Enola Holmes, the intrepid Victorian girl detective, sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, and all around smart cookie is the star of a mystery book series by Nancy Springer and a fabulous Netflix movie. Whether you first met Enola through Netflix or her bookish sleuthing adventure, you are bound to fall in love with her and request more books like Enola Holmes, please.
The Enola Holmes mysteries are set in Victorian London, involve wonderful conundrums which keep readers gasping in surprise and delight at every turn of the page. She's destined to be a classic female detective like Harriet the Spy and Nancy Drew! When you want books similar to Enola Holmes check out these titles!
Note: this post contains Amazon and Bookshop affiliate links. Purchases made through affiliate links may earn commission.
Let's get started with the reading recommendations, or as Enola herself would say, "The game is afoot!"
THE CASE OF THE MISSING MARQUESS (series) by Nancy Springer
First, if you've only seen the Enola Holmes Netflix movie, read the series! The movie is based on the first book, The Case of the Missing Marquess. When her mother disappears, Enola sets out to discover what happened, and stumbles into another mystery surrounding a young aristocrat, which she solves, besting her brothers. While characters from Arthur Conan Doyle's original Sherlock Holmes books appear in the novels, Springer invented the plucky Enola. ("Alone," spelled backwards.) Ages 10 and up.
PREMEDITATED MYRTLE (series) by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Anyone who wants Victorian detective books similar to Enola Holmes will love Myrtle. The unconventional, twelve-year-old Myrtle, lives with her prosecutor father in Victorian England. Encouraged by her father and governess, the clever, likable, but very quirky Myrtle loves her gadgets and keeping up with all the latest crime-fighting research. Myrtle's detective work takes off when she becomes convinced that her neighbor was the victim of foul play. A thrilling mystery with unique characters and a healthy dose of snappy humor. Ages 10 and up.
THE PEAR AFFAIR by Judith Eagle
This wonderful historical mystery takes readers to 1960s Paris. 12-year-old Nell has left her English boarding school in an attempt to find out what happened to her beloved nanny, "Pear," whom her unpleasant parents dismissed just before Nell went off to school. Once in Paris, Nell teams up with Xavier, a bellhop at a luxury hotel. Like Enola Holmes, Nell gets drawn into a second mystery–the suspicious contamination of baked goods at boulangeries across the city. (Anyone who has been to Paris, knows that would be a dire situation, indeed!) Ages 9 and up.
THE GHOST OF MIDNIGHT LAKE by Lucy Strange
This gothic children's novel has it all! There's the huge English estate, the death of a father that reveals a secret paternity, an evil cousin, a missing priceless family heirloom known as the "Queen's Stone," a blind midwife who holds the secret, and of course the wonderful, eerie atmosphere. When 12-year-old Agatha's father dies, she is booted from the Gosswater estate and sent to live with her newly revealed biological father who is a farmer and stonemason. Agatha is determined to find out the truth about her family history with the help of her friend, Bryn. Full of suspense and intrigue! (Known as The Ghost of Gosswater in the UK) Ages 9 and up.
MORE: Gothic Children's Novels
THE SWALLOWTAIL LEGACY: WRECK AT ADA'S REEF (series) by Michael D. Beil
Lark Heron-Finch and her sister are headed to Swallowtail Island with their stepfather and stepbrothers for the summer. Their summerhouse has been in the family for decades and while on the island, Lark learns of a tragic boating accident that happened in the past. Lark sets out to uncover the truth of what actually happens and in doing so, changes her own, and others' lives. Ages 9 and up.
MURDER IS BAD MANNERS (series) by Robin Stevens
In a 1930s British boarding school, the extrovert English rose Daisy Wells and the introvert Hazel Wong, who has recently transferred from Hong Kong, are on the hunt for a mystery to solve. When they come across the body of their science teacher, they are determined to smoke out the murderer. The relationship between the two girl detectives is delightful and real. This book has a classic murder mystery feel to it, with plenty of surprises for both the characters and the reader. Jolly good fun. Ages 10 and up.
WINTERHOUSE (series) by Ben Guterson
Elizabeth's guardians, her aunt and uncle, leave for vacation and mysteriously leave her only a train ticket and $3. The train ride takes Elizabeth to a luxurious and odd hotel. Elizabeth loves to read and has a sixth, extrasensory and magical sense. She makes friends with Freddy, who loves word puzzles and the two of them set about solving the mysteries of the hotel, including an important missing book. A fun choices for readers who are fans of Enola Holmes. Ages 8 and up.
FROM THE DESK OF ZOE WASHINGTON (series) by Janae Marks
This book may have a modern setting, but like Enola Holmes, Zoe sets out to find out the truth about what happened to a parent. Zoe, a 12-year-old girl who, after starting a correspondence with her incarcerated father, Marcus, sets out to prove his innocence. Zoe's mother always kept Zoe from having a relationship with her father, who was serving time for murder, but one day, Zoe discovers a letter addressed to her from him and decides to write back. Zoe and her friend, Trevor, start to investigate Marcus' trial conviction, learning about systemic racism in the justice system. While the subject is certainly very serious, Janae Marks has written a marvelously accessible story with likable, nuanced characters who stop at nothing to solve the mystery of what actually happened. Ages 9 and up.
