A Study in Charlotte
by Brittany Cavallaro
Katharine Tegen Books, 2016. 321 pages. Young Adult
This isn’t your typical re-imagining of Sherlock Holmes and Watson as teenagers. Instead Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson are the respective great-great-great grandchildren of the famous crime-solving duo. Though aware of each other’s existence, Charlotte and Jamie meet for the first time after each is sent to Sherrington, a private boarding school in Connecticut. Jamie is fascinated by Charlotte, who like Sherlock, is a brilliant genius who plays the violin, conducts scientific experiments, and dabbles with drugs.
When a student turns up dead after assaulting Charlotte and later fighting with Jamie, both become suspects in his murder. However, Charlotte begins to suspect they are being set up when she realizes the death has been staged like the famous Sherlock Holmes novel, The Adventure of the Speckled Band. To clear their names, Charlotte and Jamie must begin an investigation, putting their deductive skills to the test and very lives at risk.
Fans of Arthur Conan Doyle’s original work and its adaptations will enjoy the many references to the original writings and a plot that includes poison, explosions, a deadly virus, and of course a possible connection to Moriarty’s descendant. However, be warned that there are some gritty topics such as drugs, rape, and death that make for a grim tale at times.