Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Case of the Left-Handed Lady by Nancy Springer

Springer, Nancy. The Case of the Left-Handed Lady. New York: Sleuth Philomel, 2007.

Enola Holmes is holding her own in London, though she is forever running into her brother Mycroft and Holmes. But she's become a master at alluding her pursuers. She's set herself up as Dr. Leslie T. Ragostin, the only scientific perditorian. In layman's terms, a finder of lost things. Naturally, no one ever sees the good doctor. They encounter only his secretary Miss Ivy Meshle. When needs be, Enola can also disguise herself as Mrs. Ragostin. She needs just such a disguise when she hears that Lady Cecily, a young woman not much older than herself, has disappeared without a trace. Enola wants to help. She visits the home, looks over Lady Cecily's room, and makes her assumptions. She then begins following the meager leads that she has. She soon realizes that she's not the only person in London with multiple identities. Department store owner's soon Alexander Finch moonlights as one Cameron Shaw, a supporter of the labor platform. He has a skill that allowed him to "borrow" Lady Cecily. He hypnotised her. Enola has no choice but to try and free Lady Cecily from his hold disregarding the danger to her own person.

What I thought: I can only second my estimation of the 1st Enola Holmes mystery. Wow! Enola certainly shows just how strong her can be in this book. The adventures she undertakes are fraught enough with danger, yet she runs the added risk of discovery by her brothers. How can she, now that she has tasted freedom, stand to be packed off to boarding school and turned into a proper young lady? She learns far more useful things in London. For example, a corset is not merely for improving one's appearance. It is quite good protection from knives and the like.

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