The last thing sixteen-year-old Jamie Watson–writer and great-great-grandson of the John 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 enigmatic, fiercely independent great-great-granddaughter, who’s inherited not just his genius but also his vices, volatile temperament, and expertly hidden vulnerability. Charlotte has been the object of his fascination for as long as he can remember–but from the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else.
Then a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Holmes stories, and Jamie and Charlotte become the prime suspects. Convinced they’re being framed, they must race against the police to conduct their own investigation. As danger mounts, it becomes clear that nowhere is safe and the only people they can trust are each other.
Equal parts tender, thrilling, and hilarious, A Study in Charlotte is the first in a trilogy brimming with wit and edge-of-the-seat suspense.
I don’t know where to start with this book. I don’t. Okay like I love Sherlock on BBC, and I love old movies with Sherlock. Now I should mention I’ve not actually read any Sherlock books by Arthur Conan Doyle, don’t ask me why, I just have a really hard time with classic books. Hopefully that will change here very soon, especially since Megan over at MagicBookBuyer got me an amazing bind up of Sherlock books for Christmas. But anyway! I was super excited about A Study in Charlotte. I liked the new twists and ideas that Cavallaro was bringing to this book. I just hoped that she was able to live up to the character of Sherlock, he’s not exactly an easy character to write.
I didn’t need to worry. Cavallaro handled the character of Sherlock in such an amazing way that I was simply thrilled any time Charlotte started speaking. But the best thing, and the thing I have to tip my hat to is the fact that Charlotte isn’t Sherlock. Sure she’s a Holmes, she’s got all the deducing powers of one too, but she isn’t cold and emotionless. Oh she tries, yes she tries. But she isn’t. Cavallaro took this character of Sherlock, kept his essence, kept the really important parts of him, and made her own character in Charlotte and for that alone I would give this book some serious stars.
But I suppose we should dive in to real review stuff before I just turn into a raving fangirl…
I’ve seen people mention the problems of the drugs, and sex, and language of this book. And don’t get me wrong they’re here in this book. F-words are thrown around for both character development and I’m sure, shock value. If this is something that is going to bother you, then probably skip this one. However, if you’re on the fence about picking up this book because of it lemme say this: My 52 year old mother read Charlotte and raves about it more than I do.
I mentioned the character of Charlotte already, but she was just such an amazing aspect of this book I’m mentioning it again. She is just about my favorite portrayal of Holmes. She is so desperate to be who her family wants to be, she wants to be the perfect reincarnation of her famous great-great-grandfather. But the truth is that she cares about people, and especially Jamie. Essentially she’s precious. Jamie Watson should me mentioned here too, because he’s just as great as well, he’s baffled by Holmes, often times wants to throttle her, and yet can’t quite stop adoring her. He’s fascinated by her, and already half in love with her at the start of the book. He adores watching her work, and comes with quite a few smarts of his own. Jamie is precious too okay.
One other good point I want to talk about has some minor spoilers for the very start of the book. If you like going in completely blind don’t read past NOW. Charlotte was raped not long before the story starts. But the way that Cavallaro handles it is just so amazingly done. She doesn’t mention it and ignore it. Charlotte has to deal with it in her own Holmes way. Jamie has to deal with helping her and it is handled exactly how it should be.
I haven’t mentioned the mystery at all until now, but let me say I was surprised by the who-dun-it at the end. I of course don’t go into these books trying to solve the murder, I let the characters do it and roll with them. But even if I HAD been looking for it, I don’t think I could’ve solved it. The mystery was sprinkled so lightly throughout the book that it was a work of science.
And my final point because this is getting out of hand is the fact that Cavallaro is a genius. On her twitter she’s been talking about Easter Eggs she sprinkled through A Study in Charlotte and I’m just in awe. I missed so many of them. Now I already want to go back and reread and try and find more of them.
YES. YES. YES. This book is already a favorite of mine and I can’t wait to see where the series goes from here. It’s a masterfully done piece of work.