×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

A Study In Scarlet Women
     

A Study In Scarlet Women

4.4 11
by Sherry Thomas
 

See All Formats & Editions

An NPR Best Book of 2016

USA Today bestselling author Sherry Thomas turns the story of the renowned Sherlock Holmes upside down…
 
With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social

Overview

An NPR Best Book of 2016

USA Today bestselling author Sherry Thomas turns the story of the renowned Sherlock Holmes upside down…
 
With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London.
 
When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her.

But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
08/22/2016
Charlotte Holmes, the independent-minded, upper-class heroine of this promising series launch set in 1886 England from Thomas (My Beautiful Enemy), has no wish to be married off like her older sisters and relegated to second-class status for the rest of her life. Charlotte’s choice to lose her virginity to a married man leads to her banishment from her family’s country house. She settles in London, where she uses her gift for “discernment” to provide helpful guidance to the police under the alias Sherlock Holmes. She writes to the coroner overseeing the inquest for aristocrat Harrington Sackville to suggest that Sackville’s apparent overdose of chloral is connected to the deaths of two of his relatives who expired shortly before he did, each of apparently natural causes. That communiqué brings Scotland Yard into the case and affords Charlotte an opportunity to exercise her skills on a complex mystery. Those looking for a very different Sherlockian lead will be rewarded. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Praise for A Study in Scarlet Women

"Clever historical details and a top-shelf mystery add to the winning appeal of this first volume in the “Lady Sherlock” series. A must-read for fans of historical mysteries."—Library Journal (starred review)

“RITA Award–winning romance writer Thomas has come up with a completely new, brilliantly conceived take on the iconic detective. She not only offers some clever changes to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s cherished cast of characters, she also delivers a plot worthy of the master at his best.”—Booklist

“Clever and absorbing. Thomas’s gorgeous prose and expert characterizations shine in this new incarnation of Sherlock Holmes. Readers will wait with baited breath to discover how Thomas will skillfully weave in each aspect of the Sherlockian canon, and devour the pages to learn how the mystery unfolds.”—Anna Lee Huber, National Bestselling Author of the Lady Darby Mysteries

“Gender bending is just the first sign that unusual happenings are afoot in this origin story for a revamped Sherlock Holmes series by bestselling author Thomas...There is also a tantalizing, slow-burn love story between Holmes and a longtime friend befitting Thomas' skills as a romance novelist....The ground has been laid well for future incidents in the professional and intimate life of Charlotte Holmes.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Author Sherry Thomas didn’t just insert Charlotte into Sherlock’s area of expertise, she made a character completely different from the well-known man. Cute and blonde, Charlotte doesn’t have Sherlock’s scorn for everyone. And because she is a lady in Victorian England, Charlotte has to be creative in her investigation in order to preserve the illusion of Sherlock Holmes to the man on the street and the police. The various characters introduced are quite interesting and the plotlines are great. This is the first in the new Lady Sherlock series, and if this is any clue, Charlotte and her continuing adventures will be thrilling to read.”—Suspense Magazine

"Sherry Thomas is a master of her craft, and A Study in Scarlet Women is an unqualified success: brilliantly executed, beautifully written, and magnificently original – I want the next volume now!"—Tasha Alexander, New York Times Bestselling Author of A Terrible Beauty

More Praise for Sherry Thomas and her Novels

 
“Sherry Thomas has done the impossible and crafted a fresh, exciting new version of Sherlock Holmes. From the carefully plotted twists to the elegant turns of phrase, A Study in Scarlet Women is a splendid addition to Holmes’s world. This book is everything I hoped it would be, and the next adventure cannot come too soon!”—Deanna Raybourn, New York Times bestselling author 

“Sherry Thomas…is a rebel, a rule-breaker, and, above all, a romantic…[Her] writing is nothing short of a revelation.”—Lisa Kleypas, New York Times bestselling author
 
“Thomas is known for a lush style…[and] transporting prose even as [she] delivers on heat and emotion and a well-earned happily ever after.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Ravishingly sinful, intelligent, and addictive.”—Eloisa James, New York Times bestselling author

