Format: E-Galley, 300 pages
Release Date: June 26, 2018
Publisher: Monster House Books
Genre: Young Adult / Paranormal
Seventeen-year-old Marisol Holmes may be the great-great-great granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes, but it’s hard to live up to the family name when only one mistake can spell your downfall. After trusting the wrong guy in a case gone totally wrong, Marisol convinces the Conclave, an underground organization of detectives solving supernatural cases, to give her a last chance to prove her worth, and maybe even heal her broken heart.
After all, as a half-blood jaguar shifter, Marisol is uniquely qualified to solve this murder—and every scrap of evidence points toward the culprit being a fellow jaguar shifter. But is one of her own people involved, or is this all a ploy to kick Marisol’s mother off the shifter throne?
Then Marisol discovers her best friend, Roan, is missing, and maybe the killer’s next target. The stakes just got higher than political intrigue. Just when things couldn’t get worse, Marisol’s ex-boyfriend-turned-nemesis, Mannix, starts leaving sinister clues for her. Marisol fears this case might be far more personal than she could’ve imagined.
It’s time for Marisol to prove her worth, or her people could fall into chaos while her best friend loses his life.
“The game is afoot.”
A Study in Shifters is the first installment in author Majanka Verstraete's The Adventures of Marisol Holmes series. Meet 17-year old Marisol Holmes, the great, great, great granddaughter of the infamous Sherlock Holmes. But, let's stop there or a minute. By the obviousness of its title, this book is about paranormals. Paras who are mostly shifters like jaguar, snake, wolf, bear, etc. And, while Marisol is being portrayed as the heir apparent to the Holmes line, she is in deep trouble with the Conclave as the story begins thanks to trusting the wrong person.
“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”
The Conclave is supposed to protect humanity from overzealous paranormals. The Conclave is an underground organization of detectives solving supernatural cases.The Conclave is not known to all shifters. Just those chosen and royal families. The Conclave, especially snake shifter Balthazar Rollins, hates Marisol. He wants to see her gone and forgotten. After all, she's not a full blood, so how dare she be able to consider herself part of the shifter royalty like her mother who is La Duchess who rules all other shifter species?
"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."
Rollins offers Marisol one more chance to prove herself. All she has to do is catch a killer. The catch? She has to work with Indra, a snake shifter and senior agent. Marisol and Indra enroll in a posh English private school called Waynard Academy, where a shifter from an important family has been murdered by what appears to be a jaguar. With rumblings about The Gathering of Clans, and the desire of a group of shifters who want Marisol's mother removed from power, especially with Marisol being a half-breed, the pair need to walk softly and carry a big stick in order to find out the truth.
Just when things couldn’t get worse, Marisol’s ex-boyfriend-turned-nemesis, Mannix, starts leaving sinister clues for her. In her last case, which the author calls the Big Betrayal, Mannix broke her heart and ruined her case. Marisol isn't sure which is worse. But, after learning that a best friend has disappeared, Marisol fears this case too might be far more personal than she could’ve imagined. It’s time for Marisol to prove her worth, or her people could fall into chaos while her best friend loses his life.
Ah, where do I begin to describe the reason for my review? At the very beginning. The author taunts readers with a broken Marisol who is being tested to see if she will remain part of the Conclave or not. She hints about the Big Betrayal and the fact that she can no longer shift. She hints at the villain, Mannix, who not only broke her heart, but also destroyed an innocent life. I, like others, have compared Mannix to Moriarty and I think that is by far a fair assessment.
Both are evil. Both are masterminds. Both are bloody brilliant and can outwit a Holmes like nobody's business. More than anything, I compare Indra to a big sister, or a babysister. Marisol is the brains, Indra is the one who has to approve and keep the Conclave updated. My other complaint is the repetitiveness. Especially when Marisol moans about the Big Betrayal and her inability to shift, and the fact that everyone hates her because she's a half breed. I hope, I repeat, I hope by the time the second installment comes around, the author will get more to the point right out of the door. The author really turns the screw on the readers by writing such a twisted and heart breaking ending. No, I will not spoil. I will say that things are going to get very bumpy from here on out.