I have never read any of the Sherlock Holmes books and I was never into the various television shows or movies either. So it surprised me that I wanted to read this book. It didn’t seem like something that would normally pique my interest but sometimes it is best to get out of your comfort zone.
A Study in Charlotte follows the ancestors of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. It is from the perspective of Jamie Watson, the great-great-great-grandson of John Watson. He has just been transferred to a private school in Connecticut on a rugby scholarship. It turns out that a fellow student that the school is Charlotte Holmes, the great-great-great-granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes. Jamie is not surprised that she has inherited the brains and temper of the detective. Their first meeting does not go as well as Jamie had always imagined it would. But when a student ends up murdered on campus and they are framed for it Jamie and Charlotte must work together to clear their names before they end up in jail or dead.
When I started this book I had expected the book to be from Charlotte’s point of view and was surprised to find it from Jamie’s perspective. I did realize that it made sense for it to be from his perspective. One whole aspect of the book was for it to be about solving the mystery and Charlotte’s character was supposed to be excellent at figuring out mysteries. If it had been from her perspective the mystery would probably not have been as mysterious. I ended up enjoying it from Jamie’s perspective because I liked seeing Charlotte from someone else’s eyes. I think if the book had been from her point of view she wouldn’t have been such an interesting character. Part of her charm was how Jame viewed her.
At the end of the book there is a two page chapter from Charlotte’s perspective commenting on everything that happened in the book. I enjoyed that short little peak inside her brain and I hope that Cavallaro does the same thing in the sequel. I liked that the entire book was from Jamie’s perspective and then at the end you got a little insight into the mysterious Charlotte Holmes.
The book was darker than I expected. This could be because I was not familiar with the classic Sherlock Holmes stories though. I had expected it to be a serious book since a murder mystery was involved but there were a lot of other dark topics mentioned in the book that came as a surprise to me. That being said there were some humorous parts of the book as well.
I appreciated that romance wasn’t the focus of the book. There is a romance story line hiding under everything but it wasn’t the main point of the book. Instead Cavallaro focused on their friendship first. She didn’t make them instantly fall in love. She had them build a friendship first and that felt more realistic so I liked that.
Overall, the book was a great story even for someone who isn’t familiar with the original stories. I think people who are really familiar with the Sherlock Holmes world would really enjoy this book. I look forward to reading the sequel.
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