Thanks so much for coming to my tour stop for Wednesday Books’ Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche book tour! Keep reading to find my review, links to where you can purchase the book, and a fun excerpt.
Title: Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche
Author: Nancy Springer
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Pub Date: 08/31/21
Genre: YA Mystery
Edition: ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy)
Enola Holmes is back! Nancy Springer’s nationally bestselling series and breakout Netflix sensation returns to beguile readers young and old in Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche.
Enola Holmes is the much younger sister of her more famous brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft. But she has all the wits, skills, and sleuthing inclinations of them both. At fifteen, she’s an independent young woman–after all, her name spelled backwards reads ‘alone’–and living on her own in London. When a young professional woman, Miss Letitia Glover, shows up on Sherlock’s doorstep, desperate to learn more about the fate of her twin sister, it is Enola who steps up. It seems her sister, the former Felicity Glover, married the Earl of Dunhench and per a curt note from the Earl, has died. But Letitia Glover is convinced this isn’t the truth, that she’d know–she’d feel–if her twin had died.
The Earl’s note is suspiciously vague and the death certificate is even more dubious, signed it seems by a John H. Watson, M.D. (who denies any knowledge of such). The only way forward is for Enola to go undercover–or so Enola decides at the vehement objection of her brother. And she soon finds out that this is not the first of the Earl’s wives to die suddenly and vaguely–and that the secret to the fate of the missing Felicity is tied to a mysterious black barouche that arrived at the Earl’s home in the middle of the night. To uncover the secrets held tightly within the Earl’s hall, Enola is going to require help–from Sherlock, from the twin sister of the missing woman, and from an old friend, the young Viscount Tewkesbury, Marquess of Basilwether!
Enola Holmes returns in her first adventure since the hit Netflix movie brought her back on the national bestseller lists, introducing a new generation to this beloved character and series.
This was my first time dabbling in the world of Enola Holmes, and I’m now a fan! As a lover of Nancy Drew growing up, this book ended up being right down my alley, and I can’t believe I had never heard of the series. I already have plans to watch the movie now.
One of my favorite things about Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche was the way the reader got to see the way women were treated and thought of by society at the time. Enola is headstrong and wily but she still gets stumped by men not letting her do what she needs because it’s not proper for women (especially girls in her case) to act the way she does or travel alone like she does. It added extra tension to the story as you wait to see how she’s going to overcome her circumstances, and it also made me root harder for Enola.
Another thing I loved was the way Sherlock and Enola interacted with each other. Having not read the other books, I love that the author gave us a quick run through of Enola and Sherlock’s relationship because I would have thought it strange had I not known what they’d been through and their age gap. I enjoyed seeing the way they orbited each other throughout the book and how exasperated they would get with each other. The friendship between Tish and Enola was also a high point, and even though the circumstances that brought Tish to the Holmes’ door weren’t great, the bond that it created between the two was sweet to witness.
I won’t go into depth about the plot at all since it’s much better to go in knowing as little as possible, but I will say it was hilarious and wild at moments and somber at others. I had many ‘how is she going to get out of that’ moments, and the ending was very satisfying. Overall, this was a quick and exciting read that touched on important topics like the treatment of women, and I’d definitely recommend it as Enola’s voice was fun to read.
*Thank you to the publisher for the ARC. All opinions are my own*
Where to Buy
Nancy Springer is the author of the nationally bestselling Enola Holmes novels, including The Case of the Missing Marquess, which was made into the hit Netflix movie, Enola Holmes. She is the author of more than 50 other books for children and adults. She has won many awards, including two Edgar Awards, and has been published in more than thirty countries. She lives in Florida.
“Is she fainted?”
Indignant, I wanted to sit up and say I was not so easily killed and I never fainted, but to my surprise my body would not obey me. I merely stirred and murmured.
I saw the clodhopper boots of common men surrounding me and smelled alcohol on the breath of those leaning over me.
“Let’s get ’er inside.”
“Somebody go fer the doctor.”
Strong hands, not ungentle, seized me by the feet and shoulders. I could have kicked and yelled—I felt strong enough now—but my mind had started to function, realizing that I was about to be carried into a pub, for only in a public house, or pub, would workmen be drinking in the daytime. And normally no woman of good repute would enter a pub, or if she did, she would be jeered at until she retreated. But, my avid brain realized, fate in the form of Jezebel had given me opportunity to spend some time inside a pub—no, in the pub, most likely the only pub in Threefinches! So I closed my eyes and pretended to be rather more helpless than I was as the men hauled me inside and laid me down on a high-backed bench by the hearth.
Someone brought something pungent in lieu of smelling salts, but I shook my head, pushed the malodourous hand away, opened my eyes, and sat up, acting as if it were a great effort for me to do so. A burly, bearded man in an apron, undoubtedly the publican who kept the place, came running with a pillow for my back, and I thanked him with a gracious smile.
“Will ye have a nip of brandy, lydy?”
“No, thank you. Water, please.”
“Jack! Water for the lydy!” he bellowed to some underling, and he remained nearby as I managed, with hands that genuinely trembled, to remove my gloves. Their thin kidskin leather was ruined by the mauling it had taken from Jezebel’s reins, and my hands were red and sore; doubtless they would bruise. Grateful for the cool glass, I held it in both hands and sipped, looking around me. Half of the denizens of the place, like the owner, stood in a semicircle staring at me not unpleasantly, while the rest did the same from seats at the rustic tables—all but one. A tall man with beard stubble on his chin and quite a shock of coarse brownish-grey hair hiding his forehead had withdrawn to a table by the wall, where he devoted his attention to his mug of ale, or stout, or whatever noxious brew he might fancy. I said brightly to the tavern-keeper, “I believe I would like to stand up.”
“Now, why not wait for the doctor, lydy—”
But taking hold of his arm, as he stood within my reach, I got to my feet with reasonable steadiness. There were muted cheers from the onlookers. Nodding and simpering at the men all around me, I lilted, “Thank you so much. Do you suppose anyone could go out and fetch my bag, and my hat and parasol? I believe they fell along the—”
Already half a dozen would-be heroes were stampeding towards the door. Yet, if I had walked in here under my own power, any request for help would have been met with deepest suspicion. Such is life: odd.