Library Journal
★ 11/01/2016
Miss Charlotte Holmes has never quite felt comfortable with her aristocratic origins. With the aid of a few compatriots and a brilliant mind, Charlotte is about to "reinvent herself as master sleuth Mr. Sherlock Holmes." Two-time RITA Award—winning romance author Thomas has turned the story of the beloved investigator on its head while keeping the details on point. (LJ 10/15/16)
Kirkus Review
2016-07-28
What if the word’s most famous (and eccentric) Victorian detective were a young gentlewoman in the midst of a scandal?Gender bending is just the first sign that unusual happenings are afoot in this origin story for a revamped Sherlock Holmes series by bestselling author Thomas (The Perilous Sea, 2015, etc.). The novel begins in 1886 England with the foreshadowing of a suspicious death, but the incident is only one of many seemingly unrelated events that form a pattern over the succeeding chapters. Weaving them together is amateur sleuth Charlotte Holmes, who is also an inadvertent participant in them due to a social catastrophe she precipitated for personal reasons. The novel is peopled with characters who warm the reader with a glow of recognition—Watson, Lestrade, Mycroft, and Moriarty all appear in some form—but Thomas also imbues them with personalized histories and characteristics. Holmes herself is cast in the mold of the recent television incarnations of Conan Doyle’s savant as well as Deanna Raybourn’s detectives, Lady Julia Grey and Veronica Speedwell—with an added devotion to food that lends her an unexpected charm. There is also a tantalizing, slow-burn love story between Holmes and a longtime friend befitting Thomas' skills as a romance novelist. The mystery itself is conducted long distance and through a trick necessitated by the gender-flipping; while competently handled, its intricacy is less gripping than the gradual reveal of a new Holmes-ian world and its inhabitants. The ground has been laid well for future incidents in the professional and intimate life of Charlotte Holmes. For fans of etiquette-flouting heroines who desire truth while being true to their desires—gastronomic, romantic, and cerebral.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425281406
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/18/2016
Series:
Lady Sherlock Series , #1
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
32,987
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Read an Excerpt

***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected copy proof***

Copyright © 2016 Sherry Thomas

Prologue

Devonshire, England

1886

Had anyone told the Honorable Harrington Sackville that the investigation into his death would make the name Sherlock Holmes known throughout the land, Mr. Sackville would have scoffed.

He had never heard of Sherlock Holmes. But more importantly, he despised the idea of death. Of his death, to be precise—others could die as they wished.

He loathed old age almost as much: that long, vile decline into helplessness halted only by the final breath, falling like a guillotine blade.

And yet his reflection in the mirror made it increasingly difficult to tell himself that he was still a young man. He remained a fit man, a handsome man, but the skin beneath his jaw sagged. Deep grooves cut into the sides of his mouth. Even his eyelids drooped, heavy from the passage of time.

Fear hooked through him, cold and sharp. Every man was afraid of something. For him, death had long loomed as the ultimate terror. A darkness with fangs.

He turned away from the mirror—and the unwelcome thoughts that always simmered these days a scant inch beneath the surface. It was summer. The glow of twilight suffused the house. From his perch on the headlands, the bay blazed with the flame of the setting sun. A hint of salt fragranced the breeze that meandered in; the top note of that perfumed air was tuberose, bulbs of which he had imported from Grasse, in the south of France.

But a storm was coming; inky clouds gathered at the edge of the sky . . .

He inhaled deeply. No, he must not let his mind wander to shadowy places. Recent weeks had been difficult—the events in London particularly distressing—but in time things would improve. He still had many good years left to relish life, and to laugh at death and its still distant grasp.

No premonitions crossed his mind that death was to have him by morning.

But have him it would—and the last laugh.

Chapter 1

London

On the day Mr. Harrington Sackville met his darkness with fangs, certain parties in the know were bracing for—and eagerly anticipating—a major scandal involving the youngest member of the Holmes family.

Lord Ingram Ashburton did not share in their anticipation. The idea that such a catastrophe could come to pass had haunted him for days. He did not yet know that Holmes was already doomed, but a sense of dread had been growing in him, a tumorlike weight on his lungs.

He stared at the envelope on the desk before him.

Mr. Sherlock Holmes,

General Post Office,

St. Martin’s Le Grand,

London.

Any idiot could see the frustration that seethed with every stroke of the pen—at several places the nib had nearly torn through the linen paper.

The writing on the note next to the envelope was equally agitated.

Holmes,

Don’t.

And if you must, not with Roger Shrewsbury. You will regret it relentlessly.

