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The Case of the Left-Handed Lady by Nancy Springer

The Case of the Left-Handed Lady

The Enola Holmes Series
Nancy Springer

Puffin (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-14-241190-6 (0142411906)
ISBN-13: 978-0-14-241190-2 (9780142411902)
Publication Date: May 2008
List Price: $6.99

Review: The Case of the Left Handed Lady. An intriguing title. Who is the Left Handed Lady? What happened to her? What’s so special about a Left Handed Lady? These are some of the questions that flew my mind as I looked at the cover of The Case of the Left Handed Lady by Nancy Springer. Enola Holmes, sister to Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, is the leading lady in the story. The second in the series, The Case of the Left Handed Lady continues the riveting tale of The Case of the Missing Marquees. It’s a tale of mystery, disappearances, and intrigue all the while; it didn’t quite captivate my attention.

The story of a young sleuth, Enola Holmes tries to deduct the case of a missing Lady Cecily. Enola pays a visit to Lady Theodora, who informs Enola of Cecily’s disappearance. Fascinated by her belongings, including charcoal drawings, Enola embarks on a journey throughout London, the vilest city in Britain, to find her, in the hopes of making a life long friend. Enola’s got a lot to think about though, because Enola is juggling several identities and escapees. All while Enola’s on the search for Lady Cecily, Enola balances the identities of Mrs. Ragostin, Ivy Meshle, and the Sister of the Streets, evades her brothers Mycroft and Sherlock, and struggles to reunite with her mother.

All this action and mystery occurs in the story but all the while, I just didn’t enjoy the book. It was definitely not a page turner and got off to a very slow start. I also can’t relate to Enola. The whole story is based on a fourteen year old making her way through the worst parts of London, escaping Sherlock Holmes, and searching for a missing girl she has never met before. The climax and resolution also seems very absurd to me. The first three-quarters of the book are basically just Enola searching for her mom and Cecily and running from her brothers, but the climax is just completely confusing. Enola has only a few leads, but by the climax there’s a whole other world of information that shows the resolution, which I find very confusing and unbalanced. On the positive side, I did feel that the ending was very good. It leaves you with an open ending and not knowing how everything will end up, but at the same time gave me a sense of closure and has a good use of sentence structure.

The story has a complex and original plot, while not quite a page turner, but has an excellent ending. Although, the book did not win any award or medals, I feel with the book’s strong plot and ending, it could be capable of winning any award.

Review written by Ariana, Grade 7. Date of review: May 2009.

Review: Enola Holmes and the Case of the Left-Handed Lady is written by Nancy Springer and is the 2nd book in the series. The whole series is about Enola Holmes, who is Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister, who runs away from her brothers at the age of 14.

Enola is a very lonely person. Her name spelled backwards spells alone, which makes Enola think that her mother knew she was going to be a very lonely person. Enola Holmes has run away from her brothers Sherlock Holmes and Mycroft Holmes because she didn’t like Mycroft’s idea of turning her into a proper lady knowing all proper etiquettes. After running away from her brothers, she decides to pretend to be four different people. First she pretends to be Dr. Ragostin's secretary. Enola also very cleverly is Dr. Ragostin’s “pretend” wife meeting with people because Dr.Ragostin is suspiciously not able to meet with people himself. That is because Enola is actually Dr. Ragostin herself! Enola also pretends to be Lady of the Streets who is known to give supplies to people living on streets. At this time, Enola gets her first case finding a girl named Lady Cecily a girl who has supposedly “run away” but Enola finds out differently... There are many twists and turns along the way that make Enola’s head spin as well as the readers.

This book is has a very interesting concept, and would be suitable for readers in middle school. It has many twists that can be confusing and require a second reading. It is a very interesting book and it is so descriptive it could become a movie. The writing is so fascinating that it is a shocker and it flows so easily from page to page. It looks like Nancy Springer didn’t even have to try to put together a masterpiece. It is unforgettable book for mystery lovers.

The whole idea is amazing how Nancy Springer ties every single detail into the end and she really engulfs the reader into the book. Enola Holmes and the Case of the Left-Handed Lady is truly one of those kinds of books where “once you start you just can’t stop!”

Review written by Asheena, Grade 6. Date of review: October 2008.

Review: In this second addition to the "Enola Holmes Mystery Series", two-time Edgar Award winner Nancy Springer once again drops readers into Victorian England where they experience all the very real danger and intrigue of London side by side with the heroine Enola Holmes.

The Case of the Left-Handed Lady is a continuation of The Case of the Missing Marquess. Enola, whose name backwards spells "alone", was named by her suffragist mother. "You will do very well on your own, Enola," is what her mother continually told. This memory of her mother's words is the source of Enola's strength, courage, and bravery. Enola is alone in what was then the world's biggest, darkest, dirtiest city. After running away (in the first book), she has masqueraded in this wild city as Ivy Meshle, Dr. Ragostin's secretary.

As she communicates with her run-away mother through the personal ads in the Pall Mall Gazette, she learns through Dr. Watson, a friend of her brother's, that her brother is greatly distressed with the worry of her whereabouts. Sherlock Holmes is the most well known detective. He, however, has failed to solve the mystery of his own missing little sister. But Enola has reason to believe that he has in fact caught on to the ciphers that their mother and she have been publishing. Her too clever brother is hunting her down. For the sake of her freedom she must escape by speed, cleverness, and trickery. But what can she do to ease her loneliness?

Dr. Watson has also, accidentally, informed Dr. Ragostin of the disappearance of Lady Cecily. Dr. Ragostin is a perditorian. "Dr. Ragostin" has his first case. Therefore Enola has her first case. When she ventures into the missing lady's bed chamber, she notices some hidden charcoal drawings that make her feel as though she has found her soul mate. Bravely wandering the streets at night, Enola must continue her quest to find the left-handed lady. In order to save Lady Cecily, Enola risks revealing more than she should. Will her own loneliness betray her?

Suspense, action, even some romance; this book has it all. This sequel is your typical mystery book with a twist. Throughout the book it has its readers guess the solution to the mystery. The clues don't fit and the readers are almost pulled into the story as detectives themselves. Nothing is given away until the very last chapters. This 4½ star book (out of 5) will keep you guessing till the very end. You won't be able to keep yourself from turning the page.

Review written by Viveka, Grade 8. Date of review: May 2009.