Maybe you were distracted by Sherlock’s (Henry Cavill) beautiful forehead curls. Or maybe you were perplexed by Mycroft’s (Sam Claflin) devious looking mustache. Either way, I think you can agree that Enola Holmes was one of the most delightful, charming movies released recently. And when it was over, like me, maybe you were left with a Sherlockian-sized hole in your heart.
For those of us who can’t stop thinking about the Holmes family, we can cope by reading a collection of books that are as brilliant, singular, and mysterious as Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown) and her enigmatic brothers.
Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
Like Enola and her mother, Monday and Claudia are inseparable. They’re not just friends, they’re family. So when Monday goes missing, Claudia is desperate to find out what happened to her. What follows is a powerfully moving story across timelines as Claudia tries to uncover what happened to her friend.
Charlotte Holmes series by Brittany Cavallaro
I’m listing the whole series here because it’s still a pandemic, and if you’re going to binge-read a series, now is the time. Brittany Cavallaro brilliantly introduces the great-great-great grandchildren of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. I loved the dynamic and the story—Charlotte’s idiosyncratic character, Jamie’s loyalty, and the mysteries that they solve together.
Murder on Cold Street by Sherry Thomas
The latest in Sherry Thomas’ Lady Sherlock series is as wonderful as the other four installments. Like Enola, this series has it all: a dash of mystery, a thrilling case to solve, and even a spot of romance.
Endangered by Lamar Giles
Like Enola and her eldest brother, the protagonist of Lamar Giles’ book wears disguises but unlike Enola and her brother, Panda wears them in the form of names. As Gray, Panda anonymously records the misdeeds of her high school peers and teachers. That is, until she’s blackmailed into a game of dares. Can she stay hidden as she tries to dodge her admirer’s deadly game?
The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
If you liked Enola’s strength and cleverness, you’ll love Avery Kylie Grambs, the newly minted heiress at the center of Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ New York Times bestselling novel. The secrets upon secrets and games upon games that Avery’s benefactor leaves behind with her billion dollar inheritance reminded me of Eudoria Holmes leaving clues for her daughter.
In the Study with the Wrench by Diana Peterfreund
As a kid, in the days before Netflix and streaming, I rented the movie Clue more times than I could count. Probably enough that I should have just bought the movie. And I was always drawn to the board game—who wasn’t intrigued by the little murder weapons and evidence folder? This early love for the murder mystery probably also explains my penchant for Sherlockian pastiches. The two are totally complementary. Diana Peterfreund’s YA series based on the game is also a great choice for when you’re in need of something thrilling. And it’s set at a boarding school!
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
All the best murder mysteries are set in old houses that are more puzzles than homes (Knives Out?) or boarding schools. The boarding school in Truly Devious also happens to be the scene of one of America’s most infamous cold cases. Like Enola, protagonist Stevie Bell is determined, clever, and unwilling to give up, even when others throughout time have failed.
A Study in Honor by Claire O’Dell
I will seriously never tire of genderbent Sherlock Holmes stories, especially one set in the future with sapphic and diverse Sherlock and Watson. You’re going to want to read this one and root for Dr. Janet Watson as she fights for injustice just as you rooted for Enola as she fought for her own path.
Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
I might be a bit of a Mycroft Holmes fan. I can’t help it. I read too much fanfiction in Sherlock’s hayday that made me care for the stuffy, arrogant older Holmes brother. If you were at all intrigued by Mycroft, you might also be interested in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s wonderful series about the eldest Holmes. Maybe we can find out why he’s so… Mycroft.
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King
If you were intrigued about the confirmed loner Sherlock Holmes mentoring Enola, you might also enjoy Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series. Mary is a teenager who pulls Holmes out of retirement with her gift for deduction, disguises and solving crimes.
Enola Holmes series by Nancy Springer
Did you know that like most movies this one was based on a book? A very fun middle-grade series that you could probably enjoy quickly. You know, just in case you were desperate to know what Enola got up to next!
Too Much: How Victorian Constraints Still Bind Women Today by Rachel Vorona Cote
The societal constraints that burdened women in Victorian society was enraging to watch, even in a mostly positive and hopeful movie. The idea that a girl in possession of a clever mind and a free, independent spirit could be sent to finishing school to be broken and molded into the perfect lady is infuriating and heartbreaking. Even more heartbreaking is that women today still face the type of inequality and misogyny that was seen then. In Too Much, Rachel Vorona Cote digs into how Victorian ideals impact women today, and it’s fascinating, disturbing and something that I’ve thought about a lot since watching Enola Holmes.