Review: A Study in Charlotte / by Madeleine

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There's nothing better than receiving a good book for Christmas. Kudos to my bestie, Allie, for finding one that was totally in my wheelhouse and one that I hadn't yet heard of. A Study in Charlotte is the first in a (relatively) new series featuring the descendants of two of my favorite literary characters. In this, Jamie Watson wins a rugby scholarship to a prestigious prep school in Connecticut, where he discovers that the descendant of Sherlock Holmes - his own ancestor's infamous crime-solving partner - also attends the school. Charlotte Holmes is a notoriously aloof student, who dabbles in hard drugs and has a fully-outfitted lab hidden in a maintenance closet. Jamie and Charlotte fall quickly into a deep friendship, but when a fellow student turns up dead, the duo realize that they're being framed for his murder. Suddenly Jamie's childhood daydreams of solving crimes with Charlotte Holmes seem foolish compared to the very real danger that faces them now.

I've mentioned here before that I don't often read young adult literature, but I loved this book. Cavallaro stuck closely to the canon when writing, so elements like the Holmes' feud with the Moriarty family are included but with an extra creative twist. My only hang-up was Charlotte's drug use because, while canonically correct, I hate to think about young adults seeing drug use semi-glorified in literature. I follow pretty much all forms of Sherlock Holmes -- whether it be literature or television -- so I enjoyed reading this in anticipation of the new season of Sherlock from BBC. I even pre-ordered the second in the series, which is scheduled to come out on Valentine's Day and I can't wait to continue following these characters.

Bottom Line Rating: 4/5


  • Title: A Study in Charlotte
  • Author: Brittany Cavallaro
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books, 2016
  • Price:  $11 on Amazon
  • ISBN: 0062398903
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Source: Gift / Personal Library