Monday, May 18, 2009

First Clues Review: The Case of the Left-Handed Lady by Nancy Springer

First Clues: Mysteries for Kids

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The Case of the Left-Handed Lady by Nancy Springer

The Case of the Left-Handed Lady by Nancy Springer
The Enola Holmes Series

Puffin (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-14-241190-6 (0142411906)
ISBN-13: 978-0-14-241190-2 (9780142411902)
Publication Date: May 2008
List Price: $6.99

Review written by Ariana, Age 12, Grade 7. Date of review: May 2009.

Review: The Case of the Left Handed Lady. An intriguing title. Who is the Left Handed Lady? What happened to her? What’s so special about a Left Handed Lady? These are some of the questions that flew my mind as I looked at the cover of The Case of the Left Handed Lady by Nancy Springer. Enola Holmes, sister to Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, is the leading lady in the story. The second in the series, The Case of the Left Handed Lady continues the riveting tale of The Case of the Missing Marquees. It’s a tale of mystery, disappearances, and intrigue all the while; it didn’t quite captivate my attention.

The story of a young sleuth, Enola Holmes tries to deduct the case of a missing Lady Cecily. Enola pays a visit to Lady Theodora, who informs Enola of Cecily’s disappearance. Fascinated by her belongings, including charcoal drawings, Enola embarks on a journey throughout London, the vilest city in Britain, to find her, in the hopes of making a life long friend. Enola’s got a lot to think about though, because Enola is juggling several identities and escapees. All while Enola’s on the search for Lady Cecily, Enola balances the identities of Mrs. Ragostin, Ivy Meshle, and the Sister of the Streets, evades her brothers Mycroft and Sherlock, and struggles to reunite with her mother.

All this action and mystery occurs in the story but all the while, I just didn’t enjoy the book. It was definitely not a page turner and got off to a very slow start. I also can’t relate to Enola. The whole story is based on a fourteen year old making her way through the worst parts of London, escaping Sherlock Holmes, and searching for a missing girl she has never met before. The climax and resolution also seems very absurd to me. The first three-quarters of the book are basically just Enola searching for her mom and Cecily and running from her brothers, but the climax is just completely confusing. Enola has only a few leads, but by the climax there’s a whole other world of information that shows the resolution, which I find very confusing and unbalanced. On the positive side, I did feel that the ending was very good. It leaves you with an open ending and not knowing how everything will end up, but at the same time gave me a sense of closure and has a good use of sentence structure.

The story has a complex and original plot, while not quite a page turner, but has an excellent ending. Although, the book did not win any award or medals, I feel with the book’s strong plot and ending, it could be capable of winning any award.

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