Enola Holmes’ mother is missing. After her older brothers, the famous Sherlock and Mycroft, arrive back at Enola’s childhood home, much is destined to change. And Enola cannot let it. Her brothers do not seem concerned about her mother, so it is up to Enola to take matters into her own hands.
I read this book after watching Netflix’s film adaptation, but let me tell you: you should definitely read the book first. Why? Because it’s actually a bit disappointing in comparison to Millie Bobby Brown’s incredible adaption!
This middle-grade historical mystery/crime novel imagines Enola as a sister to the famous detective Sherlock and his brother Mycroft. Mycroft is just as horrible in this book as you’d expect – he wants Enola to have a slim waist and be a perfect little bride for a man. Sherlock tries to be more brotherly, but if you’ve read any of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, you’ll know his emotional range doesn’t stretch too far.
Enola is a fantastic character and I’m glad she’s the protagonist of this novel. Her voice is witty and amusing, she is incredibly intelligent like Sherlock, and devious. She’s very determined and that really comes through in the book with her character development.
Now, I think this book would have been perfect for me when I was younger, but as an older reader it leaves me lacking a bit. The story just doesn’t have much flesh and it’s so short I flew through it. This is why I preferred the film version: it just had more substance! The film didn’t remove anything about the book, aside from changing the mystery slightly about what happened to Enola’s mother (to make it more interesting), it just added things in and made such a difference.
So whilst I would suggest giving this book a try, I’d definitely promote the film more. This is the first (and hopefully the only) time that I will say the dreaded words: the film was better!
Yes, that caused me physical pain to write that. I know, I know. I can feel the outrage. But it is.
I think that Nancy Springer started something great in these Enola Holmes novels, and in absence of more films I want to continue reading the series, but definitely watch the film too. Whether you choose the book, the film, or both, you won’t be disappointed!