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A Study In Scarlet Women (The Lady Sherlock Series) by [Thomas, Sherry]
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A Study In Scarlet Women (The Lady Sherlock Series) Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 334 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description

An NPR Best Book of 2016

USA Today
bestselling author Sherry Thomas turns the story of the renowned Sherlock Holmes upside down…

 
With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London.
 
When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her.

But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1324 KB
  • Print Length: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (18 October 2016)
  • Sold by: Penguin US
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01ASO6JIY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #48,303 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Die-hard Conan Doyle fans are unlikely to shower Sherry Thomas' A Study in Scarlet Women with exuberant praise. I understand. I am not a fan of the gazillion Pride and Prejudice imitations. (Most I have read have irritated me beyond belief.)
I read Doyle decades ago and always found Holmes fascinating, albeit the sort of smugly superior upper-crust Englishman I wouldn't want to know personally. Although I enjoyed them, I have never been tempted to re-read the Doyle stories and find the recent Benedict Cumberbatch TV depictions mannered and boring. And yet I loved Thomas' story. I would want to meet her Sherlock Holmes. Despite her being from the British gentry of the Victorian era, I would definitely want to meet her.
Some die-hard Thomas fans may be disappointed with A Study in Scarlet Women. I agree that it is not in the style of her previous works and, to an extent, I regret that. I will be surprised, for example, if the upcoming series ever delivers the romantic intensity of her earlier works - but, hopefully, the laugh will be on me, and I will be surprised.
In any event, authors can't keep regurgitating the same storylines and characterisations (and even the same sort of angst) and stay ahead of the pack. And Thomas has always, in my view, either been way ahead of the HR pack, or firmly ensconced with the leaders.
So I applaud her move to create a female Sherlock Holmes. I loved the story, the missives, the main mystery, the two sisters (Charlotte and Olivia - and, in the future, maybe Bernadine?) Lord Ingram (Ash), the many side characters and the many mini-mysteries.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 126 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original but familiar 7 November 2016
By lindsayb - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For the first half of this book I really couldn't see the Sherlock connection at all, apart from the pseudonym. I found it an engaging mystery story in its own right, but I felt it had been misrepresented as 'genderbent Sherlock.'

But about halfway through things started to come together, and by the end I was squealing with glee at each reveal. Charlotte manages to be her own character, while still retaining some of the qualities of the classic Sherlock (there are also a few sly nods to the original, and their differences). Other characters also seem both familiar and also refreshingly new. I loved that several other characters also received the gender swap treatment, while others are preserved with some slight tweaks.

The mystery was engaging, and while I didn't see the twist coming, it made me grin once I realized. It manages to keep the spirit of the original case without being completely predictable.

Overall this was a very enjoyable and very quick read. I'm glad it is a series, because I'm looking forward to spending a lot more time with these characters.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What If Sherlock Holmes was a Woman in Victorian England? 26 November 2016
By Sheila M - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"Holmes's mind has always been a thing of beauty."

"Holmes wants only an occupied mind. Everything else is secondary."

FINAL DECISION: An intriguing book which is uneven in parts and not as mystery intense as I expected but which turns the Sherlock Holmes mythology on its head in a fascinating way. This book clearly is setting up future stories which I have much potential. I can't wait to see how this series develops.

THE STORY: Charlotte Holmes is a woman with a unique brain who doesn't fit in a society that only values a woman's looks, marital prospects and breeding potential. Charlotte plans her own ruination to gain her freedom and independence.

OPINION: What would happen if Sherlock Holmes was a young woman in Victorian England? That is the question this book begin with. This is Sherlock's origin story and as such is much more focused on the characters and the setup of the series rather than being devoted to the mystery. There is enough mystery here for interest but the focus is on how Charlotte truly becomes Sherlock Holmes

Charlotte is an incredibly intelligent woman who is out of step with the roles allowed women in Victorian England. She miscalculates in trying to determine her own fate which leaves her vulnerable in ways she didn't expect. While her unorthodox behavior and way of looking at the world initially makes her difficult to know, it is clear that she does have feelings even though she wishes to think them away. Her relationships are what bring out her humanity.

Livia is Charlotte's older sister cares deeply for Charlotte and her devotion is returned. Livia has taken care of her sister and when Charlotte is on her own, her sister fears for her. Charlotte realizes that her situation has damaged her sister and works to repair the situation. The ending leaves interesting possibilities for Livia's future.

Lord Ingram is Charlotte's romantic interest although the two have a long history together and he is now married. There is clearly something between these two that compels them together even though they do not have a future. Ingram operates as an intermediary for Charlotte in her investigations.

Inspector Treadles and his wife Alice are a genuinely happy couple. Treadles is the police investigator who seeks assistance from Holmes and is also given information by Holmes. He is married above his station and works with Sherlock Holmes in an attempt to better his professional prospects. Treades and his wife operate as a truly happy couple amongst all the disfunction.

I enjoyed this book because the series has a great deal of promise. There are some slow points in the book and I don't think the mystery is as well integrated or as interesting in its solution as I would have hoped. I think that now that the parameters of the series have been outlined, however, there is much to look forward to.

WORTH MENTIONING: This series is intended to be an ongoing one. The mystery is resolved but there are numerous overarching character stories which remain unresolved.

