Review: A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes #1) by Brittany Cavallaro

Title: A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes #1)

Author: Brittany Cavallaro

Published by: Katherine Tegen Books | 01 March 2016

Date Read: 01 May 2016

Rating: 3/5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.


My fascination with Sherlock and Watson started when one of my friends suggested for me to watch the Sherlock BBC Series. 1st episode of the 1st season and I’m immediately hooked.  With that, it was no surprise that when a YA book retelling of Sherlock and Watson is to be released I find myself making grabby hands for it immediately.

I actually don’t know what I’m getting into when I started reading this book. The first few pages actually felt slow but when the murder happened and one thing led to another, I’m immediately sucked into the story.

“My family’s business was never in maintaining mysteries. It’s in unraveling them.”

That’s how James started on his new school; Unraveling a murder with the infamous descendant of Sherlock Holmes – Charlotte Holmes. Charlotte Holmes and James Watson find themselves being framed for murders; Murders that are re-creation of old Sherlock murders as well.

This is the most interesting part of the story for me, the re-creation of old murders, but I did find myself a bit lost in the middle of it since I was not able to read the original stories. But what I like about it is the youngish twist the author has given to the story. It was deep as there are abuses and death involved at the same time it suites for the age and environment of the story itself.

Holmes and Watson are shadows of their ancestors. Charlotte is aloof, stoic, mysterious and quite weird. But along the way we learned that this is how she was trained growing up as a Holmes. As the story progress, we see Charlotte out of her shell – she got pressured and scared. She’s still your typical high-school girl despite having the last name and holding the reputation of being a Holmes. James on the other hand is just like the Watson with Sherlock. He’s the side kick. But in here, I find James’ character so flat. He’s been supportive with Charlotte from the start but as Charlotte’s character quite develops he was left behind.

The chemistry and the dynamics between these two main characters are there but the romance part between them for me in unnecessary. There are times that the romance feels forced. The romance part as well covered the mystery part of the story which should be the main aspect of the story. I wanted these two to simply be best friends.

Another thing is, the story was narrated by Watson. As I‘ve mentioned I find his character flat, so reading from his narrative can be quite flat at times as well. I wanted to read what‘s on Sherlock’s mind. His deductionsand such. I guess, the story told on her POV or even in alternated POV will be much more enjoyable.

Though it took me sometime to finish A Study in Charlotte, being a Sherlock Holmes fan I did enjoy it. It was well written and well-researched. The book fulfilled me but it still left me quite wanting for more. I’m excited to read more about these two.  This is a unique YA adaptation to the classic Sherlock Holmes series. So if you love Sherlock and Watson, give this one a try.


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