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Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade | Book Review

Exploring the various adaptations of the world of Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, we came across the book series by author Nancy Springer who writes adventures featuring Sherlock‘s much younger sister Enola.

Book Title : Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade
Enola Holmes - 8
Author :
Published by : Allen & Unwin Hot Key Books ( 12 October 2023)
# of Pages : 323 (Paperback) 170; 2892 KB (Kindle EBook)
# of Chapters : 19
Purchase Link(s) :

We have reviewed the first seven books in this series here on Thinkerviews platforms.

Continuing Enola‘s adventures is the seventh book called Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade.

Book Cover:

Let us take a look at the cover page of this book.

Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade | Book Cover

Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade | Book Cover

The cover page of this book is similar to the previous book and more in line with currently popular colour and graphic themes, giving it a modern look. The cheerful background and a sticker announcing Netflix adaptation announces the success of the series and its central character with the readers.

We see a dark, haired girl running through the dark streets if London, illuminated by the gas lights in the background.

I have also linked another version of the cover page later in this review article which gives it a look of a movie poster and shows Enola like lady in a close-up shot.


At the beginning of this book, we meet Lady Cecily Alastair again – yes, she was the Left handed lady that Enola rescued from a kidnapper. But the rescue did not lead to a happily ever after. Instead, she has been treated as soiled goods with no matrimonial prospects. Readers will also remember how Enola rescued her (again) from his father’s scheme to marry her to an odious cousin. At present, Cecily is imprisoned in her bedroom, with no food, no clothes and no means to contact friends. And naturally, she thinks of Enola who has been the fairy helper in past for her.

For her part, Enola is thinking of seeing her friend on this sunny afternoon in October 1889, to talk to her about the her improved relationship with her brothers and her general happiness and well-being in the life she has made for herself. But, she is denied entry into the house. Not to be disheartened by such reception, Enola instead comes back to the Alistair house at night and tries to send a message to Cecily’s room. But, after a curious train of events, ends up with Cecily climbing out of her bedroom window, in middle of the night, just wearing her nightgown.

So, the two girls run through London streets and make their escape to Enola’s safe house which she occupies as part of the Dr. Ragostin persona. Before she can sort this out, Sherlock arrives on the doorstep. He has been hired by Cecily’s mother to find her. Sherlock searches through Enola’s office and they are both surprised to find that Cecily has disappeared.

Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade | Book Cover

Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade | Book Cover

Cecily has decided to take on the world by herself, with her capable, left-handed persona, and leaves coded cipher messages for Enola. Knowing very well that even if she can find Cecily, a seventeen year old girl will be considered her father’s property, Enola understands Cecily’s need to stay hidden for a while.

And so the merry chase begins. Enola looking for Cecily, Sherlock looking for Enola looking for Cecily, Cecily trying to find a job and stay hidden, Sir Eustace and Lady Theodora looking for Cecily and so on…Enola finds a mother figure and ally in Lady Vienna who also lives at the professional women’s club. She was a friend of Enola’s mother and now helps Enola with finding the leverage she needs over Sir Eustace.

And so how will – far from elegant – escapade end? Will Lady Cecily be finally able to resume her life without having to be rescued so often?

Views and Reviews:

This book, begins with Enola feeling comfortable and secure, as after a year of leaving home, she has finally convinced her brothers to live her life as she chooses. She is starting find peace after her mother’s death and has also made a few friends. She is enjoying a period of respite when the adventure finds her and she once again ends up navigating the back streets of London at night.

The book is filled with all the intrigue of crossbows, climbing through windows, secret doors, disguises, dual personalities and lots of chases. The invention of telephone makes its appearance in this book as part of the author taking us on historical tours of this era.

Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade | Book Cover

Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade | Book Cover

The author highlights the disparity of quality of lives enjoyed by aristocrats and the rest of their household comprised of servants, from the space they occupy in their massive mansions, to the terrible treatment and fate of some having misfortune to serve evil masters.

There is a little bit of light shed on the phycological awareness and study of human behaviour that was coming through during these times also. For example, Cecily’s dual personality disorder or Sir Eustace’s Napoleon complex:

Even beyond having his share of the usual masculine flaws, he is short, plump, aspires to a higher station, and altogether has quite a full-blown Napoleon Complex, which is a characteristic form of inferiority complex developed in short man.

We also learn about the social progress required through introduction of Women’s Property Act. The author also brings to life Enola’s adopted home at the professional Women’s club, which is as unconventional as herself:

Dinner at the Professional Women’s Club was not so much a formal affair as a symbolic insurrection against society’s solemn strictures. Although the tablecloth was the usual snowy linen, upon its starched surface no two candlesticks matched, and the dozen or more places were set with riotously mixed (although never chipped) fine china. Also, no two pieces of silverware were of the same pattern. Even the napkins enjoyed variety. And – the most revolutionary iconoclasm of all – we women who dined were not required to “dress”, to make ourselves  ornamental.

For the fans of Holmes, there is pigeon cipher, art of fighting called Baritsu and secret rooms. The author also shows us a bit of Bohemian London where sunflowers are preferred over roses and young ladies promenade in canary yelllow or vivid indian-prints. You would also find out what a ‘mush-faker’ is, or a method of murder called “burking” and whether a lot of such professions have survived to this day?

And the book picks up again the thread of the series about people who may not quite fit-in the mould and expectations of the society around them:

To be oneself is not misbehaviour, unless one is criminally inclined.


An adventurous and entertaining segment in the series of adventures for Enola Holmes as she yet again comes to the rescue of a friend and finds a lot more…

ThinkerViews Rating:

Around 7.5 stars out of 10.

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Over To You:

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