For once in your life, listen to me.

He dropped his forehead into his left palm. It would be no use. Holmes would do as Holmes pleased, carried along on that blitheness born of extraordinary ability and favorable circumstances.

Until disaster strikes.

You don’t need to let it happen, said a voice inside him. You step in. You give Holmes what Holmes wants.

And then what? Then I carry on and pretend it never happened?

He stared out of the open window. His unimpeded view of the sky appeared as if seen through a lens that had been smudged with a grimy finger—a polluted blue, a fine day for London. Peals of irrepressible mirth rose from the small park below—his children’s laughter, a sound that would have brought a smile to his face on any other day.

He picked up his pen.

Do not do anything without first consulting me again.

Please.

Was he acquiescing? Was he jettisoning all caution—and all principle as well?

He sealed the unsigned letter in the envelope and walked out of his book-lined study, envelope in pocket. He was scheduled to give an archeological lecture in the evening. But first he wanted to spend some time with his daughter and son, rambunctious children at the peak of their happy innocence.

After that he would decide whether to post the letter or to consign it to the fire, like the dozen others that had preceded it.

The front door opened and in came his wife.

“Afternoon, madam,” he said politely.

“My lord.” She nodded, a strange little smile on her face. “I see you have not heard about what happened to your favorite lady.”

“My favorite lady is my daughter. Is anything the matter with her?”

He kept his voice cool, but he couldn’t stop the hair on the back of his neck from standing up: Lady Ingram was not talking about their child.

“Lucinda is well. I refer to . . .” Her lips curled with disdain. “I refer to Holmes. Your Holmes.”

“How dare you humiliate me this way?” Mrs. Shrewsbury rained down blows on her husband. “How dare you?”

The painted French fan, folded up, made for a surprisingly potent weapon—a cross between a bolt of silk and a police baton. Roger Shrewsbury whimpered.

He didn’t understand the way her mind worked.

Very well, he had committed an unforgivable error: The night before he’d been so drunk he mistook his wife for Mimi, his mistress, and told the wife what he was going to do this afternoon with Charlotte Holmes. But if Mrs. Shrewsbury hadn’t wanted him to deflower Miss Holmes, why hadn’t she smacked him then and there and forbidden him to do anything of the sort? Or she could have gone ’round to Miss Holmes’s and slapped her for not having a higher regard for her hymen.

Instead she had mustered a regiment of sisters, cousins, and friends, set his mother at the helm of the entire enterprise, and stormed the Bastille just as he settled into Miss Holmes. So how could she accuse him of humiliating her, when she was the one who had made sure that a good dozen other women saw her husband in flagrante delicto?

He knew better than to give voice to his thoughts. After twenty-six years as Lady Shrewsbury’s son and three as Anne Shrewsbury’s husband, he’d learned that he was always wrong. The less he said, the better.

The missus continued to hit him. He wrapped his arms around his head, made himself as small as possible, and tried to disappear into a nice memory, a time and a place in which he wasn’t a bounder twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five days a year.

Lady Shrewsbury frowned mightily at the young woman who sat opposite her in the brougham. Charlotte Holmes was still, her face pale but composed.

Eerily composed, given she was now ruined beyond repair.

So composed that Lady Shrewsbury, who had been prepared for any amount of hysterical sobbing and frantic pleas, was beginning to feel rattled—a sensation she hadn’t experienced in years.

Lady Shrewsbury had been the one to throw a sheet over the girl. She had then ordered her son to go home with his wife, and the rest of the women to disperse. Miss Holmes had not trembled in a corner, her hands over her face. Nor had she stared numbly at the floor. Instead she had watched the goings-on as if she were a mere bystander, one whose own fate had not in the least taken an unthinkable turn. As Roger was shoved out by his wife, Miss Holmes glanced at him, without anger, loathing, or any reflection of his helplessness.

It had been a sympathetic and apologetic look, the kind the ringleader of a gang of unruly children might give one of her followers, after she had got the latter into unlimited trouble.

Lady Shrewsbury had fully expected this bravado to disintegrate once the others had gone. She was famous for her sternness. Roger, whenever he found himself alone with her, perspired even when she hadn’t planned to inquire into what he had been doing with himself of late.

