Mundie Moms

Friday, September 9, 2016

A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE by Brittany Cavallaro / Book Review

By: Brittany Cavallaro
Published by: Katherine Tegan Books
Series: Charlotte Holmes trilogy (book #1)
Released on: March 1, 2016
Source: Purchased
Purchase from: Publisher | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | Book Depository
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Rating: 4 Stars - I Enjoyed It!

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.

With the crispness of Fall in the air and school starting, I am totally in the mood for reading mysteries. Set in a boarding school? Yes, please! A twist on Sherlock lore? Bring it on!

A Study in Charlotte delivered all the key ingredients of a solid mystery: a murder that is just tricky enough to make you go hmm, two detectives who are involved in more than just the investigation and a setting that makes the mystery somewhat plausible (and let's face it fun to solve). Brittany brought something new and fresh to this Sherlock re-telling. Most readers (myself included) may not be familiar with the actual Arthur Conan Doyle stories, but we are all familiar with the many variations in recent years, whether the Robert Downy Jr movies or the Benedict Cumberbatch BBC series, we've seen Sherlock embody similar characteristics although in different times. Brittany gives us a female Sherlock, Charlotte, and a very believable reason as to why she is a girl this time: the original Sherlock is an ancestor of hers. This little twist on the canon brings the characters neatly into modern day, and let's us see them in their teen years.

Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are an awesome pair even as teenagers. They find themselves (rather neatly, but this is explained in a twist I adored) in the same school, and sure enough there are murders, which implicate them both. I love the touches that Brittany added in -- like how Charlotte got a lab and how Jamie got his rugby scholarship. I know I've mentioned this here before, but I am completely a character-driven reader. These two were exactly the characters I wanted them to be. Jamie's point-of-view is such a delight to read. He is smart, confident and awkward all at once.

Favorite quote:
I wanted the two of us to be complicated together. 
And so they are; they are complicated together and it's a pure delight to read. I'm looking forward to book 2 of the series. I encourage you to pick up this well crafted Sherlock tale. It has just enough twists to keep you interested, and Charlotte and Jamie are two sleuths to add to your favorite characters lists.