Review of A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

AStudyinCharlotteA Study in Charlotte
By: Brittany Cavallaro
Release Date: March 1st 2016
Publisher: Harper
Format: E-ARC
Source: Edelweiss

My Rating:

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.

Then 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.

My Thoughts:
Oh, how I love all the Sherlock themed young adult novels. I new the moment I saw A Study in Charlotte I was desperate to read it. I really enjoyed this novel and found it to be a very fast paced and entertaining read.

We follow the story from Jamie Watson’s point of view and as always the Sherlock’s character is played by a stoic, cold type but in this novel it was a girl. Yay! I loved Charlotte’s characterization and felt that she was very well executed. It isn’t often that the female lead is more closed off than her male counterpart. I loved that this novel switched these roles.

I did expect a tad more chemistry and romance in this book though it wasn’t needed. The flow, pacing and prose were all wonderfully done. There was a chemistry between Watson and Sherlock but I felt it centered around their respect and friendship more than a sexual tension.

Another interesting thing about ASIC that made it stand apart was that Watson and Sherlock are the relatives of the famous duo. These two know the history between their families which added another unique spin to the story. I liked that there were many references to the original works. You can tell that Cavallaro is well versed in Sherlockolgy. Her knowledge adds so much to the overall feel of the novel.

The mystery these two explore was interesting though I wasn’t overly needing to know the outcome. What drove my interest in this novel was the relationship between Jamie and Charlotte. I loved the little bits they shared and deduced about each other. It was very easy to feel the emotions between these two and though it didn’t really veer into the romantic much it was touching and beautifully done.

Final Thoughts:
A Study in Charlotte is a great addition to the Sherlock reworks that have been released lately. I felt that this one was much different than the others I’ve read. I’d highly recommend this book to any Sherlock Holmes fans or anyone that likes a good mystery.


Okay. I am SO EXCITED to be part of the Every Word Blog Tour. I adore these books and the author, Ellie Marney. I decided to read the first book, Every Breath, after hearing praise and seeing it was a play on Sherlock . The Every series was the first YA themed Sherlock/Watson/Mycroft book I read and I was immediately hooked.

Today I’m featuring Ellie here on the blog. She tells us a bit about herself, Australia and her writing space and method. I loooove getting a peek into my favorite author’s lives so I’m thrilled to share this with you today. I had hoped to have a Lego version of the cover to go with this but my compact flash reader decided to break at a very unfortunate time.

Enough from me…let’s hear from Ellie….


Hullo!  Salutations for the Every Word blog tour, and here’s me waving from Australia! *waves both hands*


EllieMarneyI’m not a glamour person, by any stretch of the imagination.  I’m a track pants-and-Tshirts kinda gal (or, if I’m out of the house and trying to look presentable, a jeans-and-Tshirts gal), and I scrape my hair back into a ponytail most days, and spend a lot of time hunched over a computer.  Actually, I’m trying not to do so much hunching – I’m trying this standing-up thing that a few other writers have urged me to do, because apparently hunching over a laptop all day gives you back pain, who knew? (me – yep, that’s right, I knew this, cos I get back pain, joy).

I have a large family – four kids, all boys – so our house is kind of smelly and messy a lot.  When I’m not writing, I work as a teacher – I do a lot of relief subbing in all grades, from kindergarten to high school (my partner is a teacher too).  So yeah, I know teenagers, and I have a lot of respect for them.

I spend as much time as I can in school libraries, because BOOKS! and also I like to stay up with what’s being read.  I write YA cos I loved it as a teenager and I never really gave up that love.  I also do a lot of speaking engagements in schools, where I get to talk about writing and YA fiction and spread the YA love – it’s a pretty cool part of my job.


I live in a rural part of Australia, about two hours away from the city of Melbourne – so yes, kangaroos and possums and sheep and eucalypt trees.  Also bushfires in summer, floods in the spring, and because I’m in the south, very cold winters (not much snow, though – in the mountains, sure, but not where we are, which I’m glad for cos I’m a warm-weather gal) so we run a woodfire stove.

We live off the grid – solar power, tank water, septic tank, no WiFi, no postal service, and until a few months ago, no garbage collection.  We chop our own wood, keep our own chickens, generally get by pretty well, but like everybody who lives in the country, we do a lot of driving.

