*I received a free copy of A Study in Charlotte from Katherine Tegen Books via Edelweiss. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on 1 March 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult
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.
A Study in Charlotte is a very clever re-telling, where Sherlock is a young girl, Watson is a young boy and they end up across the Atlantic in the same, small boarding school in Connecticut.
My A Study in Charlotte review:
It has been a very long time since I read anything Sherlock Holmes connected, and A Study in Charlotte was a great way of entering this detective universe from a completely different angle. Because Charlotte and James are the great-grand-children of the famous Holmes and Dr. Watson, their story appealed to me in a different way than the original did. I also enjoyed that Charlotte was Holmes’s descendant, she was a very smart, sharp-minded young woman, and her power of deduction was strong. There were some humorous moments amid all the mystery and danger, and I enjoyed the way the characters moved the story forward.
Soon after James arrived at Sherringford, his roommate decided Watson and Holmes had to meet, even if that was the last thing James wanted to do. Tom promptly brought him to a clandestine poker game in the basement of the girls’ Hall. Once James and Charlotte met – it was clear that they wouldn’t be friends. And after James fought another student to protect Charlotte’s honor, that same student ended up dead. And he was killed in a way that was based on an old Sherlock Holmes mystery. As the plot thickens, Charlotte and James have to work together to figure out the mystery, not only to catch the killer, but to keep themselves out of jail.
A Study in Charlotte is quite fast-paced, and the mystery is very well done. I also found both the main characters to be very refreshing because they weren’t the typical teens that often appear in contemporary YA mysteries. Because they had famous ancestors, and especially since Charlotte had worked with Scotland Yard since she was only ten years old, they had more of an edge to them – even if it was clear that Charlotte was the brains in their little operation.
Written in first person point of view, past tense, and from Jame’s perspective, A Study in Charlotte was well thought out, and I think the story will appeal to both young and old readers, as well as both female and males.
Some of my favorite A Study in Charlotte quotes:
She sat up, all at once, with a wicked smile. Her brows were startling dark lines on her pale face, and they framed her gray eyes, her straight nose. She was altogether colorless and sever, and still she managed to be beautiful. Not the way that girls are generally beautiful, but more like the way a knife catches the light, makes you want to take it in your hands.
But I had never wanted to be her boyfriend. I wanted something smaller than that, and far, far bigger, something I couldn’t yet put into words.
“Like you said, you can take care of yourself,” I told her, finally. “If you’d murdered him, I bet there would be twenty witnesses who saw him put the gun to his own head.”
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: