Series: Enola Holmes #7
Author: Nancy Springer
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Released: August 31, 2021
Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche is the seventh novel in Nancy Springer’s series, following the younger sister of the famous (or infamous) Sherlock Holmes. I’ll confess that I have not read the other novels in this series, as Enola Homes and the Black Barouche promised to work fine as a standalone. That being said – I now want to go back and read the rest!
Enola Holmes is the younger sister of two brilliant men. Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. Yet, she’s every bit as brilliant as they are and perhaps more tenacious. Currently, she’s fifteen yet quite independent, living in a home for professional women.
She might have been content to avoid a new case for some time if not for the fact that one dropped on her doorstep. Or rather, her bother’s doorstep. When he didn’t jump up to help the woman in need, Enola didn’t hesitate.
“Enola did not need protection.
Enola did not need to go to finishing school.
Nor did Enola need to be married off. Indeed, heaven helps any man who might be so unwary as to wed her.”
What a delight! I went into Enola Homes and the Black Barouche with high expectations and was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. This novel was full of fascinating quips, twists, and revelations.
One might try to describe this series as a more feminine version of Sherlock Holmes, but that in itself doesn’t feel accurate. Enola is very much her own character, as this novel proved to me. She’s brilliant and stubborn and very talented at getting herself into the middle of things.
Personally, I really enjoyed her willingness to tackle larger and dangerous cases here. She’s so extremely empathetic, and that is just one of the ways in which she stands out from her brothers. Well, that and her style.
Before anyone asks: no, I have not gotten around to watching the Netflix movie. I promise you that it is on the list, but I haven’t had time yet. So I, unfortunately, can’t make any comparisons between the two.
What I can tell you is that I thoroughly enjoyed Enola Homes and the Black Barouche, and I fully intend to add the previous six novels to my TBR list right away. Knowing me, I’ll also be keeping up with the series from now on.
Thanks to Wednesday Books and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.
“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.