With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London.
When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her. But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.
Worldbuilding: The 1800’s London society world was very present in the story, and I enjoyed the pressure it exercised upon Charlotte (and other female characters, ofc).
Characters: Charlotte is one of my favorite characters of the year. I always the Sherlock-ian kind of character, the brilliant puzzle/mystery-solver. This is perhaps one of the more creative version of it I’ve read, while being perfectly plausible for the time and age and retaining the characteristic charisma. I loved Charlotte’s sense of humor, her resilience, her guts, her fiery heart. I loved her entirely and will love to read more about her.
Other characters were also interesting; can’t help but mention Livia – mwahaha, yes, we have the same name, and it was kickass lol -, and Mrs.Watson was of course a hoot. I loved Lord Ingram too, and the simmering attraction between him and Charlotte was beyond delicious.
Plot: The story was a great mix of bildungsroman and mystery, and I’m labeling it a New Adult for that reason. In that day and age, someone of Charlotte’s age was considered an adult, in fact. But taking into consideration her arc, I’ll go with NA. The mystery was quite delicious, and the culprits once identified were pretty surprising. The one thing I didn’t love was the fact that in the beginning, I found the story somewhat confusing for a bit, and it seemed to pick up pace a bit later on.
Writing: Third person, past tense narrative, multiple POV. Love the style, and humor was delectable, and Livia and Charlotte’s voices were awesome – also Lord Ingram’s.
Curb Appeal: Awesome cover, hooking blurb, kick-ass insta-buy concept for me.
I totally recommend A Study in Scarlet Women to Sherlock-ian enthusiasts, to fans of good historical mysteries with charismatic sleuths, and I’d even recommend it to fans of classic reads in the mystery vein – it’s that good. Can’t wait for more!