Book Review: “A Study in Charlotte” by Brittany Cavallaro

This review is spoiler free!

I’ve been eyeing this novel at my local Barnes and Noble for quite some time. Aside from the stunning cover, the modern twist on the classic Sherlock and Watson stories compelled me to finally add it to my ever growing TBR list.

I’m going to be completely honest. I wanted so badly to love this book entirely, but it turns out that I have a love/hate relationship with it, for several reasons.

The narrative follows Jamie Watson, the great-grandson of John Watson, and Charlotte Holmes, the great-granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes. Crossing paths at their boarding school doesn’t guarantee their friendship, until they’re forced to work together to solve the murders that they’re being framed for.

This fast-paced read kept me on my toes from start to finish. I loved the mystery and the modernism of the classics. I also loved Charlotte’s character and Cavallaro’s depiction of her, including her emotional vulnerability.

However, I did not love Jamie. I mean, I guess I could say that I tolerated him toward the end of the book, but his obsession with Charlotte before ever meeting her was a little strange to me.

This book also tackles some very mature topics. Aside from murder, there’s also drug addiction and rape. The only thing that got on my bad side about Charlotte was her drug usage, in which she follows in Sherlock’s footsteps, even as a teenager. I agree that these topics are important for young adult novels, but this one in particular just felt a little out of place.

Overall, I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

For clarification, I liked the book. I’m looking forward to reading the next one. I just think that it had a lot of potential that led to some minor disappointments. Still, I don’t regret reading it!

Here’s the full synopsis:

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. 

Book Stats:

  1. Genre: YA Contemporary/Mystery

  2. Plot: Sherlock and Holmes return to solve a murder

  3. POV: First person

  4. Cliffhanger: Yes

  5. Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Have you read “A Study in Charlotte”? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

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