But her formidableness had no effect on Charlotte Holmes. When the gaggle of eyewitnesses departed to spread the salacious story in drawing rooms all over London, Miss Holmes, instead of dissolving into tears, dressed and ordered a considerable tea service.

Then, under Lady Shrewsbury’s increasingly incredulous gaze, she proceeded to polish off a plate of plum cake, a plate of cherry tartlets, and a plate of sardine and toast. All without saying a single word, or even acknowledging Lady Shrewsbury’s presence.

Lady Shrewsbury controlled her vexation. Silence was one of her greatest weapons and she would not be goaded into abandoning that strategic advantage. Alas, her magnificent silence had no effect on Charlotte Holmes, who dined as if she were a queen and Lady Shrewsbury a lowly lackey, not worthy of even a spare glance.

When the girl was ready to leave, she simply walked out, forcing Lady Shrewsbury to catch up. Again, as if she weren’t a strict moral guardian escorting a fallen woman to her consequences, but a simpleminded maid scampering behind her mistress.

The silence continued in the brougham. Miss Holmes studied the carriages that clogged the street—shiny, lacquered town coaches jostling for space amidst long queues of hansom cabs. From time to time her gaze fell on Lady Shrewsbury and Lady Shrewsbury had the distinct sensation that of the two of them, Miss Holmes considered Lady Shrewsbury the far stranger specimen.

“Have you nothing to say for yourself?” she snapped, unable to stand the silence another second.

“For myself, no,” Charlotte Holmes said softly. “But I hope you will not be too harsh on Roger. He is not to blame for this.”

Inspector Robert Treadles of the Metropolitan Police always enjoyed an outing to Burlington House, especially to attend Lord Ingram’s lectures. They had met via a shared ardor for archeology—Lord Ingram had sponsored Treadles’s entry into the London Society of Antiquaries, in fact.

But this evening his friend was not himself.

To the casual observer, his lordship would seem to command the Society of Antiquaries’s meeting room, thorough in his knowledge, eloquent in his presentation, and deft with a touch of dry humor—his comparison of the ancient family strife caused by variation in size and ornateness of each member’s jeweled brooches with the modern jealousy aroused by the handsomeness of a sibling’s new brougham drew peals of laughter from the audience.

To Inspector Treadles, however, Lord Ingram’s delivery had little of its usual élan. It was a struggle. A futile struggle, moreover: Sisyphus pushing that enormous boulder up the hill, knowing that it would roll away from him near the top, condemning him to start all over again, ad infinitum.

What could be the matter? Lord Ingram was the scion of a ducal family, an Old Etonian, and one of the finest polo players in the world. Of course Inspector Treadles knew that no one’s existence was perfect behind closed doors, but whatever turbulence Lord Ingram navigated in his private life had never before been made visible in his public demeanor.

After the lecture, after the throng of admirers had dispersed, the two men met in a book-lined nook of the society’s soaring library.

“I’d hoped we could dine together, Inspector,” said Lord Ingram. “But I’m afraid I must take leave of you very soon.”

Treadles was both disappointed and relieved—he didn’t think he would be able to offer Lord Ingram much consolation, in the latter’s current state.

“I hope your family is well,” he said.

“They are, thank you. I’m obliged to pay a call on short notice, that is all.” Lord Ingram’s words were calm, yet there was a hollowness to his tone. “I trust we shall have the pleasure of a more leisurely meeting in the not too distant future.”

“Certainly, my lord.”

Inspector Treadles did not mean to delay his friend, but at that moment he remembered his other purpose for being at Burlington House this evening. “If it isn’t too much trouble, sir, may I ask you to convey a note to Holmes? I’m most grateful for his assistance on the Arkwright case and wrote a few lines to that effect.”

“I am afraid that would be impossible.”

Inspector Treadles almost took a step back at his friend’s expression: a flare of anger that bordered on wrath.

“I understand that you are engaged this evening, my lord,” Treadles explained hesitantly. “My note requires no haste and needs be relayed only at your lordship’s convenience.”

“I’m afraid I didn’t make myself clear,” said Lord Ingram. All hints of rage had left his countenance. His eyes were blank, the set of his jaw hard. “I can’t—nor can anyone else—convey any notes to Holmes. Not anymore.”

“I—I don’t—that is—” Treadles stuttered. “Has something terrible happened?”

Lord Ingram’s jaw worked. “Yes, something terrible.”

