January 29, 2015

The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets by Nancy Springer

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 1:05 am by suebe2

The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets
by Nancy Springer
Philomel

This isn’t a new book but young mystery lovers should check it out.

Enola Holmes.  That name may sound a bit familiar.  At least, her last name might.  She is the sister of none other than the renowned detective Sherlock Holmes.

Enola is every bit as brilliant and unconventional as her brother.  That might be acceptable if she was a boy, but Enola is a young lady in a world that expects very specific things from a girl.  A girl who departs too much from what is expected might very well find herself declared insane and committed to an institution.  Enola actually knew a woman who was committed after sitting on the ground.

Not that Enola thinks that her brothers would do this (she does have two brothers, you know), but she’d rather avoid finishing school or anything else they might dream up for her.  She has rented a room and taken on work as a locator of missing persons.  Her latest case is to find none other than Dr. Watson.  The police are having no luck and from the clues she has seen, Enola suspects that the kidnappers are women.  After all, they know the language of flowers and they know it well — something no man would be bothered to pursue.

As Enola searches London’s alley ways and rooftops for clues, she has to watch her step and it isn’t just the filth of this urban center she needs to avoid.  Her brothers are still looking for her.  In fact, she has to decide if the secret message left for her in the newspaper is from her mother or if it is a trap set by a brother.

I’m not going to give you any more about the plot because this is a mystery.  I don’t want to give anything away.  Springer expertly plants both clues and red herrings so this one is great fun to try to solve as you read.

This book is equal parts historic fiction and mystery.  Springer brings both the squalor and wonders of London to life.  But equally real are her characters from the brilliant figures of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes to the caring concern of both Doctor and Mrs. Watson.

This is book four in the series.  While readers would surely enjoy books 1-3, it is possible to start with and understand book 4.  Share it (or all of them) with the young mystery fan in your life.

–SueBE

 

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