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A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes Trilogy Series #1)

A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes Trilogy Series #1)

4.5 15
by Brittany Cavallaro

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The first book in a witty, suspenseful new trilogy about a brilliant new crime-solving duo: the teen descendants of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. This clever page-turner will appeal to fans of Maureen Johnson and Ally Carter.

Jamie Watson has always been intrigued by Charlotte Holmes; after all, their great-great-great-grandfathers are one of the most


The first book in a witty, suspenseful new trilogy about a brilliant new crime-solving duo: the teen descendants of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. This clever page-turner will appeal to fans of Maureen Johnson and Ally Carter.

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Debut author Cavallaro brings Arthur Conan Doyle’s sleuths (or their distant relatives, anyway) into the 21st century, casting Holmes as a brilliant young woman and Watson, who narrates, as her admirer and accomplice. Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson are descendants of the famous crime-solving duo, each inheriting their forebears’ talents for deduction and bringing murderers to justice. They are students at a Connecticut boarding school, where someone is killing their classmates and framing the two of them as the culprits. Cavallaro gives Charlotte the cold, calculating persona of Holmeses ranging from Doyle’s original to the stars of shows like Sherlock and Elementary, including the tendency toward detailed deductions about people and a drug addiction. This Holmes was sexual assaulted by her now-murdered classmate, but Cavallaro uses the assault as a way to throw suspicion on Holmes as the possible murderer, sidestepping the seriousness of that crime in its own right. This aside, readers will find this to be an involving murder mystery, and a promising start to a planned trilogy. Ages 13–up. Agent: Lana Popovic, Chalberg & Sussman. (Mar.)
“Fans of television’s Elementary and Sherlock will avidly devour this book...a joyous excuse to watch one of the literary world’s most beloved pairings come together.”
Maureen Johnson
“A thrilling twist on a classic. Readers will be pulled in by both the riveting mystery and Charlotte Holmes, a brilliant heroine with secrets of her own.”
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—What if Sherlock Holmes's great-great-great-granddaughter went to boarding school with Dr. Watson's great-great-great-grandson? They might strike up a friendship as sophomores. Charlotte Holmes and James Watson do, at the money-conscious Sherringford, a prep school in Connecticut. Holmes (as she is known) has an analytical, antisocial bent and a bit of a drug problem. Watson, who narrates, has a short fuse and quickly becomes a suspect in a date rapist's murder. Together they begin an investigation, putting their inductive and deductive skills to the test. A familiarity with classic Arthur Conan Doyle tales is helpful, though most references are explained in the story. Both Holmes and Watson are prickly teenagers in a plot that includes poison, explosions, Moriarty's descendant, and a deadly virus. The case wraps up neatly, with the indication that Holmes and Watson will team up again in the near future. This novel presents a dark view of boarding school, with some drinking and other risqué behavior. Suggest to fans of Maggie Stiefvater's "Raven Cycle" series (Scholastic). Slightly younger readers might try Colleen Gleason's "Stoker and Holmes" series (Chronicle), featuring Holmes's niece and Bram Stoker's sister. VERDICT An additional selection for most school libraries.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley Sch., Fort Worth, TX
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2015-11-25
Watson's and Holmes' descendants try to live up to and with their ancestors' legacies in this debut. Stuck at Sherringford, a Connecticut boarding school, Londoner James Watson craves excitement, action, and romance. He tries to vent his rage on the rugby field during practice and hone his writing skills at night—emulating Dr. Watson but aiming to manage his money better—yet lives in hope of befriending classmate (and predestined companion) Charlotte Holmes. Like Sherlock, genius Charlotte plays violin, dabbles in disguises, conducts forensic experiments, and has a weakness for opiates. When a student turns up dead after harassing Holmes and fighting with Watson, and his death scene is staged like "The Adventure of the Speckled Band," Watson and Holmes become both suspects and detectives…and where there's a mystery, there might be Moriartys. While Watson wants to solve the case, he is equally absorbed in decoding enigmatic Charlotte, who is cunning, cruel, and fragile. Although death, drugs, rape, and betrayal make for a grim tale, slapstick humor and wit enliven the story. These sleuths may still be in school—and working out of a supply closet with smartphones—but Cavallaro's crackling dialogue, well-drawn characters, and complicated relationships make this feel like a seamless and sharp renewal of Doyle's series. An explosive mystery featuring a dynamic duo. (Mystery. 14-18)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Charlotte Holmes Trilogy Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.50(d)
HL750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years


Meet the Author

Brittany Cavallaro is a poet, fiction writer, and old-school Sherlockian. She is the author of the poetry collection Girl-King and is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. She earned her BA in literature from Middlebury College and her MFA in poetry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, she’s a PhD candidate in English literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She lives in California with her husband, cat, and collection of deerstalker caps. Find her at her website, www.brittanycavallaro.com, or on Twitter @skippingstones.

