Friday, April 28, 2017

[Review] A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
Series: Charlotte Holmes #1
Version: Hardcover
Rating: 3.5 stars

Published: March 1st 2016

Goodreads Synopsis:
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.

A Study in Charlotte imagines a world where the greatest detective duo of all time, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, had descendants, and those descendants landed up at the same private boarding school in Connecticut Sherringford.

Meet Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes, following in their predecessors' footsteps and are solving cases of murder and clearing their names.

So I wasn't sure how I felt about this book right until the midway point. I was still trying to wrap my head around the strangeness of it all. I wasn't sure if the tone of the book was supposed to be serious or funny, and it confused me at points. This is probably because I am not well versed in Holmes's mysteries, and knowing Holmes and Watson as characters in their original works would have gotten me accustomed to Jamie and Charlotte's strange quirks (Charlotte doing oxy, for instance). And how they hit it off and got close to each other so quickly! (The Watson to her Holmes) So, all in all, this part was definitely slower than the rest of the novel.

Once we hit the middle, that was where the action began, and things started picking up. I started to enjoy the banter and interaction between Charlotte and Jamie a lot more. As cold as Charlotte tends to be, she does indeed care about Jamie, and vice versa (except Jamie may care a bit too much). It's also very humorous from time to time.
"Do you think, if I set fire to the maths building -"
"But -"
"Still no. Why won't you help me with this poem," I asked, an attempt to derail her. 
Now, I had an idea of who the villain/suspect was from the beginning, but the way they were revealed was a load of fun on its own. There's a load of spy-tingling suspense in the novel, and seeing our main characters do all these undercover/discreet missions had be flipping pages relentlessly. It wasn't obvious how the reveal would be done, but when motives where explained and histories were brought up, it was a pleasant surprise.

It was also enjoyable that we read from Jamie's POV. While I would have wanted to hear all of the thoughts going on in Charlotte's head, Jamie's POV provided a new, fresh perspective on Sherlock and the mysteries in general. I wouldn't mind some inclusion of Charlotte's perspective, thought.

Hopefully our duo is up to more hijinks and mystery in the sequel!

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