Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Review: A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes, #1)
Title:  A Study in Charlotte
Author: Brittany Cavallaro
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publishing Date: March 1st 2016
Pages: 336
Genre: Mystery Thriller/Retelling
Series:  Charlotte Holmes #1
Source: Audio

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.
I have just recently read my first Sherlock Holmes book, A Study in Scarlet, and was quite impressed. I heard its not his best so I am excited that I liked it and the rest will get even better. I have noticed a ton of Holmes retellings coming out and I was very excited about this one. I love the title... Great play on the first Homes book, I love the cover. Simple but beautiful. I love the idea that its not a modern retelling but the story of descendants. I was super excited. Oh then it came out on audio. YAY. So I started it on the ARC and finished it on the audio. Loved the audio, loved the story, loved the characters, loved the mystery. It was pretty fantastic. 

James Watson is sent to a boarding school in america, Charlotte Holmes is sent to the same boarding school in America. They have never met but they are aware of each other their family's history. They meet. Watson is intrigued by Holmes, Holmes is not intrigued by Watson. They have some words and sort of hang out then they are framed for a murder. So they investigate said murder together to clear their names and find the real killer. The real killer is using the original Holmes and Watson cases as groundwork and of course this makes it all the more interesting. Of course they put themselves in mortal danger along the way, form a strong friendship, and solve the mystery. 

I really really liked this book. I have a few things negative but really not really. The pace was a bit off at times.... but it could have been me being distracted. The characters were a bit difficult in the very beginning to get attached too. Especially Charlotte Holmes... but once I knew them better I loved them. So those are my only negatives. So on to the good stuff. 

So the murder was fascinating. The clues were cool. The entire dectecive aspect was really awesome. I was way into and I had my suspicions but really I didn't think on it too hard because I wanted to just enjoy the story. I didn't want to figure it out until I was supposed to and that is how it happened for me. Generally I am itching to figure it out but I just didn't want to in this story. I wanted to follow their line of thoughts. It was fun really. Like I said fascinating. The writing was pretty awesome. It felt like modern but also had a hint of old school detective writing in the style. I enjoyed that element very much. 

The characters were something else. I really liked James. He was pretty laid back... sometimes a bit whiny for a guy but I forgave him. He had this made up world in his head where he and Charlotte would be like the first Watson and Holmes. He seemed pretty delusional but really that is how it happened to work out. Despite what Charlotte wanted. In the end Holmes needed Watson like always and that is what turned Charlotte from not wanting anything to do with James to really just wanting him around as a true friend. This is quite unusual for her too. She doesn't like people. 

James was a nice guy, trusting, willing to help. Charlotte was so the opposite. Screwed up, addicted to drugs, really uncaring and selfish. Sounds familiar right. Well she had a pretty hard time in life at home and at this school. It all comes out and I really just felt bad for. It was great that James and his father really showed her what friendship, trust, loyalty was all about. 

The story behind the story. The friendship and how it started and grew. The inside out of each character. Their flaws and strengths and lives is what brought the book to life for me. The mystrery was good for sure. Just how I like my mysteries to be... this one was... but the other parts of the story made it more real for me.... emotional and real. 

The narrator of this book made the audio so much fun too. I liked him and I think I will enjoy more from him.

I loved it and can't wait for the next book. 

Brittany CavallaroBrittany Cavallaro is a poet, fiction writer, and old school Sherlockian. She is the author of the poetry collection Girl-King (University of Akron) and is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. She earned her BA in literature from Middlebury College and her MFA in poetry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, she's a PhD candidate in English literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she teaches creative writing, detective fiction, and lots of other things. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, cat, and collection of deerstalker caps. Find her at her website,, or on Twitter @skippingstones.


  1. This one has been receiving a lot of mixed reviews and I wasn't sure about it, but I'm interested after reading your review. It's usually hard for me to enjoy a book if I can't connect with the characters, but I do love the sound of the murder mystery and how real the book felt.
    Glad you enjoyed it so much! :)
    Great review!

    1. It was hard at first to connect but eventually i really connected. Once I did I was in love with the characters. They are just well Sherlock- kind of cold and Watson... kind of obsessed with Sherlock. So it takes a bit but I did get there.

  2. I've been hearing mixed things (mainly from hardcore fans though) so I might like it more, like you, because I haven't even read any Sherlock, ha. Definitely would like the characters though, they sound amazing, especially Charlott, because you get to see so much growth, and I love when characters who don't trust slowly start to trust someone. :)


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