A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
(Book 1 of 4 in the Charlotte Holmes Series)
Synopsis: The first book in a witty, suspenseful new series about a brilliant new crime-solving duo: the teen descendants of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. This clever page-turner will appeal to fans of Maureen Johnson and Ally Carter.
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’s 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.
My rating: 5/5 shiny gold stars
My review: If Hollywood is anything to judge by, we’re all suckers for a good Sherlock Holmes reboot. The concept of this one is both silly and perfect. Holmes and Watson (and even Moriarty!) are back and up to their usual hijinks, only this time through the form of their great-great-great-great (et al) grandchildren, Charlotte Holmes and James Watson. I am a complete and total sucker for a female Holmes. A brooding, teenage female Holmes with a drug habit and private lab in her picturesque boarding school science wing is my own personal crack. And Watson (James. Jamie! Omg do I swoon for a good ‘Jamie’) is the perfect narrator for their story.
“”Hey, so, he said something about protein powder? Do you… do you know a good brand?” I bent to lace a cleat so he couldn’t see my face. I wasn’t sure I could pull that one off: I wore cable-knit jumpers and read Vonnegut novels and had a girl for a best friend. I was about as likely to build up giant biceps as to build a colony on the moon.”
He’s warm and emotional and dynamic- the perfect foil to Holmes. Of course, none of that is new. Their funny and compelling character dynamic has been keeping us coming back to reboots for generations. I don’t want to get too spoilery, but there is a thread of tenderness running along the pulse of this story that is done really beautifully and (dare I say it?) differently to other Sherlock reiterations. It’s more than the usual Watson hero-worship. Jamie really brings heart to the story with the way he cares for Holmes. You’ll see what I mean when you get to the part under the porch. Not even in a romantic way (though obviously that’s gonna happen- and let it be known I’m HERE for it) but in the way you love anyone very important to you. Deeply and painfully, through the good and the bad.
“I kept stifling the urge to ask her if she was okay, to touch her forehead to see if she had a fever. To take care of her. I brought her food, but it stayed untouched on the plate no matter how I tried to cajole her into eating. When I caught her taking twenty minutes to eat a single almond, I began wondering if there was some kind of Watsonian guide for the care and keeping of Holmses.”
The mystery was pretty decent and kept me guessing, but I was reading for Charlotte and Jamie and will keep reading the rest of the series for them too.
I highly recommend this one for readers who enjoy a fair amount of intrigue, teen angst, and beautifully written prose. Click here to read for free through Kindle Unlimited OR to purchase a copy of the beautiful paperback (it’s currently 50% off!).