Book Review

Review: A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

a study in charlottePublished: March 1 2016

Number of pages: 321

Format: hardcover

Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books

Genre: contemporary, mystery, crime, romance

Audience: YA

Rating: 4/5 owl hoots

Find it on Goodreads | Chapters Indigo




The last thing Jaime Watson needs is a rugby scholarship to a Connecticut prep school which is just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not all; Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, famously known to be the descendent of her great-great-grandfather Sherlock Holmes. She has inherited his brilliant scientific mind but also his temperament, and from everything that Jaime has heard about her so far; it’s safe to admire Charlotte at a distance.

From the moment they met, there is tension between them and it seems they are more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student is murdered in which his death was ripped from the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jaime can no longer keep his distance. Jaime and Charlotte are both framed for murder and so, only they can clear their own names.


My Review:

I’m a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes so it’s no surprise that I’m a sucker for reading Holmes and Watson retellings. So when I first heard that a YA trilogy was coming out following the decedents of Sherlock and Watson, I knew I just had to have it!

The story is told in Jaime’s perspective much like in the tradition of his great-great-grandfather and he also has an ambition to become a writer. I admire Jaime’s enthusiasm in his creative writing courses, and judging by how he writes his life in Sherringford and the series of events at school, Jaime certainly has a bright future ahead as a writer. Even his creative writing teacher, Mr Wheatly thinks so, but that guy turned out to be a creep after what he did. Jaime is loyal, reliable, and brave enough to stick around with Holmes in which her occasional temper makes it very hard to be around with. I wouldn’t say he’s exactly like John Watson, but he does fantasize about him and Charlotte chasing criminals and going on wild adventures together, which shows his boredom for the ordinary and enthusiasm for the unexpected.

Charlotte on the other hand shows the same personality and habits as her great-great-grandfather. After years of training, her parents have made it a family tradition for their children to be the next great Holmes, but I get the inkling feeling that Charlotte doesn’t want this life her parents gave her. And who can blame her? She was trained at birth in the deductive arts at her Sussex Manor, everything from memorizing city plans to moving silently in a room and noticing everyone and everything around you. I’m surprised she never exploded from the pressure of learning these techniques!

This was equal fun parts and suspense. The fun parts came from the characters themselves, watching Jaime and Charlotte bicker like an old married couple are the best scenes! Now I’m a huge fan of BBC Sherlock so I couldn’t help but imagine Jaime and Charlotte like Sherlock and Watson from the TV series! But when you have a female teenage Holmes and a male Watson, there is bound to be chemistry, I just wished Jaime wouldn’t freak out when things got intimate and Charlotte doesn’t keep pushing him away (although that’s typical Holmes anyways). I honestly think these two can be more than just detective and sidekick, they have a chemistry going and underneath that unemotional exterior there is a Charlotte that just wants to be a normal teenage girl. Why else would she know the lyrics to Dancing Queen? That’s one of the things I love about her is that she has a normal and quirky side that rarely shows through.

But who could have guessed that Holmes could be such a bitch? I was so surprised to learn what she did to Moriarty and unfortunately the consequences only made the tension between the families much worse. I guess we will have to see what happens next now that Charlotte has unintentionally renewed a war with the Moriarty’s. The murder mystery was a thrill ride with betrayals and secrets and an unexpected turn of events that almost led to the death of a beloved character. I should warn you that there is a rape scene, but other than that, the mystery case was so exciting and the references to the Sherlock Holmes stories only added to the suspense leaving readers in the dark and guessing whodunit. I cannot wait to see Jaime and Charlotte in action again!


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