The Case of the Disappearing Duchess, is the sixth and final book, in the Enola Holmes Mystery series by Nancy Springer, and brings the series to a satisfying conclusion.
The story begins when a letter arrives at Enola’s family country home. The letter contains a coded message, but initially Enola isn’t able to decode it.
Meanwhile Enola is approached by a Duque, whose wife has disappeared on an outing. Sherlock has also been asked to locate the missing Duchess. Enola, is the first to realise that she has been kidnapped for her expensive clothing and her luxurious hair, for its use as a wig. Enola asks Sherlock for his help with the final rescue, and he insists on bringing Mycroft, their older brother. Both Sherlock and Mycroft are impressed with Enola’s skills as a detective. This paves the way for reconciliation and an acceptance that Enola is never going to be a conventional society lady.
The coded message from Enola’s mother is eventually deciphered, and we learn there is a satisfactory explanation as to why Enola’s mother would leave her to fend for herself. Another satisfaction was the series began on Enola’s fourteenth birthday and finished on her fifteenth, with good reasons for doing so.
There are some strong theme running through the series, including compassion for the poor, the ridiculous demands of fashion which can be injurious to a woman’s health, the right of women to be able to make their own life choices in terms of career and education, and the value of family.
My only slight negative is that while the books are well written, Nancy Springer occasionally uses out dated words and expressions, which while adding context, interrupted the flow.
Overall it was a great series.
Thanks to Christian School Suppliers for providing a free book for review.