Review | A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Goodreads Summary: 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 is the first in a trilogy.

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

My Thoughts: I’m a little split on this book. I enjoyed it, but I had problems with it, technically speaking (in other words, I had problems, but the story wasn’t problematic, just to clear that up). In the end I had to settle on a three star rating.

The book jumps into the plot right away and I really liked that. Right from the get go, we’re introduced to our main characters and the mystery begins. Speaking of the characters, I came to love them very easily. They were fun to follow and I found myself getting invested in their story as they wormed their way into my heart. I also found the story really entertaining.It was quick and easy and just a really fun time. However! I did have a lot of technical issues with the book.

The mystery element seemed too easy.Not that it was obvious (to me) who did it, but the “deductions” seemed more like assumptions and obvious answers to easy questions. Watson and Holmes’s being suspected of murder isn’t so much a fact but a assumption and there’s not much founding to it (in other words, Watson was seen fighting the dead boy a few days prior and the police man gave him the side eye so he freaked out and was like “OMG! They suspect me!” Then Charlotte comes along and is like, “I didn’t like the dead boy either, so they must suspect me too!”). This makes the foundation of the mystery kind of shaky.

More than mystery, this book focuses on establishing who our two main characters are and their relationship with each other. This, however, is undermined by the fact that Jamie and Charlotte are thinly veiled mirrors of the original Watson and Holmes, down to the fact that Jamie wants to be a writer and Charlotte is a drug addicted, alchoholic violinist. This seemed like a cop out on characterization. Instead of being given a bit more personality and originality, the characters were made to be mirror images of their inspirations.

The book is written simply, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. The pro: the book was easy to read. The con: those who enjoy style and voice will be irked to find that there really isn’t much in this book.

ALL OF THIS BEING SAID! Despite my quibbles with this book on a technical level, in terms of entertainment, I actually very much enjoyed the book. It was fun, albeit simplistic, and I did get invested in the characters. There were light moments, but there was plenty of dark heavy stuff, especially towards the end, and I appreciated the mix. I will be continuing on with the series because I believe it has great potential and I hope to see Cavallaro’s writing strengthen, improve, and grow as we go along. I can’t wait to see where Watson and Holmes go from here.

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Lila is a 27-year-old college student studying physics and a lover of literature. When she's not busy reading or saving the world through science, Lila can be found singing jazz and blues and obsessing over hedgehogs (a.k.a. the cutest animals in the multiverse!)

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