TITLE: A Study In Charlotte
AUTHOR: Brittany Cavallaro
SERIES: Charlotte Holmes (#1)
PUBLISHER: Katherine Tegen Books
GENRE: Young Adult, Mystery, Retelling, Contemporary
RATING: 4/5 Stars
The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.
From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.
What I Liked:
- I really enjoyed the mystery here, and found myself hooked from about a quarter of the way through. I seriously couldn't put it down! The plot felt very nicely paced (at least, from that point) and there were plenty of twists and turns to keep me interested.
- The relationship between Charlotte and Jamie felt very much like a classic Holmes and Watson pairing but there was a little bit of romantic tension in there too which kept the dynamic interesting. I actually really liked their characters, especially Charlotte, and the characters they interacted with were interesting too.
What I Disliked:
- I felt a little too 'dropped' into the story. There was no build up - a ton of crimes happen in the first few pages before I had time to really understand the implications. I like to build into backstory and character development slowly, not have it all dumped on me.
- I also really wasn't a fan of a whole family of Holmeses and Watsons that are all supposedly alike to their famous counterparts in personality and ability, and revered around the world. I got the reasoning behind it but it felt a bit forced and cheesy.
This was a cracking read. I wasn't sure at first, I felt that I'd been dropped into the deep end with it a little bit. But I liked the sense of humour, the mystery, the comparisons to Arthur Conan Doyle's original works and it was good to see a well-written detective duo again. I hope that they don't make too much more of Charlotte's drug addiction in the next one and that we can get a little less focus on information and more on the story itself. I'll definitely be reading book two though!