Monday, December 12, 2016

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Author: Brittany Cavallaro
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Date of publication: March 2016

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.

I thought A Study in Charlotte was an interesting twist on the Sherlock Holmes story.  Charlotte and Jamie are descendants of the original detective duo, Holmes and Watson.  Charlotte is much like her ancestor, Sherlock.  She is obsessive, observant and has struggled with a drug habit since an early age.   All Jamie wants is to find a best friend and make it through Rugby season at his new prep school.  When he finds out Charlotte is also a student at the school, he believes it's fate.

As I said, I liked this twist on the Sherlock Holmes story.  It was a great way to bring it into the 21st century.  Imagine what Sherlock could have accomplished with today's technology.  It was a good solid mystery with a solution that made sense.  As with most Sherlock Holmes mysteries, I didn't guess the ending.  I liked the characters, especially Jamie.  The book is told through his point of view. 

There were just a couple of things that bothered me about the book.  I did question the need to make Charlotte a drug addict.  She is so young and has been struggling for years.  I wasn't sure if it was really necessary.  It might be nice to read one Holmes character who isn't addicted.  The other thing is the way Charlotte's date rape was kind of glossed over. I really feel like it should have been addressed more.

This is a YA book, but because of some of the content, I'd keep it to the over 15 crowd.  It's the first in a trilogy and I'm looking forward to the next book, The Last of August.  It comes out in February 2017.

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