Book Review: Study in Charlotte

Author: Brittany Cavallaro
Read: May 2016
Number of pages: 336
Format: Hardback
Published: March 2016
ISBN: 0062398903
Publisher:  Katherine Tegen Books
Rating:  four-stars

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I was intrigued by the title of this book as it clearly reminisced in Doyle’s classic ‘ A Study in Scarlett’ which we all know is a fantastic read where the original Sherlock and Watson meet for the first time. I must say with its illustrated beautiful eye catching cover it really looks lovely on the book case as well. I am always one for a modern take on a Sherlock classic and these book really ticked those boxes for me.

‘A thrilling twist on a classic. Readers will be pulled in by both the riveting mystery and Charlotte Holmes, a brilliant heroine with secrets of her own.’ – Maureen Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of the Shades of London series

Synopsis: The first book is a witty, suspenseful new trilogy about a brilliant new crime-solving duo: the teen descendants of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Jamie Watson has always been intrigued by Charlotte Holmes; after all, their great-great-great-grandfathers are one of the most infamous pairs in history. But the Holmes family has always been odd, and Charlotte is no exception. She has inherited Sherlock’s volatility and some of his vices and when Jamie and Charlotte end up at the same Connecticut boarding school, Charlotte makes it clear she s not looking for friends.

But when a student they both have a history with dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Danger is mounting and nowhere is safe and the only people they can trust are each other.

Review: This book is a lot of fun. The characters are descendants from the main characters which I found I could relate to a lot. The main character, Charlotte Holmes, is a female version of Sherlock. The Holmes have decided to keep up the detective line in their family and school each child from a young age in the art of deduction. But Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holme don’t know each other at all. That is, until they end up at the same boarding school being framed for a murder they didn’t commit.

I did find this book a little difficult to get into as it was mainly Jamie Watson talking about he hated the country, school and that he had no close friends. I did find it difficult to not like him as a main character but as the book progressed and the story kicked off I found I started enjoying it more.

Charlotte was also a very interesting character and completely what I would expect a Sherlock descendant to be like. Arrogant, pretentious, cocky. The author also gave Charlotte some one emotions that one would not usually see in a Doyle classic. Doing things for fun because she liked them, fragile when she reached the end of her teether or frustration and anger when things were not going right.

The murder mystery its self was gripping. I could not work out who it was. It was dynamic in showing James and Charlotte’s friendship grow as their relationship was put to the test. There was leads, dead ends, references to Moriarty descendants. When you think it is solved, it isn’t and leads on to something else. There were many references to original Sherlock Holmes stories and I enjoyed that as a reader.

Overall, apart from the slow beginning as I got into it I enjoyed it more. The plot and the character depiction made this book and I am looking forward to the second book in the series. For your copy click here.


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