Tuesday, 1 March 2016

A Study in Charlotte (Review)

Hi there!

Title: A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes #1)
Author: Brittany Cavallaro
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Published Date: 1st March 2016
Rating: 4 Stars

*Thanks to the publisher for the review copy*

Synopsis: 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.
 

Review: A Study in Charlotte is a retelling of Sherlock Holmes where Sherlock is female and they are both students. I loved that Jamie and Charlotte were descendants of the actual characters… and that their families have a long standing history. The Holmes have decided to keep up the detective line in their family and school each child from a young age in the art of deduction. But Jamie and Charlotte don’t know each other at all. That is, until they end up at the same boarding school being framed for a murder they didn’t commit.

I didn’t write a lot of notes while reading this book, and that is mostly because I was simply having so much fun with it. I love Sherlock and this was a brilliant retelling. At the beginning it was a little bit difficult for me to get into because Jamie kept on going on about everything he hated. He hated the school, he hated the country and he hated the fact that he didn’t really have any close friends there yet. I was really worried I was going to start to hate him as a main character, but after a few pages we quickly get over that and the story kicks in. When it does, his personality picks up for the better. I actually rally like seeing the mystery from his male point of view.
 
Charlotte was also an interesting character. I think some people might dislike her because she is Sherlock down to the T. She has his pretentious, cocky kind of attitude. But what I also really liked about her is that Cavallaro gave her a few more emotions than the actual Sherlock? We did see when she reached the end of her tether, when she was getting frustrated from reaching no new conclusions, and that sometimes she did things for fun just because she liked them. I’m not sure how people will feel who are reading this as their first taste of Sherlock, but it was an accurate retelling in the sense of characters.

The murder mystery had me on my toes. I couldn’t predict who had done it in the slightest. The best thing about it was that it was always exciting. There were leads, there were dead ends, there were pieces of the picture slowly falling into place. The murder itself was mocking the whole idea of Jamie and Charlotte being together because the murderer recreated the scenes from original Sherlock stories for the murders. I liked that reference to the original stories and it also made the book more fun for me to read. And when you think the mystery is over and solved… it isn’t. That happened quite a bit and it never failed to leave me surprised!

And when I wasn’t completely engrossed in the murder mystery, it was the dynamics of Jamie and Charlotte’s friendship. I liked how they worked and interacted. It was funny sometimes, it was desperate and pleading in other cases. Their friendship went through all sorts of tests and stages (they are being framed for a murder, so that seems pretty fair) and I just liked how they worked.

This is how to write a murder mystery. 

The funny thing about this book is that the parental situation still bothered me although the father was present. Seeing as Jamie’s mother lives in England and isn’t in America (due to the parents being divorced) she wasn’t around too much. That I understood, and we do hear about them updating each other with phone calls and all. But Jamie’s father is around for the whole murder and his son being in danger part and sometimes he came off as quite clueless and… useless parent material. Sometimes he did step up to the game and it was like he couldn’t entirely make up his mind about where he needed to stand. So the parental side of things did bother me a little because I wanted something… more.

But overall, I really enjoyed this book and it sucked me in. Especially in terms of the plot and the character depiction! I can’t wait for the second book in the series and will definitely be pouncing on that as soon as it comes out.


Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

New Video! My February book haul in video form!


Olivia’s Question: Are you a Sherlock fan? Would you ever want to be included in a real life mystery?

Olivia-Savannah x

32 comments:

  1. fab review :) and everyone needs the occasional Benedict gif in their life ;)

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    1. Oh yes. Occasionally, everyone does!

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  2. Love Sherlock! The book, Benedict, and RDJ are me favorites. I'm about 2 ppl behind, but I'm on the holds list as of midnight last night. Can't wait to read this!

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    1. Sherlock is something I like too! I have yet to read the original books, but I love the telly series and also the RDJ movies. Looking forward to knowing what you'll think of this one.

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  3. [ Smiles ] We all love a good murder mystery.

    Thank you for another great book review!

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    1. Yes, murder mysteries are always enticing :3

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  4. I should really add this one to my list. I've always loved Sherlock Holmes, so this creative story of his descendants is interesting. :)
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

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    1. I think you might like this mystery, in that case ^.^

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  5. This sounds very interesting! Although I haven't read any Sherlock Holmes books- the characters in this one intrigue me and it sounds like a fast paced story. Glad to learn about this one.
    ~Jess

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    1. The characters are really something that make this story the way it is and how the dynamics work. You should try a Sherlock novel! (As should I... for that matter!)

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  6. Ack. I haven't seen any movie/tv show adaptations nor read any books about Sherlock Holmes. Fail. I'm glad you enjoyed this one - immensely, at that. :)

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  7. Sounds like my kind of genre. I want to be kept awake by a book. I miss that feeling.

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    1. It's the best feeling :3 That is, until you go through the day a little sleep deprived in the morning xD

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  8. This book sounds interesting. I love how authors take from something else and give it an incredible spin.

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    1. Yes. It's amazing how retellings can flourish themselves.

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  9. This sounds so good, Olivia-Savannah! I just got back from putting it on my GoodReads TBR. I'm a Holmes-o-phile of long standing and love the plays on words and dovetailing of this book into the original books!

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    1. I hope you will love this one, especially because I know how much you love a good mystery :D

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  10. Charlotte does sound like an interesting character

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    1. She was complex and as this is a retelling, a perfect mix of Sherlock/the modern day teenager.

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  11. I love Sherlock and I'm actually in the middle of reading this and I find myself really enjoying the writing and the tone perfect combo of modern and sherlock. Glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. Yay! I'm so glad you are currently enjoying this one a lot :D

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  12. What a great review! I NEED THIS BOOK, I NEED THIS BOOK, I NEED THIS BOOK!

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  13. Ooh, I've seen this one around but this is the first time I'm reading a review of it and I have to say, now I really want to check this one out! I like when you can't predict what is going on.

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    1. I hope you do so! I think you may like it. And it definitely is unpredictable!

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  14. This book sounds like it's going to be such a fun ride! I love Sherlock Holmes and I think I'll probably like this book as well. I can't wait to get my hands on the book ^^

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    1. You should definitely try it! It's brilliant :D

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  15. Great review!!! You are so right about Jamie's father! That bugged me, too!!!

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    1. I'm glad it wasn't just me who thought so D:

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