CONNECTED BOOKS: A STUDY IN SCARLET WOMEN is the first book in the Lady Sherlock series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Can't Wait for the Next Book! 19 October 2016
By Judge Tabor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a big Sherry Thomas fan and her book Not Quite a Husband is one of my all time favorites. In this most recent book, which is apparently the first book in a new detective series, our heroine is totally unique. Any description I could give of her persona wouldn't do her justice. Charlotte Holmes is a genius with a memory and insight into people and situations that are best described as out of this world. She didn't speak a full sentence until she was four years old but her lack of speech was not indicative of a lack of genius.

In truth, this book hit me in a personal way that was quite unexpected. I have two grandchildren - stunningly beautiful teen-age girls who were diagnosed with autism when they were ages 3 and 5. Their delayed speech and the eventual unveiling of amazing gifts in certain areas such as memory and music gave me personal insight into Charlotte, even in one area that was so lacking - that being the set of filtering skills that are so necessary to navigate through the levels of Society and relate in what is often considered a "normal" and acceptable manner to others.

Leaving aside the personal, Charlotte was simply unlike any type of heroine I've read about in this genre. During the first few pages, we are thrown into a much different scenario and type of behavior than one would expect from a heroine during the Victorian era. I won't give away the happenings in the first few pages, but the end result is that our unique girl winds up leaving home and setting out to try and make a life for herself rather than be banished to the outback of Society in a small cottage. Charlotte does have some friends, including her sister, Olivia, who is her bosom bud. We soon learn that she has another friend - that would be a gentleman who is introduced to us as Lord Ingram Ashburton, however, since he is married, he surely can't be her love interest, can he?

If you're looking for a lovely romantic story, it's simply not going to happen in this first book. For the first 62% of the book, few clues are given about Charlotte's and Ingram's relationship. This may not please some readers. They've known one another for years and years, but there's very little about their relationship in this book. I suspect their relationship will be built upon during the next books in the series with parts of their past slowly revealed. Rather, this story deals primarily with Charlotte's amazing gifts that will pave the way for her to be the perfect person to eventually be set up as "Sherlock Holmes" - Sherlock replacing "Charlotte" because in that day and age, the world wasn't ready to accept a female in the role of a detective.

Suffice it to say there is a mystery to be solved - one involving three deaths that at first appear to be unrelated. When it becomes obvious that Olivia might be accused of having something to do with one of the murders, Charlotte decides she must communicate certain questions and insights about the deaths of the three people that would appear to indicate the deaths are related on some level. To do this, she writes a letter to the coroner and outlines her thoughts, signing the note as "Sherlock Holmes" resulting in everyone wondering exactly who Mr. Holmes is.

The storyline spends a fair amount of time fleshing out the characters that are certain to be prominent in future stories, including the introduction to the woman who will be Holmes' sidekick, Mrs. Watson. The person to whom the clues are sent is an Investigator Treadwell - again, his character is fully fleshed out with details about his marriage, his background, even his clothing to the point, we feel as though we really do know this gentleman and his wife - obviously a saint of a woman who married down, but loves her husband.

The underlying story behind the murders is an ugly one that I won't go into in this review. I actually felt as though the main investigation headed up by Treadwell with Holmes providing continuing helpful insight, was a little slow moving for much of the book. Nevertheless, there was a lot of groundwork to build upon if the series is to be successful and indeed, we have a great start in this first book.

If you're not a fan of "whodunit" types of stories, this book may not work for you. In fact, although I'm a huge fan of the Sebastian St. Cyr / Captain Lacey / Lady Julia Grey books, this series will add an element none of those series have - that being a female protagonist who has nearly superhuman abilities relative to memory, recall and level of genius.

**Spoilerish** I had a couple of difficulties with the storyline for which I will not take away any stars. The premise that the love interest for Charlotte is a married man that she has obviously encouraged in the past and in the present in unacceptable ways, troubled me because I personally believe this type of behavior is dishonest and dishonorable. One other thing that is shocking within the first few pages, is the behavior that Charlotte engaged in that resulted in her having to leave home. Once certain aspects of her character are revealed, her behavior is understood - not condoned by me, but I understood her persona better which allowed me to give her more grace. I know, I know I sound like a prude, but there it is. I dislike my heroine to be involved with a married man, although to Ingram's credit, he refuses to be involved with her in that way at least in this book with one exception. As for Charlotte, well she doesn't look at life through the acceptable filters of Society which in many ways is vastly appealing, but not in matters of honor.

I loved the book. I look forward to more.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so anyone expecting something hot and steamy will be disappointed. But if you enjoy great writing and a ... 24 October 2016
By BayGirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There's a certain kind of hangover that comes from finishing one of Sherry Thomas' books. It's that awful craving for more when more is months away! This is not a romance, so anyone expecting something hot and steamy will be disappointed. But if you enjoy great writing and a captivating story line this will hit the spot. The retelling of Sherlock Holmes is really enjoyable. I am curious where she will take this series, and to learn more of the history between the characters. Looking forward to the next one!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book 30 October 2016
By Valerie A Kader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love regency romances, so I've read all of this author's prior books in the genre. I've liked some and loved some. I also love the Sherlock Holmes stories, old and new. Put them together, and I was eager to read this book. And it didn't disappoint - I liked it. The heroine, Miss Charlotte Holmes, AKA Sherlock, was compelling - pretty, fantastically smart, and intrepid, although she was written in a way that kept her a bit distant from the reader. The hero, if there was one, was Lord Ingram Ashburton, and he was very compelling - handsome and loyal. They had good chemistry; there just wasn't enough of it to suit me. The storyline was complex and entertaining, as expected. Overall, a good book, and I look forward to the next one in the series!