“When?”

“Today.”

Inspector Treadles blinked. “Is . . . is Holmes still alive?”

“Yes.”

“Thank goodness. Then we haven’t lost him completely.”

“But we have,” said Lord Ingram, slowly, inexorably. “Holmes may be alive, but the fact remains that Holmes is now completely beyond my reach.”

Treadles’s confusion burgeoned further, but he understood that no more details would be forthcoming. “I’m exceedingly sorry to hear that.”

“As am I, to be the bearer of such news.” Lord Ingram’s voice was low, almost inaudible.

Treadles left Burlington House in a daze, hounded by dozens of unhappy conjectures. Had Holmes leaped from a perilous height armed with nothing but an unreliable parachute? Had he been conducting explosive experiments at home? Or had his brilliant but restless mind driven him to seduce the wrong woman, culminating in an illegal duel and a bullet lodged somewhere debilitating but not instantly lethal?

What had happened to the elusive and extraordinary Sherlock Holmes?

Such a tragedy.

Such a waste.

Such a shame.

Meet the Author

USA Today bestseller Sherry Thomas is one of the most acclaimed historical romance authors writing today, winning the RITA Award two years running and appearing on innumerable "Best of the Year" lists, including those of Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, Dear Author, and All About Romance. Her novels include My Beautiful Enemy and The Luckiest Lady in London. A Study in Scarlet Women is the first in the Lady Sherlock Series.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