EchidnaBut not all of Australia is like this!  In fact, the vast majority of the population lives in the cities, which are mostly along the coast.  Once you go inland, things start to get very dry and desert-y.  We have great beaches, though.  Australians are also fairly renowned for having a laid-back attitude and a very dry, take-the-piss sense of humour.  And okay, the ‘deadly animals’ thing is true – we live with snakes and spiders and stuff that can kill you every day.  There was a brown snake caught at my kids’ school earlier this year that was four or five feet long.  But we have a ‘don’t bother me, I won’t bother you’ policy with that kind of stuff generally, and there are lots of cute animals too – see the cute echidna?

I said I live a long way from Melbourne, which is true, but I lived in the city for many years so I know it reasonably well – that’s how the Every series is so Melbourne-ish.  It’s not my hometown, though – I was born and grew up in Brisbane, about 3000kms to the north, where it’s semi-tropical.  But I love my adopted city – its full of nooks and crannies and odd little laneways, and a fantastic mix of ethnicities.

Every Word

Every Word is the second book in the Every trilogy, about a wannabe Sherlock and his Girl Watson, getting hot under the collar together and investigating murder most foul in London.  The book is set between Melbourne and London, but the London part was the most fun part to write.  Mainly cos I got to go to London for research!  Ah, the perks of being a writer…

I think the first book, Every Breath, is the book I’m most proud of, but Every Word is definitely the book in the series I had the most fun with.  It was also the book that was written most quickly – in a white-hot flash, in about three months.  I felt as if the story was carrying me along – it had its own momentum, and that momentum was fastEvery Word really wanted to be written.

A lot of the time I felt like I was channeling spirits or something, the words came so easily.  Not all books are like that (actually, the majority of my writing is not like that, at all).  But when I finished Every Breath, I was still very caught up in Rachel and Mycroft’s world.  It was easy to start daydreaming about what kind of things would happen next…

The book was actually halfway written before I got the green light from my publisher that we’d have a series.  I was very glad to get that green light!  But to be honest, I probably would have written it anyway – like I said, Every Word sort of demanded to be written.


EllieMarneyDeskI work in a tiny, untidy, cramped little office that I share with my partner – we take turns on the internet.  With all the paper and books in there, it’s a terrible fire risk.  It’s hot in summer (I have a little desk fan) and freezing in winter (I have a goose-down jacket), but I love it.

I have a very workman-like attitude to writing – I don’t wait for the muse to strike or anything, I don’t really believe in that.  I believe that if you sit down (or stand up) in front of your laptop every day and start typing, eventually words start to come out that sound okay.  It’s about hard work and routine and just making it happen.

I often edit as I go, but not at the start.  At the start I just give myself permission to write whatever comes.  You have to get it out of your head and onto the page first – that’s the clay.  You end up with this big ball of clay, and then you can smooth it and shape it and pretty it up, until you have something that’s half decent.  But you’ve gotta have the clay in front of you to start with.  My advice, if you’re just beginning this writing gig: pour it all out of your head first.  Without that, you’ve got nothing.  Most of your best writing will come in the edits.


Find Ellie and Learn More About the Every Series

Twitter: @elliemarney
Instagram: @elliemarney
Tundra: @tundrabooks
Random House: @penguinrandom
Hashtags:  #Wattscroft    #EveryWord

EveryWordEvery Word
By: Ellie Marney
Release Date: September 8th 2015
Publisher: Tundra Books
James Mycroft has just left for London to investigate a car accident similar to the one that killed his parents seven years ago…without saying goodbye to Rachel Watts, his ‘partner in crime’.

Rachel is furious and worried about his strange behaviour – not that Mycroft’s ever exactly normal, but London is the scene of so many of his nightmares. So Rachel jumps on a plane to follow him…and lands straight in a whole storm of trouble.

The theft of a copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, the possible murder of a rare books conservator, and the deaths of Mycroft’s parents…Can Watts help Mycroft make sense of the three events – or will she lose him forever?

 Check out my review of Every Breath, book 1 in the series.


Tundra Books has been kind enough to offer a giveaway of a copy of Every Word to one of my US/Canada readers. I highly suggest you get into this series so ENTER. If you’ve not read book one it’s well worth the read so do that.
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