Brittany Cavallaro’s A Study in Charlotte is an adventurous, suspenseful YA re-telling of Sherlock Holmes that is also frequently insightful and heart-warming.
In this re-telling, the protagonists are two teens who are the descendants of Holmes and Watson. Charlotte Holmes is a well-known detective whose parents send her to a boarding school in the United States as a punishment. She’s also addicted to oxy. Jamie Watson attends the same boarding school for different reasons: presumably a rugby scholarship. He has problems with anger management and romanticizing Holmes and their potential relationship.
These two come together when one and/or both are suspected of murdering their common enemy, an awful student named Lee Dobson. They race to solve the mystery so that their names will be cleared, and so that more students won’t be harmed or killed by the assailant.
The evolution of the relationship between Watson and Holmes is sweet and lovely. As I made clear earlier, both protagonists have issues which threaten the development of their relationship, not to mention the fact that they are teenagers (brilliant teenagers, but still) who are isolated at a boarding school. But I enjoyed reading about how they forged and strengthened their relationship throughout the book; their efforts to trust each other are particularly moving given that at various times they have so few people they can trust.
I didn't grow up as a super-fan of Sherlock Holmes, so perhaps I'm more open to re-tellings than a super-fan would be.
I often think about trying to find more YA fiction, and I just stumbled across this one in my Amazon recommendations. A Study in Charlotte is highly recommended for anyone who wants to read a YA, mystery-thriller, with a will-they-or-won’t-they element. And the Holmes/Watson references are just fun--I would think whether you are a devotee of the original, or not.
Give me that HEA, please.
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