A Study In Scarlet Women 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous 29 days ago
Always love her books - they never disappoint!
Anonymous 5 months ago
Very good mystery with Sherlock Holmes played by Charlotte Holmes. Interesting characters and action throughout.
dibbylodd 6 months ago
The recent interest in all things "Sherlock" has led to some very interesting stories. This is certainly one. Making good use of the societal restrictions applied by gender at the time, we are offered a marvelous look at what one very intelligent and resourceful young woman does to guarantee her freedom. It is well thought out and equally well written. The characters are engaging. I look forward to further adventures of Sherlock and Watson.
srbSH 6 months ago
Sherry Thomas playing against type succeeds with her female Sherlock Holmes. Ms. Thomas' cast of characters in A Study in Scarlet Women are: Charlotte Holmes aka Sherlock Holmes, cherubic looking with big blue eyes and blonde curls and a sweet tooth to match; her eldest sister Livia Holmes; Lord Ingram Ashburton, Charlotte's/Sherlock's friend and confidant; Mrs Watson aka Mrs. Hudson, Charlotte's benefactress; Inspector Robert Treadles.BACKGROUND: The mysterious, eccentric Sherlock Holmes has already established his reputation for solving intricate, puzzling crimes via Lord Ashurton acting as intermediary with Inspector Treadles. Charlotte, who has received her fair share of marriage proposals has no desire to marry. But when her parents pressure her to do so, she takes drastic action to render herself unsuitable by arranging a tryst with a former suitor. They are caught in flagrante delicto by the rake's wife and mother, Lady Shrewsbury, and Charlotte is immediately shunned by London's society. Charlotte leaves the Holmes houshold to find work elsewhere. ACTION: The hale and hearty Lady Shrewsbury suddenly dies. Is it murder? If so, the prime suspect is Livia who was overheard threatening her. There are also other sudden deaths that Charlotte reads about in the newspapers: One Mr. Harrington Sackville of Stanwell Moot and one Lady Amelia Drummond. To distract the police from Livia, Sherlock Holmes writes an open letter to the coroner who examined Mr. Sackville's body that points out the similarities in all three deaths and suggests that there are connections in time and social connections of all three that should not be ignored. Inspector Treadles is on the case. SOLUTION: Read on to find out "who dunnit". Ms. Thomas's talents writing in this genre are remarkable.
traci6276 7 months ago
Sherry Thomas took me back to another era and turned Sherlock Holmes on his—or rather, her—head. And try as I might, I couldn't solve the mystery. It's no wonder A Study in Scarlet Women was named one of NPR's Best Books of 2016. I look forward to the next book in the series. Extraordinary, my dear Watson!
Samantha1020 11 months ago
I adored my time reading this book! There is just something about historical mysteries that I love. Add in Sherlock Holmes but with a twist and you have a book that I couldn't help but enjoy. I mean changing Sherlock Homes into Lady Sherlock is just brilliant in my opinion. It allows for the author to really explore what it means to be a woman during this time period and an exceptional one at that. Charlotte Holmes is one of the most unique characters that I've ever had the pleasure to read about. She more than likely would be considered to be a prodigy in this day and age, but as she is a woman during this time period she is just considered to be a bit unusual. Her father humors her more than anything and no one expects her to do anything outside of social norms. Despite expectations, Charlotte makes choices throughout this book that no one expects and it is these choices that lead her to take control of her own life. I loved every minute of it! She was such an amazing character to read about and I really could not get enough of her. When you then mix in an exceptionally good mystery, you have a wonderful read! I loved the way this book was broken up into almost two parts. One that focused on Charlotte and the challenges that she was facing and another on the actual police investigation. I honestly didn't even prefer one story line over the other as I found them both to be intriguing. I never was able to figure out the mystery on my own but was left surprised by the ending. It was just a really great mystery that was made even better by the wonderful characters that this author created. I finished this one and was almost sad to see it end. The only thing that makes it better is that it looks like this is the beginning of a series so I have more to look forward to! I cannot wait! On a side note, I think that this cover is so completely well done. How could you not want to pick up this book based off of that gorgeous cover alone? Overall, I really enjoyed this book and was left very excited about this series! If this is only the first book, I can only imagine what this author will come up with next. Charlotte is a character that I won't forget about anytime soon. I'm so glad that I didn't wait to read this one. I actually decided to read it based off of a tweet on Twitter. It was a great choice on my part so thanks to the book community yet again! I would recommend this book to mystery fans especially, but really I think that this is a book that anyone could enjoy! Highly recommended! Bottom Line: This book is as good as it looks! Read it! Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts I am in a quandary about this book. As a Sherlock Holmes fan I thought I would love this story. As a fan of Anna Lee Huber I love historical mysteries where the usual man’s part is played by a women so I should have loved this story. But this book started at a super slow pace to help us get to know Charlotte Holmes and something about her just felt off. After some thought I pinned it down to her behavior. She is very clever and has that Holmes insight but she doesn’t think her actions through which put her in places she didn’t need to be. She has a gift but was very unsure of herself at times, thankfully she found her Watson to help her out and guide her. The mystery itself seemed complex, but introduced almost too many characters to keep straight and it is told from multiple points of view. This is not a quick read, you need to slow down to be sure you catch each detail and realize which character is telling the story at the time. It jumps around a lot without much rhyme or reason. At times I felt we were reading the story of Inspector Treadles, instead of the story of Charlotte Holmes. Sad to say he didn’t really grab a hold of my either. It doesn’t help that Charlotte was investigating 3 separate deaths and trying to determine and convince Treadles how they were connected. Charlotte’s sister was the character that did grab me but she wasn’t present in the book as much as I would have liked. She came across as very genuine to me. The ending was a bit of a surprise but I wanted more, the case was wrapped up for me in a way that made no sense, especially after the time put into the investigation. As I reflect back I think the problem is something many first books in a series have, the endeavor of introducing the characters and giving readers a mystery we can sink our teeth into. I think the author just tried to cram too much into this first installment. I needed their to be less characters and more about those that remain and maybe just one death to get more acclimated to our new Holmes. That being said I may want to read book #2, but if it was available today I wouldn’t be rushing out to purchase it. Now that I know the characters a bit and after some time has passed I may be ready for another escapade with Miss Holmes, her family and her friends. This seems to be this accomplished author’s first stab into the mystery genre, I do have confidence she will find her way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very Good
