Genres: YA Romantic Suspense
Published by HarperAudio
Released on March 1, 2016
Source: Free Book
Ever wondered what Holmes and Watson would have been like as teenagers? Any Sherlockian would, but let’s keep going with the delightful surprises. Holmes is female and the two come from a long line of Holmes and Watson partnerships. Oh, and there might be an arch-villain Moriarity sighting and a brutal murder which all evidence points to Holmes and Watson in a modern boarding school setting Gah! I honestly don’t know how I waited this long to start the series.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I settled in for the story. The tone and character had a distinct connection to the classic though the author balanced this with modern elements so it was something of a variation, but also felt freshly original.
A Study in Charlotte introduces Jamie Watson as the narrator for this one. Oh, and I do mean that literally as I listened to this one as one of the free summer Audio File Sync books offered earlier this year. Graham Halstead did a great job bringing Jamie and Charlotte to life. I wouldn’t say he captured the teen scene brilliantly or was perfect with the accents, but he did moderately well. It was his storytelling that was the best part. I was pulled right in and kept that focus though all the happened. Julia Whelan got the one Charlotte narrative and she captured her personality and voice, nicely.
I enjoyed the way Jamie was portrayed. This was no bumbling Watson who was oblivious and played the foil to Holmes. This Jamie plays rugby, is a loner, has a bad temper, and is nobody’s fool. He comes from a split family and carries all the baggage from that (I like how a secondary storyline explores this). He is an equal partner. But, he’s also just what Holmes ultimately needs. He’s a loyal friend even when she is being a truly irritating and nearly drives him to box her ears.
That brings me to Charlotte Holmes. If Holmes was female, she would be it. She has the right genes, but her parents added a bit of Holmsian nurture in with that nature so that she never stood a chance of being average or normal. This Holmes is drug-addicted, bored with ordinary school and conducts her own studies and yes, she has a lab and violin and a weekly poker tourny to have some spending money. She has the deductive skills of the original, but a few vulnerabilities of a teenager. She also values Jamie as a real partner in crime-solving though she can try his loyalty and patience like no other.
The mystery is a darker murder mystery and is more than it seems. I enjoyed the twists and turns it took. I had my finger on the right person, but missed the larger solution which came down in a few startling twists and turns. Loved the tension of this one.
YA warnings: moderate language and violence, off scene rape
All in all, I had a wonderful time and will definitely pursue the next in the series. I’m so curious whether this pair will be a bit of something more to each other and what will come of that final reveal at the end. Exciting and great tribute to the classic. Lovers of darker YA romantic suspenses that shade more to the suspense should give this one a go.
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