A clever whodunit with broad appeal.

ENOLA HOLMES AND THE BLACK BAROUCHE

From the Enola Holmes series , Vol. 7

Teenage sleuth Enola Holmes is back in a follow-up to earlier, middle-grade offerings.

A self-described “Scientific Perditorian,” grandiloquent Enola Holmes arrives at Baker Street to find her brother, Sherlock, nearly catatonic due to a fit of melancholia. However, when Miss Letitia Glover shows up, convinced that news of her twin sister Flossie’s death cannot be true, the puzzle-loving Holmes siblings can’t resist taking on the case. Flossie’s husband Caddie Rudcliff, the Earl of Dunhench, sent word that a fever had quickly overtaken Flossie and that she was immediately cremated without so much as a funeral—the same fate as his first wife, Myzella. As Sherlock and Enola investigate, readers are treated to an altogether delightfully engaging romp about Victorian London through visits to horrifying asylums and sprawling manor houses, the antics of a fractious horse, and lush sartorial descriptions. Women’s agency—or the lack thereof—is brought to the forefront as Enola repeatedly encounters difficulty due to her gender. With nearly a decade having passed since Springer penned a case for Enola (with a graphic novel and a film being released in the interim), this is an excellent entry point for both established fans and newcomers, and it includes a helpful recap in a prologue from Sherlock’s point of view. Enola’s voice is wholly charming, prone to just the right bit of humorous snark and a penchant for lists. All characters are presumed White.

A clever whodunit with broad appeal. (Mystery. 12-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-82295-6

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

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An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge.

THE LAKE

Two teens with a dark secret return to their old summer camp.

Childhood friends Esme and Kayla can’t wait to return to Camp Pine Lake as counselors-in-training, ready to try everything they couldn’t do when they were younger: find cute boys, stay up late, and sneak out after hours. Even Andy, their straight-laced supervisor, can’t dampen their excitement, especially after they meet the crushworthy Olly and Jake. An intuitive 17-year-old, Esme is ready to jump in and teach her cute little campers. But when a threatening message appears, Esme and Kayla realize the secret they’ve kept hidden for nearly a decade is no longer safe. Paranoia and fear soon cause Esme and Kayla to revisit their ominous secret and realize that nobody in the camp can be trusted. The slow buildup of suspense and the use of classic horror elements contrast with lighthearted camp activities, bonding with new friends, and budding romance. Similarly, Esme’s first-person point of view allows for increased tension and action as well as offering insight into her emotional and mental well-being. Discussions of adulthood, trauma, and recovery are subtle and realistic, but acts of sexism and machismo aren’t fully analyzed. While the strong buildup of action comes late, it leads to a shockingly satisfying finale. Major characters are White.

An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge. (Thriller. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12497-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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Beautifully written historical fiction about giddy, queer first love.

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LAST NIGHT AT THE TELEGRAPH CLUB

Finally, the intersectional, lesbian, historical teen novel so many readers have been waiting for.

Lily Hu has spent all her life in San Francisco’s Chinatown, keeping mostly to her Chinese American community both in and out of school. As she makes her way through her teen years in the 1950s, she starts growing apart from her childhood friends as her passion for rockets and space exploration grows—along with her curiosity about a few blocks in the city that her parents have warned her to avoid. A budding relationship develops with her first White friend, Kathleen, and together they sneak out to the Telegraph Club lesbian bar, where they begin to explore their sexuality as well as their relationship to each other. Lo’s lovely, realistic, and queer-positive tale is a slow burn, following Lily’s own gradual realization of her sexuality while she learns how to code-switch between being ostensibly heterosexual Chinatown Lily and lesbian Telegraph Bar Lily. In this meticulously researched title, Lo skillfully layers rich details, such as how Lily has to deal with microaggressions from gay and straight women alike and how all of Chinatown has to be careful of the insidious threat of McCarthyism. Actual events, such as Madame Chiang Kai-shek’s 1943 visit to San Francisco, form a backdrop to this story of a journey toward finding one’s authentic self.

Beautifully written historical fiction about giddy, queer first love. (author’s note) (Historical romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-525-55525-4

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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