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A Study in Charlotte 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Who doesn't love Sherlock Holmes & Dr. Watson....follow a story of their great, great, great, great.......whatever grandchildren stuck in a boarding school in Connecticut. Took me a bit to get into the story, but after the first few chapters things started moving right along. I enjoyed the story and will most likely buy the next story and check out the adventures of Charlotte Holmes & Jamie Watson.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Even though some aspects of of the story could've been more fleshed out, I enjoyed reading this book. I absolutely loved reading this short mystery novel even though some might say it's wish fulfillment
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a retelling of Sherlock Holmes, except that in this universe both Sherlock Holmes and his author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are real, and the storyline follows descendants of Holmes and Watson thrown together seemingly by fate at a prestigious school in Connecticut and then framed for murder. Although Charlotte Holmes is the titular sleuth, the main POV is that of Watson, who besides being recruited for a sport at which he is terrible, finds himself shipped across an ocean in an effort by his mother for him to get to know his estranged father and step family. I saw a book trailer for A Study in Charlotte sometime ago and assumed it was a movie. You can find it here. When I realized it was a novel, I immediately added it to my TBR and eagerly awaited it's release. Not only did the cover speak to me in a decidedly Nancy Drew kind of way, but the characters seemed interesting and I am a person who always loves a good Sherlock Holmes story. The novel was gritty and twisting, and in true Sherlock form, much was left unexplained until the big reveal at the end of the book. Although this frustrated me as I read, it was obvious that Cavallaro was attempting to make it recognizable as the formula of all the Holmes stories. Because a lot of details were saved for the reveal and the story was told form Watson's inexperienced point of view, I had no idea what was going to happen until it did. In this age of technology and surveillance equipment, it seemed odd to me that it took them so long to put all the pieces together, especially when Charlotte had a lot of experience in mystery solving pre-storyline and much of the framework for the case comes from the original Sherlock stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which both Holmes and Watson have read to death. However the turn of events was original enough to be interesting. I was feeling rather meh about the quick wrap-up, I'll be honest. The epilogue, however, provided us with a brief Charlotte POV, which finally had me looking forward to a potential sequel or series and the idea of getting to know Holmes and Watson better as characters as they mature together. I think the storyline could have been a little stronger, but I think the characters will develop themselves further throughout the series, which I believe is going to be a trilogy. This book is definitely on the upper end of YA. It takes all the dark parts of the Holmes family and fits them onto a teenage girl: Depression, unrequited love, alcoholism and drug addiction, sociopathic genius, and ever rising stakes. Add in a rape and a murder and you've got enough material to make Charlotte Holmes a tortured creature. Yet she manages to rise above everything that's happened to her and those around her and focus unwaveringly upon the mystery at hand. Author Brittany Cavallaro had a lot of work to do to rein in a character like that, and I think she did a pretty great job. Curio Street Reads Rating: 3.5 stars www.CurioStreetReads.wordpress.com
pineappletop92 8 days ago
Within the first few pages I was hooked and I wasn't even sure how. Despite the long paragraphs and waxing poetic of Jamie Watson's narrative, it was captivating and mesmerizing in its details and story, as well as the way he captured the essence of the other characters he encountered, as seen through his eyes. The burst of life from said characters snagged my attention from the get-go, with the dynamic between Watson and Holmes being perfectly both like and unlike that of their ancestors, full of ups and downs and imperfections but at the end of the day still each other’s best friend. It's been over a decade (oh my god really?) since I last read any of the Sherlock Holmes' adventures, and while this had me nostalgic for it, it was by far so completely its own story that I did not find myself making too many comparisons, which I loved. The plot was intriguing and had me constantly guessing as I tried to solve the puzzle with the two, and the pace of it was spectacular. Brittany Cavallaro has brought the Watson-Holmes dynamic into a new, modern light in a creative spin on the idea of ‘retelling’ a known story, with characters that feel alive and a plot that had me unable to put it down. I could not stop thinking about Jamie and Charlotte and their relationship with one another, and every hidden mystery that there was to be found and still to learn. 5 stars.
