Sunday, October 12, 2008

First Clues Review: The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer

First Clues: Mysteries for Kids

is delighted to introduce a new feature for our website, book reviews written by students. These students offer their unique perspective on the book in their review and provide a valuable resource to parents looking for new mystery adventures for their kids to read.

The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer

The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer

Puffin (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-14-240933-2 (0142409332)
ISBN-13: 978-0-14-240933-6 (9780142409332)
Publication Date: November 2007
List Price: $6.99

Review written by Marisa, Age 11, Grade 6. Date of review: October 2008.

Review: Imagine being a young teenager and trying to survive on your own in the gritty streets of London where burglars and kidnappers roam among you. That is the story that Nancy Springer tells about Enola Holmes in The Case of the Missing Marquess, which is her first book of her three book series.

The story takes place in London, England during August, 1888. It is a dark emotional tale of mystery and family turmoil. The main character is Enola Holmes. She is a 14 year old girl who is distraught because her mother has vanished on poor Enola’s birthday. Enola has fled from home because she was about to be sent off to a boarding school by her older brother Mycroft, since he is now her guardian.

As her journey begins Enola Holmes is dedicated to finding her mother, but her journey takes a twist when she gets involved with the case of the missing Marquess of Basilwether. She stumbles upon the whereabouts of the young Marquess and gets kidnapped along with him. She then has to escape from the villains and recue the Marquess, while keeping her brothers clueless about where she is and still having hopes of finding her mother.

Most of the time The Case of the Missing Marquess is full of action and very thrilling. The way Enola escaped from her ride to boarding school was very exciting and vividly told. You could feel the adrenalin rushing through her as she escaped on her bike. There were also several unexpected twists in the story like when her identity was discovered and she had to quickly flee to avoid her family finding her or when she was taken captive by those who were after the Marquess. Nancy Springer helps the story along when she shares with us what’s going through Enola’s head. It helps us follow her thoughts and feelings.

Other times the book is mildly boring and confusing. It’s boring when Enola first arrives in the new village and she spends a long time describing what she sees and when the reader is given background about the ciphers. It’s confusing and hard to follow how she solves some of the ciphers and clues that her mother left her. It was also a bit bewildering as to why the villains kidnapped Enola. There didn’t seem to be a big benefit for them.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and will be looking forward to reading the next two books in the series. I would recommend this book to others if they enjoy mystery books with unexpected twists. It is no surprise that another great mystery series was written by Nancy Springer since she is a two time recipient of the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery.

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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