Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye

This one sat on my shelf for quite a while after I brought it home from the library - knowing that it is the last book in this wonderful series made me reluctant to pick it up. I didn't want it to end! But of course I caved. After all, I needed to see what was going to happen to Enola next - and also, the mystery of her missing mother has been a major story arc through all the installments, and I wanted to know if we'd finally find out what happened to her. I'm happy to say that we do. But I'm not telling. You'll have to read it for yourself - and please, start from the beginning!

Enola is the much younger sister of Sherlock Holmes. In the first book, their mother disappears, and Sherlock and Mycroft, Enola's older brothers, now are her guardians. They decide she must be sent to a girls' boarding school, as she is socially awkward and, they think, sadly lacking in formal education. Enola runs off before they can implement their plan, and in each of the books she solves a mystery - and tries to learn what happened to their mother. She is very alone, and while she has occasional brushes the the famous detective brother she can't help but idolize, she never dares to approach him because of her (not unfounded) fears of the dreaded boarding school. Sherlock, in the meantime, is slowly discovering that his little sister is intelligent, resourceful, and full of ingenuity.

In this mystery, Enola searches for a wealthy missing woman who disappeared from beneath the noses of her two companions. At the same time Sherlock is searching for her - with news of their mother. Working together, the brother and sister use all their resources to discover the truth behind her disappearance. I loved finally seeing them move past their preconceptions and misunderstandings and finally see each other.

What a satisfying conclusion to this series! I love the characters - Springer's Holmes is spot-on, very believable - and I love that the novels expose young readers to the often harsh reality of life for women in Victorian England. I do hope Nancy Springer changes her mind and writes some more books in this series - I'd love to know how Enola fares as her life moves into a completely new direction.

Books in the Enola Holmes series
1. The Case of the Missing Marquess
The Case of the Left-Handed Lady
The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets
4. The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan

5. The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline
6. The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye

The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye (#6 in the Enola Holmes series) by Nancy Springer (Philomel Books, 2010)

Also reviewed at:
Lady Scribble's Book Lounge: "The mystery wasn't quiet as sophisticated as the first and second novel's in this series, and I also am not a fan of returning bad guys, but other than those little critiques it was a fun, and interesting book."
Two and a Half Book Lovers: "A fitting end to the series., although it is a little disappointing that the series has ended as it has been a series that has maintained its quality and good plots through all of the books."


  1. Thanks for reviewing this--I have the first Enola Holmes book on my bookshelf and niw I look forward even more to reading it. I got a big kick out of "Eye of the Crow," in which a thirteen-year-old Sherlock solves HIS first case, so I'm sure I'll enjoy Enola, too.

  2. Willow - You are in for a treat! The first one is the only one I haven't reviewed on this blog, since I read it before I started reviewing. But I just read it to my kids, who loved it, so I hope to get a review up soon. I have Eye of the Crow on my list - were you the one who recommended it to me a month or two back? It sounds fabulous.

  3. I've only read the first one in this series but now that I know it's 'fait accompli' maybe that will give me the incentive to finish it!

    I've read all the Boy Sherlock Holmes and they are very good, indeed. For an older audience and very dark compared to Enola though.

  4. I wonder who did the art for the cover? It's really pretty! I didn't know Sherlock Holmes had siblings lol. Interesting take!

  5. I am glad that you are finally posting about this, Darla. I really enjoyed it as well. And I do think that Nancy Springer left the door wide open for continuing the series. It will be interesting to see what she does in the future. I will miss Enola! Also, others may have mentioned them, but I believe that I suggested the boy Sherlock Holmes books too. All of them are great. They are much darker, as Nicola said. Between these series and Laurie R. King's series about the detective and Mary Russell, I think I have been quite swept up in all things 'Holmesian'! ;o)

  6. Nicola - I think you'll like the rest of these. They just get better and better. As for the boy Sherlocks, dark is fine - sounds intriguing!

    Ladytink - I love the covers, too, and they are all that same style and mood, which I think successfully reflects the mood of the stories.

    Cheryl - Yes, it was you! I will get to them soon. I have heard such great things about the narrator of the Laurie King audiobooks that I am going to try listening to her most recent one. I have it from the library right now, and I'm excited to see what happens next! Btw, when are you going to start your own blog? I know I'd like to read it!


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