Book Review: A Study in Charlotte

A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes #1) by Brittany Cavallaro

3/5 stars ***

                                                                                                Courtesy: Kobo

Premise- (3/5) I'm always down for a good murder mystery, and I do quite like Sherlock Holmes. I've never seen it modernized before, at least in print, so I was very curious, especially since Jamie and Charlotte were marketed as descendants of Watson and Holmes rather than the actual personas themselves. I will say, in hindsight, I feel like the premise didn't actually exactly match the story, but it did grab my interest. 

Characters- (3/5) I have some mixed feelings about the characters. Starting with Jamie: I liked him and found him very sweet, although something about the romance rubbed me sort of wrong. Charlotte: I liked her, but I felt she was a little uncannily similar to Sherlock considering that she was just a many-greats granddaughter. Cavallaro chose to give her almost all of the same vices and habits that the original Holmes had, which seemed a touch odd to me. I did very much like the villain and as for August, I'm...curious to see how that will play out in the next book. I really hope Cavallaro steers clear of a Charlotte-August romance though because that makes me very uncomfortable. Jamie and Charlotte's relationship was a bit push and pull. On one hand, I liked their banter, their dialogue, and appreciated the tension between their characters. On the other, I didn't feel like they always solved that tension in a healthy manner or truly dealt with it, but I suppose there's room for that in future books. Also, I am very curious for more Milo-Charlotte interaction. 

Plot- (3.5/5) As I said, I really liked the main villain and plot; it all came together fairly nicely in the end. I wish more had been done with the original Holmes stories and the way they played into the main plot though. It was fairly convoluted, which left me with the same 'smacked in the face with a solution that seems very obvious once it's pointed out' feeling I get from original Holmes stories and Agatha Christie novels. Sometimes pacing was a little weird, but overall well executed. 

World- (2.5/5) I gotta be honest, I do think the way the book functions, that the Watson/Holmes/Moriarty families all just acknowledge the existence of the Sherlock Holmes stories was a little weird. We didn't get to see too much of Sherringford, but it was a fairly typical boarding school setting I guess. 

Writing- (3/5) I liked the Watson-Holmes quips quite a bit and found the plot pretty well done, as I said. However, some of the relationship stuff sat weirdly with me and I did have a couple moments of 'really?' disbelief. Still, an easy quick read. 

Overall- (3/5) There was a lot packed into this book and maybe for that reason, I didn't always feel like everything was adequately addressed. However, the fast-paced story kept me turning pages and I enjoyed our main crime-solving duo. I think I would've enjoyed more original-Holmes-related plot elements and less original-Holmes-related character traits, but I will be keeping an eye out for the next book in the series. 

Content Warnings: Drug use and addiction, rape and sexual harassment, murder, divorce, emotionally distant parents