Tuesday, August 9, 2016

#Tuesday Review - A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro (Young Adult, Mystery)

Series: Charlotte Holmes # 1
Format: Hardcover, 321 pages
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

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 installment in Brittany Cavallaro's Charlotte Holmes trilogy. The series is a retelling of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series. Throughout Doyle's novels, Watson was Holmes biographer and friend who kept a tight lease on the wayward investigator. Fast forward to the present day, where Charlotte is a descendant of Sherlock Holmes, and Jamie Watson is a descendant of John Watson. Like Doyle's stories, A Study in Charlotte is told from Watson's point of view. Jamie finds himself at Sherringford Prep School in Connecticut where he runs into 16-year old Charlotte Holmes.

The Watson/Holmes families have had a connections that goes back to the beginning. One, Watson, has always been the documenter, while a Holmes has been drilled in the deductive arts of solving crimes. Charlotte is something of a prodigy having solved her first case when she was 10 years of age. After both Charlotte and Watson have issues with a certain prick of a dick, Watson finds himself in hot water with the school for punching said bully. If that weren't enough, the said prick of a dick is found dead in his dorm room. Poisoned. Plus there is a copy of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes found in his room.  

With all eyes pointed at Holmes & Watson, Charlotte believes they are being framed for murder by someone they have have previously encountered. It all goes back to one of Watson's stories called "The Speckled Band." This isn't the only story that the killer uses to lure Holmes & Watson into their spider web of danger, and intrigue. The two become friends even though Charlotte has had various issues with drugs in the past, and fully admits that they help keep her sanity from wandering too far into the darkness. Charlotte is a very smart, sarcastic,
humorous character who has an older brother named Milo. One can contend that Milo is actually Mycroft but a whole helluva lot interesting. 

Jamie's relationship with his father is interesting as well. One could say it went from Code BLUE, to detente after learning what his father has really been up to these past years. Even though I loathe characters who cheat on their own wives, and leave their families behind. Jamie's father, step-mother, and half-brothers aren't a bad sort. I loved that Jamie and his father come together in order to help Charlotte as have previous Watson's going back to Dr. Watson.  True to form, there are the Moriarty's that make an appearance in this story. It is clear that the author has tried to maintain a close relationship between her book, and the original stories.

If you are following my blog, you are asking yourselves why I choose to read Lock and Mori and A Study in Charlotte so close together. Well, the answer lies in the fact that I have thrown out all the rules when it comes to what books I am reading and when. I no longer care how many books are on by TBR pile. I have chosen to write each book on a scrap of paper and toss them into a hat. When I am finished with one book, I pull the next which leads to some interesting coincidences. Plus, I actually love the Holmes and Watson history. I love that like the originals, Charlotte and Jamie become friends who stick together no matter how dangerous it becomes. And, I love that Jamie's father has kept a book of all his adventures with his own Holmes.

Next in Series: The Last of August (February 2017) 

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