A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

I’ D BEEN TOLD ALL MY LIFE THAT I WAS MY FATHER ’ S SPITTING image, and after years apart, I could see it more than ever. The dark, unruly hair—though his was beginning to gray at the temples—and dark eyes, a certain stubborn set to the jaw. Watsons might be stubborn, he’d told me when I was younger, but we temper it with a love of adventure.
The last thing sixteen-year-old Jamie Watson–writer and great-great-grandson of the John 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 enigmatic, fiercely independent great-great-granddaughter, who’s inherited not just his genius but also his vices, volatile temperament, and expertly hidden vulnerability. Charlotte has been the object of his fascination for as long as he can remember–but from the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else.

20904949_1970474039893316_5673095234678947840_n.jpgThen a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Holmes stories, and Jamie and Charlotte become the prime suspects. Convinced they’re being framed, they must race against the police to conduct their own investigation. As danger mounts, it becomes clear that nowhere is safe and the only people they can trust are each other.

Equal parts tender, thrilling, and hilarious, A Study in Charlotte is the first in a trilogy brimming with wit and edge-of-the-seat suspense.


What was good about the book: a great young adult novel with a lovely gender reversal – the detective is a woman! And it’s amazing to see chemistry happen between a Holmes and a Watson!

The way we were with each other wouldn’t have made sense to anyone else if I’d tried to explain it. I had a habit of volleying any ridiculous statement she’d make back over the net with top spin, and we’d ramp ourselves up into fierce arguments that way about beetles and Christmas plays and the color of Dr. Watson’s eyes. We bickered over possible suspects: she was sure that our murderer had a Sherringford association, but I couldn’t imagine why he or she wouldn’t have acted the year before. I still couldn’t imagine why I’d be a target. When I found a nest of prescription bottles hidden in her violin case, we had a pitched battle over the fact that she was still using oxy. “It’s none of your business,” she’d said, furious, and grew even angrier when I insisted that it, in fact, was. How could it not be? I was her friend. Maybe that’s why the worst rows we had were about nothing at all.


Photo by Kit Williamson

BRITTANY CAVALLARO is a poet, fiction writer, and old-school Sherlockian. She is the author of the poetry collection Girl-King and is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. She earned her BA in literature from Middlebury College and her MFA in poetry from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Currently, she’s a PhD candidate in English literature at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, cat, and collection of deerstalker caps. Find her at her website, www.brittanycavallaro.com , or on Twitter @skippingstones.


%d bloggers like this: