An Iconic Duo Reimagined: A Study in Charlotte

Hello my pandas! I know its been a while, and I’ve all but disappeared, but it’s a new year, right? That means I’m going to make more of an effort to plan things out, to be more active, just to do more stuff in the bookish community. (Also, I’m sorry but from now on I’m calling you guys my “pandas” so that it’s more “on-brand.” You’re welcome.) Anyway, today is apparently the release of another season of Sherlock, and while I haven’t watched any of it, or even read any of the original stories, I thought a different Sherlock retelling might be a good place to start. 

Jamie does not want a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, the Connecticut prep school merely an hour away from his estranged father. Even more complicated, Charlotte Holmes, the great-great-great granddaughter of the famous Sherlock Holmes, has inherited not only his genius but his volatile temperament (and a few other vices.) And she goes to Sherringford as well. From what Jamie’s heard about her, it might be best to admire her from a distance. When they first meet, the tension between them crackles and rivalry may be extremely likely. However, when a student dies in a method ripped straight from the original Sherlock stories, they have no choice but to become allies. The pair is being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But the danger grows bigger and bigger, and it becomes clear that the only people they can trust are each other.

Now, here might be a good place to reiterate that I’ve never read or watched anything remotely related to Sherlock Holmes, which may be a contributing factor in those missing two stars. A true Sherlock fan would probably be able to pick up on all the references and Easter eggs, which would have been super enjoyable. Luckily for me, there was enough going on that I didn’t NEED to know the original.  In my opinion, the most memorable part of this story were the characters, Charlotte Holmes and James (Jamie) Watson. For me, Jamie was one of those instantly likeable characters. He had an easygoing nature about him and was extremely willing to adapt. Charlotte, on the other hand, took some time to get used to, but in time I also came to appreciate her, especially her clever mind. However, I especially loved the relationship between the pair. The ship is an extremely slow burn, yet I also enjoyed seeing their friendship and “professional” relationship develop. The banter between the two was hilarious, and I loved the idea that Jamie’s father had somewhere written a guidebook to “the care and keeping of Holmes.” Unfortunately, as wonderful as this pair is, the plot itself was a bit duller, especially for a mystery. It honestly didn’t have as many twists and turns as I would have liked, and the final reveal was a bit meh. Despite this, it still moved along at a fair pace, enough to keep me engaged.

I’m really excited to see more of this pair in the upcoming sequel, The Last of August, especially as I’m sure Holmes’s and Watson’s relationship is sure to become even richer. I highly recommend this novel for Sherlock fans and really just anyone looking for a YA mystery with well-written characters!


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