Anonymous 14 days ago
I really enjoyed this story! Lovably flawed main characters, improbable conclusions, and the promise of more to come.
Anonymous 14 days ago
I really enjoyed this story! Lovably flawed main characters, improbable conclusions, and the promise of more to come.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lisa-LostInLiterature More than 1 year ago
When I first saw this cover and synopsis, there was no doubt in my mind that I would be reading this book. First of all, the cover is adorable! Secondly, it takes place in Connecticut! I rarely find books that take place in my home state, so when I do I HAVE to read them. Add in the Sherlock retelling aspects and the the boarding school setting and it was a no-brainer. I'm happy to say that overall I really enjoyed this one! Admittedly, I had a few issues with it... but let's discuss the positives first. I haven't read (or watched) Sherlock, so really I have the bare minimum information that we all have, but none of the specifics. So I can't completely comment on how accurate of a retelling this is. However, I did thoroughly enjoy the Sherlock aspects! And I liked that the genders were reversed in this book. Major points for that!! I also really enjoyed the mystery. I had no idea how this story was going to turn out, and was really pretty shocked once I reached the end. So yes, more major points for that! Now, the few things that kind of irked me. First, the pacing was a tad slow in parts. Not majorly slow where I wanted to put it down, but just slow enough that I was a bit bored and waiting for things to pick back up. I also was a little confused about the timing of the story and the characters being descendants of Sherlock and Watson. The story was stated as being written by Doyle, yet Sherlock and Watson were real people and not fictional characters. This was never addressed, unless I missed it, so I really was a tad lost on that aspect of the story. And lastly, my biggest issue, which is totally a "it's not you, it's me" type of issue. But it's a huge pet peeve of mine when characters have issues, the issues are addressed, yet nothing is ever done in regard to those issues. In this case, Charlotte had a drug problem. It was addressed so that we all knew it was there, yet there were never steps taken to help her resolve this problem. It was just kind of expected that since her ancestors had drug issues, she was bound to also. This bothered me quite a bit. I don't mind when characters are flawed and have their own personal baggage. Let's face it... we all do. But to have the others basically turn their other cheek because it "ran in her family" kind of bothered me. Yes, drug abuse can be genetic, but at least try to help this girl out. Just a little. Please. Overall, this was a very fun mystery that kept me guessing til the end. I just recently noticed that this is actually the first book in a series, which I didn't know before, so I'm eager to see where the next book will take us. (Thanks to Katherine Tegen Books for the review copy!)
Gr8rach More than 1 year ago
Although this book isn't one I'd usually pick up since I'm not an avid reader of mystery novels, the synopsis was too alluring to pass up and I quickly became obsessed with the premise of this novel. I've always had fond memories of Sherlock Holmes. When I was younger I used to watch old black-and-white tv series episodes with my father. I'd feebly attempt to solve the mystery and delight in the fact that I was never right. The eccentricity and pure brilliance of Holmes along with the intricacies of the crimes, the Watson companionship, and the revealing ends left a charmed imprint of Sherlock on my childhood. Throughout this novel, Brittany spreads her love and knowledge of Sherlock Holmes to readers in such a fresh way. I love the idea of Holmes and Watson being real and their descendants solving crimes together. This book balances the line between paying homage to Holmes and also being fresh and original. I especially admired the book's ties to the Sherlock Holmes mysteries and was wildly impressed by how fluid and natural the connections were between Holmes stories and A Study in Charlotte. It's so creative and fun to see how one of the most famous fictional-sleuthing duos is re-imagined as reality. Given how authentic the connections are between this book and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories, it's no surprise that the characterization was perfect. Charlotte mirrors Holmes' quirks and addictions. Her speech and actions are uncannily similar to him, yet she's still her own person. Her insecurities, troubles, and motives are where she really diverges from Holmes, and I'm glad Charlotte wasn't portrayed as a carbon copy of him. Her perceptiveness and reasoning skills are riveting. Her character is so fascinating, and I'm glad this story is told from Watson's point of view which makes her even more mysterious and a better study. Oh my dear Watson! I love Jamie. He's likable and funny and the perfect person to temper Charlotte. I love the evolving relationship between Charlotte and Jamie as we see them learn to trust each other and become so much more. I ship it! That is all I shall say on the matter. The dynamic between