“An almost perfect evocation of a bygone era… Enola is a plucky, intelligent and altogether delightful character. More please.”


Sherlock Home’s sister has been haunting TV screens since Sherlock and Nancy Springer has added a new dimension with her young Enola Holmes – Enola being a word jumble for ‘Alone’ which aptly characterises the spunky 14 year old who is determined to do things on her own. The Peculiar Pink Fan, fourth is the series, has Enola running all over London trying to sort out the mystery of Lady Cecilia Alastair’s kidnapping before it is too late. Enola switches costumes at every turn and zigzags back and forth to elude her indomitable brothers who are still determined to cabin crib and confine their sister by Victorian norms.

Despite being American, Nancy Springer’s research of Victorian London is down pat with a tongue in cheek twist over the pomposity of the aristocracy and their determination to ignore the city’s underbelly while exploiting orphans and middenpickers – India’s ragpickers. Sherlock remains the warm brother – though whether Mycroft deserves to be quite so patriarchal is a matter in doubt, especially since Conan Doyle originally made him reclusive to a fault. Victorian stuffiness or otherwise, the book is very accessible to modern readers and the thread of the missing mother remains, promises more chases to come for Enola Holmes fans.


Reviewed by:

Anjana Basu

Added 6th October 2021

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Anjana Basu