Review Blog

Oct 03 2018

The case of the left-handed lady by Nancy Springer

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An Enola Holmes mystery. Allen and Unwin, 2018. ISBN 9781760637392
(Age: 10-14) Highly recommended. Themes: Mystery, Sherlock Holmes, Hypnotism, Kidnapping. In this second episode of the Enola Holmes series (involving the younger sister of the famous Sherlock Holmes) Enola is attempting to live independently in London in response to her brothers' attempt to put her into boarding school. She is alone after her mother disappears to make a new life away from her sons and daughter. She starts to publish messages using ciphers to try to communicate with her mother and this brings in the opportunity to discuss with students the different ways to manipulate words and numbers to communicate in code.
Enola sets herself up as a Scientific Perditorian under a male pseudonym to make a living for herself assisting people to find those who are missing. She continues to dress herself in a manner that portrays an older independent woman in the hope that she can elude her famous brother in his quest to find her. Enola establishes a way to help the needy in the poorest parts of Victorian London by disguising herself as a nun.
The pace of the story increases as Enola is almost murdered while on one of her midnight forays. Soon afterward she overhears the story of the disappearance of the sixteen-year-old Lady Cecily, daughter of a baronet who appears to have eloped in the night. She decides to try to solve this mystery as the police seem to be struggling to make progress in finding the missing girl. This part of the story introduces the notion of hypnotism and Enola encounters possibilities she has never encountered before to try to solve this situation. Close encounters with her older brother Sherlock form a major part of the story and adds to the tension and interest.
Recommended for Upper Primary
Gabrielle Anderson

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