A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Homes #1) by Brittany Cavallaro
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date : March 1st, 2016
Available as Hardback & eBook – 321 Pages
Source : Public Library
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.
This blog is a blog of a Sherlock Holmes fan, if anyone has not been here long. So naturally any new adaptations coming through the pipes I want to get my hands on. In fact, and I touched on this in my review of The Invisible Library, I’m a big fan of the ‘Great Detective’ trope in general. A Study in Charlotte takes that trope, with the usual Sherlock dressing and turns it into a YA book that frankly is more modern than I think most would give it credit for at first glance.
All not bore you with a summary of the summary above but it’s important to note here, because I didn’t know going in (it caused me a bit of confusion at first) that in this world the Sherlock Holmes stories, though while published, were true accounts. Everything that we would read, so would these characters but in their world it was non-fiction, the real accounts of an eccentric and brilliant detective and his companion. So that makes for some interesting character dynamics between the great-something-grandson of Watson and the great-something-granddaughter of Holmes.
Both families (and other families from the stories *suggestive eyebrow wiggle*) for the most part stay true to their predecessors in interesting ways. The Holmes train their children to be like their famous ancestor while the Watsons… don’t but end up like him I feel. Our author takes some liberties with the original characters, gives insider information that may or may not be canon and gives them personality traits that weren’t clear in the originals. For me however these touches added. Not only that but they strengthened our modern day iterations.
Something else I loved was the presence but not overbearing presence of real issues in this book. Rape, drug abuse/use, sex, and gambling all come up but nothing is treated as a PSA which I frankly found a bit refreshing. This book definitely takes the story to a modern place and gives everyone modern looks that work for them. It’s an adaptation that really adapted for me.
Overall, if you like Sherlock Holmes and you like YA this could be fun. The only fault I can give it is the expected love subplot. However it wasn’t overpowering and it didn’t detract from our story, a nice change. I would very much recommend this one!