- Paperback: 321 pages
- Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books; Reprint edition (3 January 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062398911
- ISBN-13: 978-0062398918
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2 x 20.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 249 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Study in Charlotte Paperback – 3 Jan 2017
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"Debut author Cavallaro brings Arthur Conan Doyle's sleuths (or their distant relatives, anyway) into the 21st century, casting Holmes as a brilliant young woman and Watson, who narrates, as her admirer and accomplice...An involving murder mystery, and a promising start to a planned trilogy."--Publishers Weekly
"Fans of television's Elementary and Sherlock will avidly devour this book...a joyous excuse to watch one of the literary world's most beloved pairings come together."--Booklist
"Cavallaro's crackling dialogue, well-drawn characters, and complicated relationships make this feel like a seamless and sharp renewal of Doyle's series. An explosive mystery featuring a dynamic duo."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
From the Back Cover
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 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.
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.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
It was interesting, but as another reviewer has said, there are just some elements of the story that I didn't like.
I was down for the teen descendants (if they were real people) meet-up thing, but to be quite blunt - all of the Holmes family seems very dislikable. Sherlock Holmes was prickly and not particularly personable, but not the same vibe for me. I didn't really have an issue with Watson being attracted to Holmes, but that's because they are different people than the originals.
There is a lot of reference to drug use (yes, Holmes had an issue) by teens - especially Charlotte. There's also allusion to one character drugging a female character so he can rape her (no details). Plenty of strong language and teenage rebellion, so I can see where parents might have some concerns.
I liked the whole part where the mysteries were taken out of Holmes' stories, but as Charlotte Holmes herself says, that was the only interesting thing.
There's also a somewhat distracting subplot with Watson and his father having issues.
Bottom line: I don't regret buying it or reading it, but I'll skip the rest of the series..
I didn't like the book, but I didn't hate it. I mean, I appreciate the shipping of John Watson and Sherlock Holmes, especially from the current BBC adaption of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original work. However, there were many things that could have been better executed for this new-younger-modern-version of the dynamic duo. And that's a good thing to say - if there was no hope for this book then I would have said scrap it all, but there's areas of improvement.
1. The narration: Watson is the storyteller in the original series, writing the journeys of his companion and himself, so I understand why Jamie Watson was telling the story this time but... that's another area of improvement to explain why this didn't work. Watson was too much, and not enough. He was too romantic. He was too poetic and detail-oriented on the wrong facts. Any time a book has a single POV, it limits the knowledge of the reader. I understand that is intention most times, because other areas of the book will make up for it. In this case, it lacked. Watson's writing was...hard to describe how it was lackluster, just that he had moments of clarity and good observation skills but choose to ignore obvious signs happening around him in favor of fantasizing about his life-long dream of intimately knowing Charlotte Holmes. Then there were huge amount of moments of self-depreciating soliloquies in his head that we as the reader had to endure and it took away from the Crime oriented part of the book. Which brings me to the next area of improvement.
2. Watson: Watson, Watson, Watson....*sighs* This interpretation of Watson made him such a bull-headed, lovesick, slow-on-the-uptake, homicidal, flimsy-minded teenager with hardly any recognizable traits from the original Watson. He mentions in Chapter 11 of the book of twelve chapters, that he wanted to be a doctor when he was younger and then carries on with the story never mentioning it again. There's no talk of being apart of the Armed Forces, no hint to a tendency to like snacking or having ANOTHER LOVE INTERESTS BESIDES HOLMES! Instead, he wants to write poetry (nothing wrong with that), and he doesn't want to be a Rugby player but he has tons of underlying aggression and anger problems that really needs to be address. Like, he told about three people - THREE!- that he would kill them. Not physically harm them, but kill them. He had murderous thoughts to a few individuals throughout the book. And, I wasn't expecting that, like it was three more times than what I thought was necessary. This is why I was confused about the category this book is suppose to be in, from Watson's narration. It felt like a Romance story that I was not at all prepared for. It was expected to have the Mystery/Thriller theme to it - being a Holmes inspired story, but the YA genre of bumbling youngsters on a new adventure, having doubts to themselves and each other but eventually surviving whatever is thrown their way and falling in love - is very apparent in this book.
I don't like it.
3. The Other Characters: What to know who my favorite characters were, well me too! I can thrown names of side characters that intrigued me but it was probably due to the fact that I like these characters for the lack of info revealed about them. Lena, Mrs. Dunham and - that's it. Detective Shepard and Watson's dad comes next. Holmes was sad. A sad person (which is the irony of being a genius, yes) and was sadly written. Her epilogue at the end of the book was a refreshing and sadly (there goes that word again) short break from Watson suffocating narrative and a well needed sharp contrast to his style of storytelling. I enjoyed her short but to the point summary and tease of the Watson and Holmes adventures.
What I don't like is
4. LACK OF TRIGGER WARNINGS!!!: PUT TRIGGER WARNINGS IN THE BEGINNING OF BOOKS!!! I DON'T CARE IF IT RUINS THE SURPRISE OF THE PLOT OR STORY, PUT TRIGGER WARNINGS IN BOOKS PEOPLE!! I saw the mention of rape turn up too late and couldn't stop the intake of information myself and that disappoints me. My mother wanted to read this book as a testimony to her fan loyalty of Sherlock Holmes, but I'm glad I warned her away because she would have been even more highly disturbed by the plot of this story and we can't have that. I don't know who would be responsible of this at Publishing companies but someone put Trigger Warnings at the beginning of books. Much appreciated.
And lastly 5. Villains: They were flat and the Old-School 'I'm-literally-winning-but-I'll-stop-what-I'm-doing-to-monologue-my-genius-plan-so-there's-a-great-chance-I-will-be-taken-down-right-before-the-end' is what it is: old. The final villain even knew - EVEN KNEW! - this was going to happen but did it anyway. The Mystery/Thriller portion of this tale played itself and I don't believe that true fans of Mystery and Crime-solving fans would highly praise this book.
I actually don't believe real fans of the Holmes original written stories would recommend this book.
Instead, if there were maybe for a chance, Holmes perspective for the narration with Watson, the book can be a little more fluid to read and not so sickeningly narrow and angst filled from Watson. It also give certain readers a chance to tolerate the POVs of the story and read in a shorter sittings than I did. If Watson was more structured and well-developed with a personality that resembles a competent young man that isn't slap happy and wearing blinders that only focus on Sherlock and the comparisons of the fictional Sherlock he day-dreamed about growing up every five seconds. Give him a purpose other to strive in life to be Holmes' shadow. Put Trigger Warnings in the book for weary readers if you must keep in the rape part. Focus the story outwards instead of inwards like in the epilogue Holmes wrote and less of the inner mind trappings of Watson when he's in a Fury Frenzy. The multiple POVs would save that. Give the villains more realistic motives and background story if you plan to write them one.
And, where in the book am I suppose to care about what happens next? Is there an incentive hidden somewhere in the book that I am suppose to salivate for that must be uncovered in the next installment?
This Mystery/Romance/Fanfiction/YA book wrapped itself in a pretty but uncoordinated bow.