Charlotte and Jamie manages to keep up with the golden interactions between Holmes and Watson. The interactions are hilarious and awkward and as strange as you'd expect. Someone is framing Charlotte and Jamie for the death of a student at school in a sick imitation of Holmes' most famous mysteries. As more and more suspicious activities arise, the two team up and attempt to clear their names. I loved how this mystery developed and heightened throughout the book. There are so many twists and turns in the plot, you have no idea who you can trust! The complexity and attention to detail in the plotting of the crimes are creepy yet artfully done. The plotting is pure genius and meticulously planned. I'm in awe of the sheer scope and connections and threads scattered throughout this novel that manage to seamlessly come together at the end. Brittany's writing is stellar and completely absorbing. Her wit and humor shine through in this novel as does her talent for writing. A Study in Charlotte ends fairly resolved, and there are two more books in the series to come! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to see where the newest Holmes and Watson take us next. A Study in Charlotte brings a thrilling plot, spot-on characterization, whip-smart writing, and a puzzling mystery that will keep you guessing until the ve
PrincessicaOfBooks More than 1 year ago
A Guide to Knowing A Book Develop a first impression. ASIC has an absolutely gorgeous cover. As I mentioned in my introduction, I am not a huge Sherlock fan, nor mystery so I did have my doubts about this one. However, there was some hype that went around so I felt I had to pick it up. And oh my goodness, I'm incredibly happy I gave it a chance. In fact, it's on my top ten list of books I read out of my comfort zone. Dissect the characters. I LOVE the characters! Charlotte is so witty, sarcastic, cunning, and deduces people so easily. Obviously, she is my type of gal. She's straight to the point which makes me laugh when you think about her in opposition to Jamie, who is a sweet Romantic. Inevitably, Jamie and Charlotte make the perfect pair and balance each other out. Both are dynamic characters and they are more than their great-great-great-great grandparents (See "Notice the little things" later in this review). Read with an open and pure mind. One thing I liked a lot was that I didn't need to know about Sherlock nor do I have to be a huge fan. Although this is a Sherlock retelling, it's not necessary to know background information on the franchise, except the basics: Sherlock is an investigator, Watson is his partner. In fact, I actually learned more about Sherlock as I read this. Maybe if I was a bigger fan or knew more about Sherlock before diving into ASIC I would've critiqued it harder. But I don't, so I feel that Cavallaro's take on Sherlock is superb and original. I said "That's so cool!!!!" or at least a variation of it when I read ASIC too many times to count. Notice the little things. As I previously mentioned, the characters are incredibly dynamic, especially Charlotte. They aren't their surface characters, if that makes sense. They are these little things about each of them that, together, make the story 100% better. This isn't much of a SPOILER but Charlotte has a drug problem. It was a bit out of the blue and it made the story darker and more real. And Jamie. Oh, my Jamie, my love. He cares so much for her and though that love isn't reciprocated 100% of the time but when it is, it's beautiful and means so much more. But back to Charlotte. Her drug problem coupled with Jamie's intense care made me tear up. Tears of sadness when she went down the hole and tears of joy when she got back up. I need more characters like her. END SPOILER (kinda? Was it even a spoiler?) Know the style. The writing style was absolutely amazing! For one thing, it read as movie. And when books read that smooth, I will almost always give it a four or five star. Weird thing but I read it all in a British accent. I also did the thing where you assign real-life celebrities for each character and I gotta tell ya, doing both really enhances the whole reading experience. Cavallaro is really good at separating each character. Though Jamie is a Romantic, when it was told in his perspective, it showed his personality. I'd like to note: this is not multi POV. At the end though, Charlotte does this mini epilogue on Jamie's journal and it's so cute and made me laugh! By reading in Jamie's POV and then Charlotte's for the last two or three pages, you really get a deeper view into each character respectively. Look at it as a whole. Overall, I enjoyed A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE a lot. It is one of those ARCs that you preorder even though you already read it, because you love it that much. It was fun, put me through the entire spectrum of emotions, and I ca