NOOKS AND CRANNIES by Jennifer Lawson
A philanthropist Countess sends out six mysterious invitations to six children. The eclectic group of children, including our heroine, Tabitha Crumb, arrive at the mansion to discover that one of them is believed to be the Countess's long lost grandchild. However, things are not always as they seem and the children (or at least the good children) must work together to unravel the mysteries of the house. The cast of characters here is delightfully kooky and weird, with inept and neglectful parents, both spoiled and erudite children, and disguise-wearing servants. Ages 10 and up.
THE PARKER INHERITANCE by Varian Johnson
After her parents' divorce, Candace and her mother move from Atlanta to spend the summer in South Carolina, where her grandmother used to live. Candace is lonely and misses Atlanta. She makes friends with Brandon, a shy 11-year-old neighbor and the two of them set out to solve a historical mystery involving Candace's grandmother. Along the way they uncover a history of racial tension in the small town and an intriguing story of identity and fortune. Ages 9 and up.
ME, FRIDA, AND THE SECRET OF THE PEACOCK RING by Angela Cervantes
For the first time, Paloma Marquez is going to visit Mexico, the homeland of her deceased father. While in Mexico City, Paloma visits Casa Azul, the former home of artist Frida Kahlo, where she plans to take language and art classes. Paloma befriends locals Gael and Lizzie and the three of them set about solving the mystery of Frida Kahlo's missing ring. Ages 8 and up.
TANGLED UP IN LUCK (series) by Merrill Wyatt
When Sloane and Amelia have to team up to complete a school project, they don't think they will be able to get along. But the mystery of the town's long-lost jewels draws them in and as they discover new clues and solve the mystery, their friendship blossoms and they learn to appreciate each other's differences. Similar to Enola Holmes sleuthing adventures, this mystery has everything you want–a house with secret compartments, missing babies, long lost relatives, and a shadowy figure following the young girl detectives' every move! Ages 9 and up.
UNDER THE EGG by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
Just before her grandfather died, he whispered to Theodora, "There's a letter… And a treasure" hidden "under the egg." Theodora, whose mother is incapable of taking care of her, must find away to pay the bills and she starts her search for this mysterious treasure involving a work of art. Her hunt takes her all over New York City, into the past, and introduces her to a diverse group of new friends. The secrets Theodora uncovers take her (and the reader!) by surprise. Ages 9 and up.
SUNNYSIDE PLAZA by Scott Simon
Sunnyside Plaza is a home for developmentally disabled adults. Sally Miyake, a 19 year old resident of Sunnyside Plaza works in the kitchen. After a suspicious death at the residency, two detectives start asking questions. Sally narrates the mystery, and the residents attempts to uncover what happened. Sunnyside Plaza's residents and their friends radiate kindness, strength and determination. An uplifting story of community. And yes, this is by that Scott Simon. Ages 9 and up.
THE WIG IN THE WINDOW (series) by Kristen Kittscher
With their military grade spy equipment, Grace Yang and Sophie Young consider themselves serious detectives, even though they are just in seventh grade. When Sophie accidentally calls 911 after imagining her neighbor and school counselor committed murder (It turns out the red stains were beets not blood. Whoops.), the pair find themselves in the middle of a real live fugitive case. The friendship between the juvenile detectives is a key element to this fast-paced suspenseful middle grade mystery. Ages 10 and up.
THE SCANDALOUS SISTERHOOD OF PRICKWILLOW PLACE by Julie Berry
I loved this splendidly wicked book. I listened to the audiobook narration of this twist on the Victorian boarding school mystery novel, and it was glorious. I didn't know what to expect and when in the first few pages, the headmistress and her brother drop dead from poison, and the girls subsequently decide to bury them instead of report it, I thought, "how macabre!" The girls, who have wonderful monikers like "Smooth Kitty," "Disgraceful Mary Jane," and "Stout Alice," decide to try and convince everyone that their headmistress is still alive so they can avoid being sent home. Author Berry is a smart, clever storyteller with a sharp wit. Ages 10 and up.
SHIRLEY AND JAMILA SAVE THEIR SUMMER (series) by Gillian Goerz
New friends, Shirley and Jamila, come up with a plan for their summer which does not involve camp. Shirley has an interest in detective work and Jamila finds that she isn't half-bad at it, either. The two set about solving cases. This wonderful graphic novel is not just about detective work, it's a story of what it means to be a good friend. Ages 8 and up.
THE DETECTIVE'S ASSISTANT by Kate Hannigan
Hannigan's book is based on the life of America's first female detective. 11-year-old Nell ends up on the doorstep of her Aunt Kate. Aunt Kate would prefer to drop Nell off at the local orphanage but Nell makes herself useful to her aunt, who works for the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Hannigan deftly handles multiple story lines and weaves in a lot of interesting historical content. There is a lot going on here: Nell and Kate's detective-ing (yes, that's a word, I just invented it) around the Baltimore Plot (a real-life attempt to assassinate Abraham Lincoln), Nell's correspondence with Jemma, an African-American friend who relates stories with troubling details about the Underground Railroad, and the mystery surrounding her uncle's and father's death. You can image Nell and Enola teaming up to start their own detective agency. Ages 9 and up.