Series: Charlotte Holmes #1
Genres: Mystery, young adult
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble
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.
Just like the title of the book, the focus of this story is Charlotte Holmes, a descendent of the great Sherlock Holmes. This is told through the voice of James/Jamie Watson, also as you guessed a descendent of Dr. John Watson. The story unfolds at the prep school of Sherringford located in Connecticut. Although both main characters are from London, they are at this setting for different reasons. Watson is a rugby player who received a full ride scholarship and Holmes, well she was a naughty girl and is being taught a lesson.
When Jamie arrived at the prep school he was not familiar with Charlotte beyond what his family heard through casual means. We learn that he had always fantasized that as children they would team up and solve crimes together but when faced with actually speaking with Charlotte he chickens out and avoids her for as long as possible. When he finally does introduce himself he is met with ice, ice of the glacier variety. Ms. Holmes does not want to know him or anything about him. Her character is written very reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes and even includes the predilection to abuse drugs. Being the ever good guy Watson still holds on to his childhood fondness of the idea of Charlotte and even goes so far as to defend her honor, which also leads her to ripping him a new one anyhow. What’s a guy to do, right?
So when do they get together and solve a crime? When Watson defended Charlotte’s honor he also made some nasty threats to the guy as did Charlotte after she was done telling off Watson….and then the guy ends up dead. Enter the teambuilding exercise of not going to jail for a murder they are being framed for. Now they work together in order to clear their names but learning to work together is just as tough as it was for their predecessors.
What follows is an enjoyable read. The pacing is nice. There are moments of action and then there are moments where they just need to ponder what is happening. Watson is hilarious, some scenes I can imagine that he would almost need a paper bag to breathe into while Holmes is very controlled and loves to withhold information so that Jamie will give genuine reactions. Which is unfair, makes him mad and then he gets over it. Sound like any other characters we know? Hmmm, is naiveté and hard-headedness genetic?
As far as the mystery goes it is very well done. I liked the relationship building between the main characters. I also loved the fact that I was not annoyed to death by teenage BS that some YA authors feel needs to be there for the “angst” of it all. I am so glad for that. I just had to read this book because I love Sherlock Holmes stories and read mostly everything that connects to them in anyway. I gave it 3.5 stars because I did enjoy reading the book but it did not connect with me in such a way that I was pondering it afterwards. If you enjoy anything Sherlock then this will not disappoint you.