Series: Charlotte Holmes #1
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery & Detective, Suspense, Young Adult
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on March 1, 2016
Reading Challenges: 2016 Good Reads Challenge, 2016 TBR Challenge
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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.
A Study in Charlotte is the first in a trilogy.
Something about this book made it one of my most anticipated reads of 2016. Maybe it was the cover, the anticipation of a Sherlock Holmes retelling with some romance between a female Holmes and a male Watson. I’m not sure what exactly drew me to it, but I’m so glad it did.
I LOVED A Study in Charlotte. It clipped along for me at an intensely fast paced, and I didn’t want to put it down. This isn’t so much a retelling; the main characters, Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson are actually descendants of the famed Sherlock and John. Their families therefore have loads of history, and when Charlotte and Jamie meet, you just know they’re going to get along brilliantly. Well, they’ll at least put up with each other, much in the shame way John and Sherlock do.
This is a mystery of course, and while I don’t read much mystery, I just might have to start reading more, because this plot line was very enjoyable and interesting to read. The mystery itself moved a bit slower than I’m used to Holmes working, but then again, Charlotte and Jamie are what, 16 years old? Charlotte and Jamie are both suspects in the murder of a fellow classmate, and both are determined to find the real killer before the police try to pin it on Charlotte and Jamie themselves.
I loved the character development; Charlotte wasn’t a lifeless robot, even though she’s peculiar and fairly anti-social and brilliant on a whole different level than everyone else. Jamie struggles with anger issues, and it really seems as though Charlotte is the only one who understands him, or even really wants to. Their relationship was lovely, moving slowly from acquaintances to friends to something more. At some point, it became sort of understood that they were now “Holmes and Watson”, even though Jamie felt like he didn’t understand Charlotte at all. But some of the character development scenes were my favorite, with Charlotte revealing things about herself to Jamie and vice-versa that made them both vulnerable and far more sympathetic than I think Sherlock Holmes is usually portrayed. Charlotte and Jamie have some really fun witty banter as well, which is always a plus in my book.
I absolutely cannot wait to get more of these two heroes, and see them continue to solve crimes. It was fun to see other characters similar to their ancestors: Milo Holmes (Mycroft), August Moriarty (Professor James Moriarty), among others. I don’t know how fans of the original Sherlock series will enjoy this retelling, as I’ve never read the originals, but it’s a very fun YA Mystery with a dash of romance and lots of lovely friendship development. A really excellent read.
A Study in Charlotte is filling the category “Contemporary” in my TBR Challenge. To see more info on my 2016 Reading Challenges, go HERE.
Content: Heavy infrequent language, rape mentioned, disturbing images, violence, kissing. Recommended for 16+.