Tag Archives: Nancy Springer

Review: The Case of the Missing Marquess, by Nancy Springer

The Case of the Missing MarquessFrom the Back of book:

When Enola Holmes, sister to the detective Sherlock Holmes, discovers her mother has disappeared, she quickly sets off to find her. Disguising herself as a widow, Enola embarks on a journey to London, but nothing can prepare her for what awaits. For when she arrives, she finds herself involved in the kidnapping of a young marquess, and must fee murderous villains and try to elude her shrewd older brothers – all while attempting to piece together clues to her mother’s strange disappearance. Among all the mayhem, will Enola be able to discover the necessary clues and find her mother?

The Snapshot Review

What I Liked: Strong, independent and smart, Enola is a very likeable protagonist; pace is fast and intense; the writing paints the world of Sherlock Holmes’ London vividly. Not one, but two mysteries …and there are ciphers!

First Line: "The only light struggles from the few gas street-lamps that remain unbroken, and from pots of fire suspended above the cobblestones, tended by old men selling boiled sea snails outside the public houses." (From the prologue – the rest of the novel is in first person.)

Ms. Bookish’s Very Quick Take: A good read, with the action really kicking into high gear as we get further into the story. Very nice wrap-up, too. I finished reading this with a smile, eager to jump into the next book in the series.

Read the Full Review of The Case of the Missing Marquess

TSS – Currently Reading: Fowler, Springer & Berry

Time for The Sunday Salon again! Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

Ten Second Staircase, by Christopher Fowler. I finished Full Dark House, the first book in the Bryant and May Peculiar Crimes Unit series, a few days ago (review coming soon), and I loved it so much I picked up the next Peculiar Crimes Unit book in my TBR, Ten Second Staircase, right away. I’m right at the beginning, and so far, so good.

The Charlemagne Pursuit, by Steve Berry. This is the first book by Steve Berry that I’ve picked up – it stars ex-Justice Department agent Cotton Malone, and I’m finding Malone likeable enough to want to pick up the earlier books featuring him. I’m about midway through this book, and it’s a fun and exciting read – except that I’m finding the motivation for one part of the plot to be kind of weak. (More on that when I finish the book and write the review.) Despite this, though, I’ve been enjoying this book a lot.

The Case of the Missing Marquess, by Nancy Springer. I’m still reading this one – haven’t had a chance to pick it up again since the last time I was reading it last week. I have two other books in this series in my TBR pile, so I’m hoping this one is as interesting as the first chapters indicate.

And in audiobooks: last night I was feeling a bit under the weather, and even the thought of picking up a book to read was enough to make me feel kind of dizzy. So I took to my bed (I’ve always wanted to say something like that!) and started listening to an audiobook of PD James’ Skull Beneath the Skin. I’m not sure if the version I’ve linked to is the actual version I’m listening to. Mine isn’t so much an audiobook as an audio production – lots of lovely British actors saying the lines; it feels like listening to an old-time radio show.

So that’s what I’m currently reading. What books are enticing you these days?

TSS: Currently Reading Fowler, Springer, Carr and Greene

I’m in the midst of a hectic weekend of deadlines and such, but thanks to a little experiment I did involving changing my beliefs about time, I find myself with the time to write today’s Sunday Salon post!

What I love best about The Sunday Salon is checking out what everyone is reading. So my own TSS posts are usually about what I’m currently reading (unless another bookish idea sounds more interesting – I confess, I was debating writing a post about why so many novelists are lawyers, and one day I will, but today is not that day).

I normally have a whole boatload of books on the go (a reflection, I think, of my scattered eclectic way of living), and this week has not been an exception. Immediately after reading Christopher Fowler’s White Corridor, I found myself wanting more of Bryant and May, so I plucked Full Dark House, the first book in the series, out of my TBR. It’s been a great read so far.  Bryant and May are both in their mid-80s (and still working at the Peculiar Crimes Unit) – the story begins, oddly enough, with the news of Bryant’s death. May investigates, and the story goes back and forth between present day and the past. Fowler handles the flashbacks very well, and it’s interesting getting to know the characters as they were at the beginning (and, I should say, at the end).

I also started reading Nancy Springer’s The Case of the Missing Marquess today; I had brought it to Disney with me, but the cheerleaders-as-CIA series The Perfect Squad, as well as Meg Cabot, kept me too well occupied to dip into this Enola Holmes mystery. I’m only on the first chapter still, when Enola’s mother has disappeared, but so far it’s shaping up to be a fun middle-grade read.

Since I started book blogging, my TBR pile has grown tremendously, so I’ve not been re-reading as many books as I used to. But recently I stumbled on my much-loved copy of Caleb Carr’s The Alienist, and I made the mistake of flipping it open and reading “just a bit”. With Carr, you can never read “just a bit”, and soon I found myself caught up in his beautiful writing and characterizations, and feeling just that little bit creeped out with the mystery. Carr is such a joy to read – I always find myself wishing he had more books out – and I suspect I will be digging out my copy of Angel of Darkness next.

If you haven’t read The Alienist yet, here’s the summary. The book is even better than the summary promises.

The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night New York Times reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or “alienist.” On the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, they view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattan’s infamous brothels.

The newly appointed police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, in a highly unorthodox move, enlists the two men in the murder investigation, counting on the reserved Kreizler’s intellect and Moore’s knowledge of New York’s vast criminal underworld. They are joined by Sara Howard, a brave and determined woman who works as a secretary in the police department. Laboring in secret (for alienists, and the emerging discipline of psychology, are viewed by the public with skepticism at best), the unlikely team embarks on what is a revolutionary effort in criminology– amassing a psychological profile of the man they’re looking for based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who has killed before. and will kill again before the hunt is over.

Fast-paced and gripping, infused with a historian’s exactitude, The Alienist conjures up the Gilded Age and its untarnished underside: verminous tenements and opulent mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. Here is a New York during an age when questioning society’s belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and mortal consequences.

Last, but most certainly not least, is the audiobook I’m currently listening to. My experiment with time had one truly lovely result – I discovered that I can now listen to an audiobook while I work. I’ve tried this in the past, with fairly disastrous results. The nature of my work is such that I’m often at the computer, thinking and typing out what I’m thinking (it sounds like writing but alas, it’s not nearly as interesting as writing); the last time I tried to listen to an audiobook instead of music while working, I ended up typing what I was hearing, instead of what I was thinking.

But I gave it another try yesterday, and was thrilled to discover that I am able to separate the two parts of my my mind somehow and work while listening to an audiobook at the same time. I’m listening to non-fiction, which might be what’s making the difference, as I find with non-fiction if I tune out here and there, I can still get the gist when I tune back in.

So right now, I’m listening to Brian Greene’s wonderful The Elegant Universe. I’ve watched Nova’s gorgeous film of the book, and I have the book itself but never had the time to get to it. Listening while I’m working is the perfect solution. The narrator’s voice works well with the material, evoking space and time and all manner of scientific mysteries; I’ve been meeting my deadlines and overall, feeling quite happy about things!