Book Review: A Study in Charlotte
Published By: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Page Count: 336
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Mystery
It seems that Sherlock Holmes inspired novels may be the next thing in YA. They seem to be cropping up more, but I'm not complaining. I'm a sucker for anything that gives a nod to the famous Englishman. A Study in Charlotte opens a new series that follow Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson, descendants of the original famous Holmes and Watson. The pair meet at the unlikely locale of a Connecticut boarding school. In the beginning, Charlotte and Jamie don't hit it off, but when a classmate is murdered and both of them are implicated, circumstances force them to work together to clear their names.
Charlotte is a lot like her famous relative. She's shrewd, analytical, and highly observant. Her mind works in a way that I find fascinating and admirable, but a part of me is happy my mind doesn't notice all of the things hers does. It must be exhausting. Sadly, her brilliance also leads to manic behaviors and a drug addiction. Charlotte's character is darker than I was expecting, but it makes her more compelling and real. She is far from a damsel in distress and in spite of her darker edges, she is a strong and courageous female. On the other hand, Jamie is more sentimental and less abrasive. He does have a temper - especially when it comes to Charlotte - but he is the more likable of the pair. I loved the relationship that develops between these two.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the plot was the murder and attacks all had inspiration in the original Sherlock Holmes stories. I was kicking myself for not reading the original stories before starting this one. I know I missed a ton of allusions, but luckily Charlotte and Jamie are well versed in the stories and piece things together to help those readers who may have not read the originals in quite some time or at all. I also liked thinking of Holmes and Watson as real people who had families instead of just characters on the page. This novel conjures nostalgia for them as I found myself loving Charlotte and Jamie.
If you're a fan of Holmes and Watson or are looking for a dark mystery, this is a must read novel. I'll be anxiously awaiting the next installment.
One Last Gripe: I felt like the culprit was a bit too obvious.
Favorite Thing About This Book: The characters
First Sentence: The first time I met her was at the tail end of one of those endless weekday nights you could only have at a school like Sherringford.
Favorite Character: Jamie
Least Favorite Character: The culprit
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.