and think it is a worthy entry into the series.  I’m only upset that I am all caught up and have to wait until book 7 to see Enola again, whenever that might be.  A fantastic series that just keeps getting better.

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