A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Rating: 4 out of 5.

*Disclaimer: This review may contain spoilers. All thoughts and opinions are my own, my preferences may be different to yours. Please keep that in mind.


Jamie Watson has always been intrigued by Charlotte Holmes; after all, their great-great-great-grandfathers are one of the most infamous pairs in history. But the Holmes family has always been odd, and Charlotte is no exception. She’s inherited Sherlock’s volatility and some of his vices—and when Jamie and Charlotte end up at the same Connecticut boarding school, Charlotte makes it clear she’s not looking for friends.

But when a student they both have a history with dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

-From HarperCollins Publishers


I am usually wary of adaptations or variations on original characters and stories. I sometimes find that while the stories themselves were good, there is just always something just a little off that makes me not love it as much as the original. I did not find that to be the case here. The fact that Cavallaro didn’t just have their main characters be younger versions of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson but rather descendants of them… I am a fan.

I wanna start with the main characters. James Watson and Charlotte Holmes had one very… interesting first meeting/ introduction. I actually found it to be a really confusing. It felt as if Watson didn’t know how he felt about Holmes. If it was some weird infatuation because of family history or if it was just admiration or if he did have a crush on her. I felt that it read all over the place. Maybe that was Cavallaro’s intention. I don’t know.

The movement of the plot also seemed a little rushed to me. Like everything started rolling within the first chapter. And I honestly didn’t mind. They didn’t drag it all out till half the book was over. Okay, maybe it is quick but who cares. Cavallaro does a fantastic job on building not only the case but also the characters, setting and solution that I honestly didn’t see coming.

So let’s get into the characters a little more in depth… Charlotte Holmes. Is very likeable but dislikeable. She is presented as young and strong and powerful and smart. She can do all the deductions and all that but, at least in the beginning, she seems to jump to conclusions. Yes, based of her deductions but still. She is also a little bit of a bitch. But I think that’s a perfect characterization for a Holmes.

For her counterpart Watson, James, he still does a sort of good job of balancing out Holmes’s eccentricities and rudeness. He calls her out on her B.S. but still gives her room to be herself. He has a bit of a temper that tends to get him in trouble but is honest and kind.

Their relationship is hesitantly formed following the death of someone they both extremely disliked, a member of Watson’s rugby team. Who was an all-round nasty piece of trash. They have this instant connection that they can’t ignore. Which probably comes from their families history. They have the back and forth snappy quips. And yeah it does happen almost instantly but it feels very natural. It wasn’t forced and it wasn’t just dumped in for the sake of having it.

And eventually their relationship does turn romantic. Because of course it would. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of that chance if you could. I’m not opposed to this. I am usually really fond of some sort of romance. It doesn’t hurt the story in the slightest like it does in some stories.

And lord! The details, the connection to the original stories! It’s just wow. It made me so happy and like giggly when I saw that. But then Cavallaro took it one step further and continues another storyline very integral to the original Holmes stories. Which I shall leave for you to work out, hehe.

Obviously, Cavallaro doesn’t just pick one Sherlock Holmes story to pull from. There are multiple. And another attempted murder… or two.

The last thing I want to talk about is the character development of Charlotte Holmes. I enjoyed that there was some change but not like any extreme changes or none at all. Cavallaro managed to find a balance.

Final Thoughts:

As an avid reader and fan of the original Sherlock Holmes stories who owns every story ever written (I think) and has watched many of the tv and movie adaptations I was hesitantly optimistic about this story. And I wasn’t disappointed.

I am giving it a 4 out of 5 cups of tea. It is the first of four in the series of Charlotte Holmes and James (Jaime) Watson. I feel like there were missed opportunities with the Holmes/Watson relationship. Like I said previously, It didn’t hurt the story. And I am not opposed to it at all, but I think there was an opportunity to just have them be friends instead of romantic partners or maybe something else.

Overall, this novel by Brittany Cavallaro was very well written. The plot, characters and setting were very enticing and easy to get emmersed into.

I hope you enjoyed todays post! There are three more in this series and I am looking forward to seeing the next adventure these two get up to. If you’ve read A Study in Charlotte let me know in the comments below. And as always, if you have any recommendations don’t hesistate to share.


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