Review – A Study in Charlotte


Title: A Study in Charlotte
Series: Charlotte Holmes #1
Author: Brittany Cavallaro
Publication: March 1st 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: YA, Mystery
Pages: 321 pages
Format: Library book
Rating: 4/5

The last thing Jamie 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 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.

A Study in Charlotte is the first in a trilogy.

Shelf it on Goodreads


So here’s the alphabetical run down:


Charlotte’s character definitely lives up to the name Holmes. She is brilliant, extraordinarily observant, and able to assess a situation and pick up on minute details. She also plays the violin and has a drug problem. So for those familiar with Sherlock Holmes, she is a very accurate portrayal.  I feel like the only criticism I have of her character is that she lacks the comic relief that (at least the Robert Downey Jr. version of) Sherlock had. The story being from Watson’s perspective (as per usual) helps, because in this version, you can tell that Jamie really likes Charlotte, so you want to like Charlotte with him. Even so, her character remains more serious and a bit more dark than I expected.

Jamie is actually not portrayed as smart as I would have liked him to be. He doesn’t seem to have any extraordinary talents except that he is in fact a Watson and Charlotte “allows” him to hang out with her. That aside, I grew to really like him throughout the story. He does have a strange habit of having fits of rage, which I didn’t exactly understand, but could be part of the original Watson and I was just unaware.


I like this cover. The color scheme is pretty and the illustrations are detailed without being too busy looking.


I would definitely not categorize this as a romance. There is some romantic tension between Holmes and Watson that may progress during the next book in the series, but the building of their trust and friendship plays the largest role in this book.


I feel like I may have enjoyed this book so much because I have a moderate amount of Sherlock Holmes knowledge, not too much, not too little. I’ve seen both of the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes adaptations and have vague knowledge of the original stories. So I have an appreciation for how accurate Charlotte’s character was to the Sherlockian personality, but I haven’t seen and read so many adaptations that this is just one that gets lost in the shuffle.

I really loved the mystery and was impressed with Cavallaro’s attention to detail and her ability to make the mystery as complex as you would expect from a Sherlock Holmes story.


“I wanted the two of us to be complicated together, to be difficult and interesting and blindingly brilliant.”

“I began wondering if there was some kind of Watsonian guide for the care and keeping of Holmeses.”

“The two of us, we’re the best kind of disaster. Apples and oranges. Well, more like apples and machetes.”


I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I actually went into it not knowing that it was a series, so I’m excited to read more about this version of Holmes and Watson!



8 thoughts on “Review – A Study in Charlotte

  1. I’m like obsessed with Sherlock Holmes lol. In some adaptations, especially if you ever watch the show Sherlock, Holmes has a substance abuse problem and is serious like 99% of the time. He even considers himself a “highly functioning sociopath”. And I think with Jamie’s fit of rage, it relates to his John Watson’s time in the military. At some points, even when Holmes irritated him, he could get violent. I hope that bit of info helps!


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