Friday, March 4, 2016

Me on A Study in Charlotte

Title: A Study in Charlotte
Author: Brittany Cavallaro
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books (HarperCollins imprint)

The last thing sixteen-year-old Jamie Watson–writer and great-great-grandson of the John 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 enigmatic, fiercely independent great-great-granddaughter, who's inherited not just his genius but also his vices, volatile temperament, and expertly hidden vulnerability. Charlotte has been the object of his fascination for as long as he can remember–but from the moment they meet, there's a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. Then a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Holmes stories, and Jamie and Charlotte become the prime suspects. Convinced they're being framed, they must race against the police to conduct their own investigation. As danger mounts, it becomes clear that nowhere is safe and the only people they can trust are each other.

A Study in Charlotte is a rich mystery that brings the skill of Holmes and the humanity of Watson to the modern world in an uptight prep school setting.

Jamie. Or Watson, as Holmes often calls him. He's a little fanciful, a little lonely. He's looking for something. What he finds is Charlotte Holmes, a curious girl who investigates crimes, speaks rather matter-of-factly, and throws herself headfirst into dangerous situations. Before they meet, Jamie sees her as something magical, something impossible but real, considering the number of newspaper articles with her name in them. He once pictured them on adventures, just like the Holmes and Watson of old. But then he meets her, then he talks to her, then he learns about her vices (hardcore drugs) and her family situation (sending her off to America for school) and her secrets, and he realizes that she might actually be human. Even with the excellent deductive reasoning and the plots and plans. As Charlotte is only ever shown through Jamie's eyes, the reader only sees so much. Which is probably for the best.

The mystery. The clues. The investigation. It was all interesting, at times quick and others slow. The ways in which things happen as time goes by. The moments of discovery interspersed with moments of insanity, of lucidity, of boredom, of anger and arguing, and of melancholic musing. The plot and the rising tension worked well together, the mystery uncovered piece by piece until the exciting end.

I was interested in the story, in the mystery and the investigation of who the killer was. In the growing relationship between Watson and Holmes. It's hard to like Holmes, as it often it when the character appears in literature and on screen. Holmes can be hard, harsh, unfeeling, and a drug addict, which is how Holmes is here. As smart and as investigative as she is, she has her vices and her stubborn qualities. I would definitely suggest that Holmes fans and mystery fans check this book out.

(I received an advance copy of this title from another blogger/reviewer.)

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