A Charlotte Holmes Story

I have a thing for boarding school books—I was also a big Zoey 101 fan back in the day. It’s such a foreign concept, but there is a small part of me that wishes I would have gone to one.  They just seem so sophisticated.  Another thing I love is Sherlock Holmes.  Okay, most of my knowledge comes from the show Sherlock.

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Goodreads synopsis for the first book, A Study in Charlotte:

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

I’ve only just recently been reading mysteries, but this series slowly climbed to the top of my favorites list. I’ve had the first two books in this series on my bookshelf for quite some time. Once I heard there was going to be a third, I decided to wait so I could read all three back-to-back. Of course, in the middle of reading the third book, I find out there is going to be a fourth book out next year! Let’s hope my memory holds up.

The characters of Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson were an incredible duo. Charlotte was the head and poor, poor Jamie was all heart.  I think the pacing of their relationship was really strong.  Charlotte had a lot of personal demons to tackle, things that readers slowly learned about her throughout the three books, and it would have been extremely out of character if she romantically latched on to Jamie, much to his chagrin.

The second book in the series, The Last of August, did lack a little bit—something that seems to frequently happens with multi-books. Without giving anything away plot-wise, there just seemed to be too many ideas forced in to one 300-page book. I think if the author just stuck to one mystery our characters were trying to solve and not the weaving of three other plot lines, it would have been stronger.

The best part of the third book, The Case for Jamie, was getting every other chapter from Charlotte’s point-of-view.  Throughout the books, we only get to see Charlotte through Jamie’s eyes and words.  Now we get to see Charlotte for who she really is and learn much more about her childhood and her strange relationships with her loved ones.

It’s hard to really talk about the series without giving so many things away! I think the third book ended nicely, but could see why the author wishes to give us another story.  I do wonder if she’s only planning on one more book or several.  I’ll be eagerly waiting!

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