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brittany Cavallaro's debut, A Study in Charlotte, is simply divine. On the one hand, it's a crackling, modern homage to the Sherlock Holmes oeuvre, with intelligent, wise-cracking teens taking the place of snobbish Holmes and erstwhile Watson. Cavallaro is fully in command of the mystery/detective genre and nimbly tucks those tropes amongst teen fiction tropes: this is also a pretty neat prep-school drama. But what really sold me was, well, you guessed it: Holmes and Watson. Because if your two leads aren't beautiful, tragic, wounded, and too smart for their own good, where's the fun? And: there's a lot of fun. But there's also a hard-hitting commentary on what it's like to be a young woman in a world that's threatened by your intelligence.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
"I'd prefer to think," Holmes said, cutting me off, "that we aren't all so mercilessly bound to our pasts." James Watson dislikes rugby almost as much as he dislikes being sent to the Sherringford boarding school in Connecticut (a mere hour from his estranged father) on a rugby scholarship. The prospect of finally being able to meet Charlotte Holmes is the one bright spot in is trans-Atlantic exile. After years of imagining what meeting Charlotte might be like and how they might become friends, James finds himself face-to-face with the unlikely and insufferable girl. He also finds himself beside her at the top of the list of suspects for the murder of a fellow Sherringford student. Armed with little but deductive reasoning on Charlotte's part and a sharp temper on James', the two follow in the steps of their great-great-great grandfathers' working together to solve the case. Even with solving mysteries in their blood, Charlotte and James will have to learn how to work together and trust each other before they can close their first case in A Study in Charlotte (2016) by Brittany Cavallaro. A Study in Charlotte is the start of a new series and Cavallaro's first YA novel. A Study in Charlotte starts with an interesting premise: What if Holmes and Watson were real people? Instead of writing the stories himself, Arthur Conan Doyle was Watson's literary agent. All of the familiar pieces are still there with the additional baggage of family legacies and descendants. While Cavallaro does some interesting things to update her source material the novel remains, despite Charlotte's hopes to the contrary, bound irrevocably to the past. A Study in Charlotte reads as more of a light retelling than any kind of new spin on this familiar duo. A Study in Charlotte is a charming introduction to the world and wonders of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson but readers more familiar with the original stories (and numerous film adaptations) may well be left wanting more from this tale that stays in familiar territory more often than not. Possible Pairings: Loop by Karen Akins, Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel, The Body in the Woods by April Henry, Every Breath by Ellie Marney, Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty, I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest, Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan, Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt, Never Never by Brianna Shrum, The Space Between Trees by Katie Williams
LW_TYF More than 1 year ago
I’ve only become a real fan of the Sherlock Holmes universe in the past few months. Needless to say, when I heard about Brittany Cavallaro’s A Study In Charlotte, I was beyond excited to read her modern interpretation: A Study in Charlotte features a Holmes and a Watson, but not the ones that Sherlock fans are used to. Instead, we get to learn about Charlotte Holmes and James Watson, both descended from the original Sherlock and Watson respectively. Cavallaro balances her desire to re-imagine the world of Sherlock Holmes with the necessities that come with adapting such a well-known story. In the case of A Study in Charlotte, the story is told through Jamie’s point-of-view. In a nice change of pace, Holmes is (obviously) female, and that brings a new and intriguing relationship between Watson and Holmes. The fact that their relationship starts with the murder of their classmate certainly puts them in a strange place, and luckily for the reader, one that leads to plenty of opportunities for adventure. There is a lot of reference to the original stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, from the murder(s) being based off of Sherlock Holmes stories to Holmes’s quirks (yes, the violin is definitely present. Along with some more potent items). Brittany Cavallaro herself has said that there are many Sherlock easter eggs hidden throughout the novel. So, really, you’re getting two mysteries in one, since Sherlock fans will be reading closely for every hidden detail! A Study in Charlotte will keep you on your toes from the first page to the last. Cavallaro writes a heart-pounding mystery with twists that you definitely won’t see coming. It’s both reminiscent of Arthur Conan Doyle and a fresh and original take on the relationships Holmes and Watson have with their enemies. I definitely recommend checking it out if you like mysteries or you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan. I'm glad this is a start to a trilogy because I'm definitely looking forward to more Charlotte and Jamie.
KathyMacMillan More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Joey. Today is your day. *he walks to the amory to get on good clothes* Red or purple? Red. *he puts on his red suit*