Book Review: A Study in Charlotte

I’m not generally a fan of Young Adult fiction, which is why I barely made it through the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy. Too much teen angst and I’m out. Yet, when I saw this cleverly titled YA book recommended to me, I embraced my love of Sherlock Holmes and decided to give it a try.

Spoiler alert: I didn’t like it.

A Study in Charlotte, a play off of Doyle’s A Study in Scarlett, introduces us to the great-great-great grandchildren of Sherlock and Dr. Watson – Charlotte Holmes and James Watson. Their character development is on par with their predecessors, as are their storylines. And what do you know? These two wound up in the same obscure private school in Connecticut. What are the chances?

Also, people start dying as soon as the two formally meet. Shocking!

I don’t know why the predictability bothered me so much, but OH MAN DID IT BOTHER ME. As soon as the Moriarty family showed up in the plot, I was rolling my eyes so hard that it took me an unprecedented five weeks to finish this average-sized book. As students dropped like flies (I’m exaggerating, but still), I saw the villain from the start and wondered if I was too haughty for my own good. Surely a twist was coming.

It didn’t come.

Furthermore, in the author’s attempt to make Charlotte like Sherlock as much as possible, she gave her a significant drug problem. There’s plenty of mature content, enough to make me question Common Sense Media’s 14+ age rating. Jeremy will be 14 in a month and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t need to know about OxyContin just yet, not to mention the level of profanity was well more than I’m used to in my adult contemporary fiction.

Take my advice and stick to the original Sherlock.

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