Thursday, July 21, 2016

Book Review: A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes #1)

A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes, #1)About the Book:
Title: A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes #1)
Author: Brittany Cavallaro
Pub. Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 321
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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.

Before I start my warned, there's going to be lots of Benedict Cumberbatch ;)

It's pretty easy to say that I was super excited to read this book because SHERLOCK HOLMES! Enough said. The problem is...I've read a lot of "updated" Sherlock Holmes and was disappointed. So even though I was excited for this one, I still went in with lower expectations. I know this probably was kinda crazy on my part because you should always be going into a book with high expectations, but I figured if I went in with lower expectations I wouldn't be as disappointed. And maybe it's because of this that I actually really enjoyed this novel. Yes, there were things that I didn't like about the book, but this was a fun mystery read that left me guessing.


One of the things that I really enjoyed was the mystery itself. I honestly had no clue who was behind everything until it was actually revealed. I mean, after the fact, I couldn't believe I didn't see it, but I liked finally being surprised by the villain! There's been way too many mystery/thriller books lately where I've figured out everything by the time I was 25% done with the book. But that definitely wasn't the case with this book. I had so many theories, it was crazy! The pacing of this novel was also fantastic. There were intense moments followed by slower moments with Charlotte and Watson in the lab deciphering clues. It was exactly how this story needed to be, and made me want to keep reading. Lastly, I loved Charlotte and Watson together. They had that nice balance that I love about the original Holmes and Watson. And I was totally shipping this from the beginning. Nevertheless, they were an interesting pair, and very well developed. Plus, I loved the gender-swap with Charlotte Holmes. 


As I mentioned, there were some things that I didn't like about this book though, and ultimately resulted in me not giving it a higher rating. First, even though the mystery is interesting, the ending was basically an info-dump from the villain, which in this updated story was too cliche for my taste. I wanted a bit more and not just the typical mystery ending. The other thing I didn't totally love was Charlotte's drug abuse. It definitely is highlighted, but it's something that is an underlying presence in the story. I mean, as a reader you don't really know what to do with the information other than appreciate that Ms. Cavallaro brought in the drug addiction canon. But the thing that really bothered me about her drug use was the fact that she just stops and is perfectly okay. This isn't realistic in the slightest, and I just was left disappointed with the direction it took.


Overall, this was a very good Sherlock Holmes update. While it definitely isn't anything new, it still is an enjoyable story with an awesome mystery. I would definitely recommend reading it if you're a fan of Sherlock Holmes and a good mystery story.  I do think I'll check out the next in the series just to see where the story goes and experience more Holmes and Watson adventures!

Happy reading :)


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