Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Blog Tour + Review: Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche by Nancy Springer @NancySpringer


August 31st, 2021

Jacket Copy: "A young girl who is empowered, capable, and smart...the Enola Holmes book series convey an impactful message that you can do anything if you set your mind to it, and it does so in an exciting and adventurous way."--Millie Bobby Brown

Enola Holmes is back! Nancy Springer's nationally bestselling series and breakout Netflix sensation returns to beguile readers young and old in Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche.

Enola Holmes is the much younger sister of her more famous brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft. But she has all the wits, skills, and sleuthing inclinations of them both. At fifteen, she's an independent young woman--after all, her name spelled backwards reads 'alone'--and living on her own in London. When a young professional woman, Miss Letitia Glover, shows up on Sherlock's doorstep, desperate to learn more about the fate of her twin sister, it is Enola who steps up. It seems her sister, the former Felicity Glover, married the Earl of Dunhench and per a curt note from the Earl, has died. But Letitia Glover is convinced this isn't the truth, that she'd know--she'd feel--if her twin had died.

The Earl's note is suspiciously vague and the death certificate is even more dubious, signed it seems by a John H. Watson, M.D. (who denies any knowledge of such). The only way forward is for Enola to go undercover--or so Enola decides at the vehement objection of her brother. And she soon finds out that this is not the first of the Earl's wives to die suddenly and vaguely--and that the secret to the fate of the missing Felicity is tied to a mysterious black barouche that arrived at the Earl's home in the middle of the night. To uncover the secrets held tightly within the Earl's hall, Enola is going to require help--from Sherlock, from the twin sister of the missing woman, and from an old friend, the young Viscount Tewkesbury, Marquess of Basilwether!

Enola Holmes returns in her first adventure since the hit Netflix movie brought her back on the national bestseller lists, introducing a new generation to this beloved character and series.


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.

She’s moving.”

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.

My Review:

Enola Holmes is the younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. Enola goes to visit Sherlock as he is feeling a little under the weather. While Enola is visiting with her brother a young woman, Letitia Glover comes calling on Sherlock. She says her sister Felicity aka Flossie is missing.

She received a letter from her brother-in-law, Cadogan Burr Rudcliff II, better known as Caddie, telling her that Flossie had taken ill and now she is dead. He has also sent along her ashes. Tish doesn’t believe that Flossie is dead. She thinks that if her twin sister was dead then she would know it. She would feel it.

Enola Holmes believes the woman so decides that she will help the woman out by going undercover to try and find out what really happened to Flossie. After hearing the woman’s story it perks Sherlock up and decides to help too.

Enola takes after her brother as she likes a good mystery too. Like her brother she has a nose for snooping around a crime scene searching out all the clues, asking the right questions.

ENOLA HOLMES AND THE BLACK BAROUCHE is the seventh book in the Enola Holmes Series but it is the first book that I have read. I don’t feel as if I missed too much as each book has its own unique story to tell. But of course, I do look forward to reading more in the Enola Holmes world.

ENOLA HOLMES AND THE BLACK BAROUCHE is a brilliantly crafted story written in such a way that I had no problem whatsoever in picturing it all in my head as if I was right there. There was this one scene that I loved so much and that is when Enola takes a horse and bugging for a drive, oh, she has never driven before. That scene was hilarious but sad. I couldn’t help but laugh even though I felt bad for her. It was scary too. I didn’t know how it was going to end. Poor, poor Enola.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading ENOLA HOLMES AND THE BLACK BAROUCHE as Enola and Sherlock searched for the missing Flossie. As each clue was uncovered revealing the secrets that it was holding on to. I loved the world-building I could see it all as it was described. The world-building was so vivid I felt as if I had been there before. Well, at least a place that I would love to visit.

I would highly recommend ENOLA HOLMES AND THE BLACK BAROUCHE to all fans of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. One-click your copy of ENOLA HOLMES AND THE BLACK BAROUCHE today and get to know the little sister of Sherlock Holmes! 

Interview with Nancy Springer

Q: What made you want to become a writer?

NS: The pressure inside my own mind. I'd been having compulsive daydreams for a decade by the time I was in my early twenties, I felt a bit unhinged, and I decided I had to offload the mental shindig somehow. I knew from school that I was a good writer, although I had not tried creative writing. It took me months to figure out which genre might work for my particular hangups, but finally, with a Bic pen in a spiral-bound notebook, I started writing my first novel in August, 1972.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?

NS: I kind of want to be a hero, at least to small animals. If I see a turtle crossing the road, I'll stop my car and get out to carry the turtle to safety. If I see a snake in my yard or anywhere, I'll stop to take a look; I like snakes. I try to get other people to appreciate them more. If I find a toad on my sidewalk at night, I'll pick it up and ask how it's doing. I've been fond of all sorts of little beasties since I was a kid.

Q: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

NS: I've published close to sixty novels, but I've never thought about this topic before. I guess the goal is always to tell the truth in fiction as well as I can, with the intention or hope that the book will be good enough to get published and maybe change the world just a little bit for the better.

Q: What inspired you to write Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche?

NS: I, myself, don't use the word “inspired” when I think about writing. Being a writer is not just something I do; it's who I am. Seemingly words come out of me as naturally as slime comes out of a snail, and I don't mean that to be gross; I love seeing snail tracks like a glistening mystery revealed by sunlight. As for Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche – really, I think it was just time for me to write another book.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche?

NS: I can tell you about the new characters, the ones that weren't in the original six Enola Holmes novels. Letitia and Felicity Glover, nicknamed Tish and Flossie, are identical twin sisters, young and very pretty, one of whom is luckily married to a rich man who turns out unluckily to be the kind of cad who would put her in a lunatic asylum. This was not infrequent in the Victorian Era. But Tish and Enola get together to rescue her.

    Author Bio:

    NANCY SPRINGER is the author of the nationally bestselling Enola Holmes novels, including The Case of the Missing Marquess, which was made into the hit Netflix movie, Enola Holmes. She is the author of more than 50 other books for children and adults. She has won many awards, including two Edgar Awards, and has been published in more than thirty countries. She lives in Florida.

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