Summary: The last thing sixteen-year-old Jamie Watson–writer and great-great-grandson of the John 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 enigmatic, fiercely independent great-great-granddaughter, who’s inherited not just his genius but also his vices, volatile temperament, and expertly hidden vulnerability. Charlotte has been the object of his fascination for as long as he can remember–but from the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. Then a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Holmes stories, and Jamie and Charlotte become the prime suspects. Convinced they’re being framed, they must race against the police to conduct their own investigation. As danger mounts, it becomes clear that nowhere is safe and the only people they can trust are each other.
This is going to sound hyperbolic, but 5 stars aren’t really enough to explain how much I loved this book. I’ve never been a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes – I mean, he was okay and all – but this book just grabbed me and held me spellbound all the way through.
Before I opened this book, all I knew about it was that it was about Holmes and Watson’s great-great-something-grandchildren, and I assumed that it would be something like “Young Sherlock Holmes” where a pair of lads at a boarding school solve a mystery while rescuing an intriguing girl named Charlotte. (Guess that says something about what previous Sherlock Holmes adaptations have taught me to expect…)
This book is not anything like that. No swooning heroines here.
The first thing you need to know about A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE is that, in the world of the book, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson were 100% real. (Arthur Conan Doyle was Watson’s literary agent.) Now, with the aid of some well-meaning family meddling, their descendants Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson are students at the same Connecticut boarding school. And where a Holmes and Watson go, mystery is sure to follow.
Moody and mercurial are defining Holmes characteristics – HOW has the great detective not been reimagined before as a teenage girl? It’s beyond right. The characters here are fantastic – I want to hang out with them the way I want to hang out with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Charlotte is brilliant, flawed, and utterly, agonizingly human, and Jamie is a wry, appealing, gold-hearted narrator (who, by the way, is also no slouch in the brains department). Together they are incandescent. Sure, there is sexual tension, but it’s so, so much more than that. One of my favorite quotes:
“I wanted the two of us to be complicated together, to be difficult and engrossing and blindingly brilliant. Sex was a commonplace kind of complicated. And nothing about Charlotte Holmes was commonplace.”
Just read it. You won’t regret it.
A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE is out now.
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