BeesKneesBookishKorner More than 1 year ago
*Originally posted at The Bees Knees Bookish Korner **This ARC was given to me by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This was an entertaining read. It had a very Sherlockian feel to it with added feminist twist. Sherry Thomas was vastly clever in her retelling of Sherlock and let’s face it, this is a story that has been retold by many authors in varying ways over the decades. I would think it would be a daunting task to not only take on such a revered story but to try and put any originality to it but Thomas succeeds. For the most part, all of the characters are well-developed, interesting, and three dimensional. The “but” in this is that I wish Thomas would have put a little more time into Charlotte’s love interest or not have given her one at all. It almost felt superfluous to the story. I’m thrilled that this is the first book in a series. However, reading this as an ARC, I’m going to have a verrrry long wait for the next installment.
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Charlotte Holmes is a very bright woman who is highly observant of minuscule details that escape the normal person. She’s determined not to marry and just wants to get some education and become head of a school. That just doesn’t fit in with her Victorian world but she couldn’t care less. When her father changes his mind and denies her the dream of a future, she causes a scandal and runs away. Surprisingly, she hasn’t realized her dire situation, even though she thinks about what it means, until she’s almost out of money and can’t get a job because of her scandalous reputation that has quickly spread around London. Meanwhile, three deaths occur close to her home and her sister and family are blamed, bringing complete ostracism from society. Charlotte is determined to get to the bottom of the deaths! Eventually Charlotte, her friend Lord Ingram and Inspector Robert Treadles, take her advice, supposedly given by the “real” Sherlock Holmes, a step at a time and the reader will be shocked at the eventual outcome. Meanwhile, a new friend who has reached out to Charlotte suggests she advertise her skills of “discernment” and make that her career to earn the money she needs. Lo and behold, she is stunned by the number of requests she receives, and her sharp-mindedness and intuitive sense guide many a riddle or crime into satisfactory solutions. What is quite interesting is that solving the death of the three supposedly unrelated characters turns out to be not only clever but a bit anticlimactic. What keeps the story moving is a budding romance between Charlotte and Lord Ingram, the latter of whom has a few secrets of his own associated with “watching over” Charlotte. This very much fits in the with the noble Victorian mores of never allowing a woman to be left alone in danger but introduces a few hints of Charlotte missing the boat and thus introducing a wee lack of credibility on her part. Charlotte is an enigmatic character indeed! On the one hand, she’s definitely got the “Sherlock” clues in hand; yet she can be incredibly naïve about her own circumstances. Certainly, she has a prodigious appetite which she guides only by observing whether she’s coming close to a double chin or more. One senses that other appetites will develop now that she and Lord Ingram may, should fortune favor them so, become closer. However, that’s a problem that will have to await another novel in the series. All in all, A Study in Scarlet Women… is a good read that will please may fans of mystery fiction.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas Book One of the Lady Sherlock series Publisher: Berkley Publication Date: October 18, 2016 Rating: 4 stars Source: eARC from NetGalley Summary (from Goodreads): With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London. When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her. But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind. What I Liked: When I first saw this, I was curious, because I've read some of Sherry Thomas's books in the past, and really enjoyed them. She writes adult historical romance, Young Adult fantasy, and now alternate historical fiction! Such a wide range of fiction to write. And Thomas has not let readers down, in any genre or age level! I'm counting this as my Pili-Pushed recommendation of August! To see all of my Pili-Pushed reviews, click on the "Pili Pushed" tag on my blog! Charlotte Holmes has a brilliant mind and excellent memory, and it has always set her apart. She isn't interested in catching a husband and maintaining a household - she wants independence. To achieve her independence, she does something ghastly, and she runs away, as a result. Now on the streets, Charlotte is faced with the harsh reality of being a woman with no references, no experience, and no education. But when three deaths occur, two of which involving her sister and father, Charlotte knows she must do something to cast the blame elsewhere. She knows her family is innocent. Sherlock Holmes is born, a mastermind problem-solver, and it is up to Holmes to solve the mystery of the three murders. I liked Charlotte - she's so clever and observant, it's almost bizarre! At first I was furious at The Thing she did that turned society against her - how could she do something like that? But I came to really respect her decision, and who she involved, and why it needed to happen. I wish it had happened some other way, but you have to admit, it was... well thought-out. Charlotte - Sherlock - is brilliant and thinks of just about everything. At times I wondered if she felt human emotions like everyone else, but Charlotte is just as human as anyone else. Other characters worth mentioning - Mrs. Watson, Inspector Treadles, Lord Ingram, Livia. Mrs. Watson takes in Charlotte as a lady's maid, but she's more than meets the eye. In fact, Charlotte doesn't know certain things about Mrs. Watson until the very end of the book. Inspector Treadles is put in charge of investigating the Sackville death (one of the three), the one not indirectly related to the Holmes family. Treadles is quite intelligent in his own regard, and I love how sweet he is with his wife. Lord Ingram is a rich and powerful lord, married to a haughty, cold woman who is estranged from him, and has two children. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)