Series: A Study In Charlotte #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on March 1st 2016
Genres: Mystery, YA
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
The last thing sixteen-year-old Jamie Watson–writer and great-great-grandson of the John 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 enigmatic, fiercely independent great-great-granddaughter, who’s inherited not just his genius but also his vices, volatile temperament, and expertly hidden vulnerability. Charlotte has been the object of his fascination for as long as he can remember–but from the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else.
Then a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Holmes stories, and Jamie and Charlotte become the prime suspects. Convinced they’re being framed, they must race against the police to conduct their own investigation. As danger mounts, it becomes clear that nowhere is safe and the only people they can trust are each other.
Equal parts tender, thrilling, and hilarious, A Study in Charlotte is the first in a trilogy brimming with wit and edge-of-the-seat suspense.
~ Is it weird that I consider myself a fan of Sherlock Holmes even though I’ve A) Never really read the books (I did listen to a few audiobooks when I was a kid, but I honestly don’t remember them that well) B) Haven’t really watched any of the movies/tv shows? Maybe it’s just that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are such recognizable media icons- and I have a mind for pop culture. But I was very excited about the premise of this book- actual teenage descendants of Holmes and Watson (the books being based on real people and written by Watson), and throw in an American prep school and I was sold.
~ Here, Watson is an American who’s spent his formative years in England, and is less than thrilled to be back in the States near his estranged father. He’s had all these fantasies of high adventure and mystery with Charlotte Holmes, but has never actually met her. Is it a coincidence that they now attend the same boarding school?
~ Like Sherlock, Charlotte has a brilliant mind and a taste for narcotics. She’s a controversial figure on campus, popular and untouchable, throwing weekly poker games and rumors abound.
~ Jamie is very quiet and while smart, he’s no Sherlock. His early attempts to befriend Charlotte are rebuffed, and it takes the two of them becoming suspects in an ongoing murder investigation for them to bond.
~ While I enjoyed the prep school setting, actual classes and prep schoolness was a bit… lacking… most of the action takes place in the dorms or Charlotte’s lab. I would have liked to see how they were as students more.
~ The book is a little over the top, cheesy and dramatic… but that’s kind of how Holmes and Watson always are, and it’s what makes this story work.
~ I loved how the crimes were based off the Sherlock Holmes stories (especially since I wasn’t familiar with them, it was fun looking them up online to verify that “The Adventure of the the Speckled Band” was real). Charlotte and Jamie acknowledged the factual errors that occurred in some of the stories, which I found interesting.
~ Another thing I quite liked was the family dynamics of both Charlotte and Jamie. Hers with regards to her brother and parents, his to his father and stepmother and half siblings. I’m very glad this is going to be a series, because I really want more of how Charlotte grew up a Holmes!
~ I can’t wait to order this book for my Sherlock obsessed niece, Grace!
James “Jamie” Watson- our narrator (despite the series being named after Charlotte), he’s the calm yin to Holmes’s wild yang.
Charlotte Holmes- brilliant and troubled, she’s been helping Scotland Yard since she was a child. I, briefly, had a lost pet detective agency as a young child, so of course she and I have tons in common. Well, except the oxy habit.
Tom- Jamie’s roommate and friend, at least until he begins to think Watson is a murderer.
Lena- Charlotte’s roommate, rich and flighty and flirty, she’s one of the standouts among the lesser characters.
Dobson- Neanderthal, jerk and pesky dead body.
Randall- Dobson’s roommate, similar in attitude.
Detective Shepard- working the case and at times quite suspicious of Holmes and Watson.
Mrs. Dunham- the housemother at Jamie’s dorm.
Mr. Wheatley- Jamie’s creative writing teacher.
August Moriarty- Holmes and Watson aren’t the only real life characters with living descendants.
Bryony Downs- school nurse.
Elizabeth- sweet Freshman girl who asks Jamie to a school dance.
There were several moments I liked quite a bit- from Jamie’s dad’s excitement over his son possibly being involved with a Holmes in a murder case, to Lena stepping up to give an Oscar worthy performance to help the crime solving duo out of a bad sitituation.
Stop the Clock:
A Study in Charlotte was a fun book- the mystery felt a bit muddled in places, but I’m hooked. Sign me up for book 2, please!
A Study in Charlotte gets a Midnight Book rating of: