A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro | Book Review

10:00 AM Ally M.G. 0 Comments


“‘But tonight I'll go alone. You're about as stealthy as a lame elephant. See you later.’ She patted me on the shoulder and took off down the path, leaving me behind, both charmed and insulted. The side effects of hanging around Charlotte Holmes.”

“A Study in Charlotte” by Brittany Cavallaro is a modern twist on the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson (or at least their descendants). It is a thrilling adventure where readers will be pulled into the mystery of Charlotte Holmes.

James Watson was forced to move to a boarding school in Connecticut after earning a scholarship for rugby. There he meets Charlotte Holmes, the great-great-great-granddaughter of the famous Sherlock Holmes — a girl he used to dream up going on adventures with. When a rival student with suspicious connections to the Sherlock Holmes stories mysteriously dies , the pair decide to work together to solve the case and clear their name.

“The two of us, we're the best kind of disaster. Apples and oranges. Well, more like apples and machetes.”

Ms. Cavallaro’s fast paced story and quirky dialogue is able to replicate the atmosphere and the sensation of the well-known Holmes and Watson adventures. There is suspense, mystery, shock,  agitation, and relief.

“A Study in Charlotte” is told through the perspective of James, as he is trying to adjust moving to the middle of nowhere and near the father he is upset with. We get an insight of what it is to be young, frustrated, and scared with everything that can happen in one’s life. 

Fans of shows like Elementary and Sherlock, will be captivated by Ms. Holmes — a genius and violin player, who performs forensic experiments with a volatile temperament and a slight drug addiction, just like her famous grandfather. However, unlike Sherlock, she has a more human side to her —  filled with emotions she continuously tries to repress.

This novel is not a re-telling of the old classic, but a what-if future where the Holmes, Watson, and Moriarty all kept the essence of their famous relatives in a modern society. Ms. Cavallaro creates a beautiful what-if scenario of a younger super sleuth duo, with well-known Sherlock Holmes plots weaved into the narrative.

“We weren't Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. I was ok with that, I thought. We had things they didn't, too. Like electricity, and refrigerators. And Mario Kart.” 

While “A Study in Charlotte” is a YA novel , it is not a romance novel. It is about a fateful friendship that is brought to light as these two characters complement each other.

Ms. Cavallaro’s writing is fresh, fast, and gripping. Her characters are well-drawn and developed, and secondary characters are equally as important to the narrative as the main sleuthing duo. This is a book you will pick up, get gripped, and not want to put down.

My Rating: 4.5/5

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