The Case of the Left-Handed Lady: 04/03/12
The Case of the Left-Handed Lady by Nancy Springer, Enola has established herself as a perditorian (finder of lost things). She is compelled to take on a missing persons case, that of young Lady Cecily.
Enola knows she will have the advantage, being a young woman. Although her mother reared her in a bit of a Bohemian fashion, she was taught some of the standards of her time, like the language of flowers. Her knowledge of the hidden clues a girl might leave, gives her the confidence to take the case.
Getting in her way though, is Dr. Watson. Their meeting is heart stopping. Watson comes hoping to hire "Ivy" to find Enola. She manages to escape discovery, but, I have to wonder if Watson hasn't figured it out but can also read between the lines.
While reading Nancy Springer's series, it's difficult, if not impossible, to not compare it to other Sherlock Holmes series. The one I'm most reminded of is Laurie R. King's Mary Russell series in that both look at women's rights and gender roles. This book, does share sub plot involving hypnotism, much like The Language of Bees.
As a second book in a series, The Case of the Left-Handed Lady is the first attempt to build Enola as a stand alone character. She though is still desperate to find her mother and that leaves her vulnerable. I suspect she will always be dividing her time between her cases and trying to avoid her brothers.