Friday, April 29, 2016

Book Review: A Study in Charlotte

TITLE: A Study in Charlotte
Book 1 in the Charlotte Holmes series
AUTHOR: Brittany Cavallaro
PUBLISHED: March 1rst, 2016
GENRE: Mystery
PREMISE: In modern times, the ancestors of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson meet up in a boarding school and must clear their names of murder.
MY REVIEW: I confess, I wasn't expecting much from this book. While I was excited about the idea of a gender-flipped Sherlock Holmes, I was also wary because I read a previous YA book, Lock and Mori that tried to gender-flip Moriarty didn't go well.
But this book did everything Lock and Mori didn't do and it's all the better for it. First, it's not a total retelling. These are ancestors of Holmes and Watson in a world where Holmes and Watson were real. So the characters are not forced to be in the roles of Holmes and Watson. They get to be themselves. It also does not force a romance just because now one of them is a girl. But it also does not ignore the fact that Charlotte is female, so she faces a lot of crap that Sherlock Holmes never faced.
It's also not just a redo of A Study in Scarlet so there are new plot elements and you're actually surprised by the way some things go down. The way the author weaves in details from the original series (that I'm reading through this year, so it's pretty fresh in my mind) is pretty clever. The writing is average, and the pacing could use work, but as a whole, this was a solid debut. The author made it work and I look forward to spending more time with Charlotte.
WHO SHOULD READ: Sherlock Holmes fans, retelling fans, mystery fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five boarding school mysteries needing solving

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