It’s 1890, and Enola Holmes is no longer hiding from her famous brothers Sherlock and Mycroft. She’s living at a club for working women in London, and taking clients as a finder of lost or missing persons. Her latest case is that of American publishing representative Wolcott Balestier, who has vanished on the late night streets of London while walking from the home he and his sister rent to see the newly opened and electrically lit Savoy Theater.

Enola is first approached by Wolcott’s best friend and client, Rudyard Kipling, but Kipling is rude and contemptuous when he finds out the detective is a young woman. This goads Enola into searching for the missing man anyway, especially after she meets his heartbroken sister Caroline, and despite the fact that her brother Sherlock has been hired by Kipling instead. Using her unique resources and methods, Enola is soon on the trail, but also finds plenty of trouble from a rabid dog loose on the streets, as well as a new brotherhood of oppressed lower-class workers each marked with the distinctive scar on the back of one hand, the “mark of the mongoose.” When Enola learns that Wolcott has been bitten by the rabid dog, she knows his life is in grave danger, and he must be found as soon as possible.

I enjoy this series, it fits in beautifully with A. Conan Doyle’s original Sherlock Holmes stories, but explores areas he never considered, like the lives and careers of women at the time. Enola herself is a wonderful character, and the stories are clever and exciting mystery-adventures. The handling of Kiping in this one is excellent as well. Recommended.

Enola Holmes and the Mark of the Mongoose by Nancy Springer

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