A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes #1) by Brittany Cavallaro

5/5 Stars 
Published by Katherine Tegan Books
Published March 1st, 2016

Synopsis: 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.

*flails* this book was so flippin' awesome. It was everything I needed to get out of this tiny reading slump I didn't even realize I had. From the moment I picked up A Study in Charlotte, I knew I was in for a thrilling adventure and an intriguing murder-mystery. Brittany Cavallaro's writing will capture you with her witty, comedic prose and her fluency with words. The words seemed so effortlessly written, that it attracted your attention with how smooth it was to read over the sentences. I was so impressed by the level of description and imagery used to really depict the landscape and the situations as they unfolded. I love the premise for this story and knew from the first time I heard about this book that it would become one of my favorites. Thank goodness I wasn't let down. It met all of my expectations and surprised me even more than I imagined it would. Alas, I am not a sherlockian, so I don't know how accurate this story was in terms of an adaptation to the original story, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. 
 A Study in Charlotte features an incredibly diverse and complex set of characters, whose motives are not as obvious as they may seem. Jamie Watson, the great great great grandson of the infamous John Watson, is one of the two main protagonists, and was such a blast to read from his perspective. He fills the story with heart and soul, and captures your heart the moment you're introduced to him. Jamie is such a fragile, awkward, and cute boy, that it's so hard not to enjoy his character and cheer him on from the sidelines. His vulnerable character is a stark contrast to Charlotte Holmes and her cunning, striking demeanor. Holmes was an incredibly interesting character with a web of strings that was enthralling to unravel. Though her persona was very straight forward on the outside, on the inside, it was a raging storm, which made her a much darker person than was expected. The way these two compliment each other and work together is unlike any pair of characters I've read about. Holmes and Watson are the definition of dynamic duo.

There were so many good things about this plot line. It had you at the edge of your seat for majority of the book - keeping you guessing and trying to piece together the open ends. I became an active detective in this investigation (feeling a bit like Holmes and Watson myself), because it was just so engaging. It was so much fun, pure fun, to go on this adventure with them and try to discover the answers, pull together the clues, and find the culprit. A Study in Charlotte made me happy by both the inevitably strong friendship that developed between Watson and Holmes, and by the revelation of discovering better parts of yourself through those around you. This mystery was one that tested relationships, trust, and gut instinct, while challenging the mind and body. It involved a variety of important themes including drug use and anger management problems, which made the story all the more relatable and real

A Study in Charlotte met every single one of my expectations, and I am so happy about this. This was a quick, fun read for me, with mystery and adventure on every page. I recommend this to anyone with a knack for mystery and a special love for Sherlock Holmes (I think you should definitely give it a chance). I am thoroughly impressed by the level of storytelling presented to readers in this story, and cannot wait to see how Cavallaro's writing grows between now and the next book - which I am so excited for. This was a fantastic debut!

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