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.
Charlotte and Jamie are exactly the modern-day equivalents of their ancestors, Sherlock and Watson, that you want to read about. They’re believable teenagers with flaws and hubris but plenty of intelligence and common sense, not to mention finely tuned deductive skills.
As much as this story followed the expected Sherlock & Watson formula, I found it to be unique and impossible to put down for the last 30%. Yes, even I had guessed who the likely killer was fairly early in the story, but it still all came together so satisfyingly with an acceptable level of danger to keep it interesting.
Charlotte Holmes is brilliant and brave, flawed and scared, addicted and selfish, privileged and lonely. She is everything Sherlock Holmes was and more. Such an incredibly well written female protagonist with depth. There is nothing stereotypical or normal about her and I can’t wait to read more about her adventures.
Jamie Watson is the perfect contemporary casting for John Watson. He has the same soft spot for Holmes and is obsessed with what they could accomplish together before they even meet. He is dreamy and contemplative, takes on the same role as his great-great-(how many greats?)-grandfather and becomes the narrator of their adventure. Watson trusts Holmes completely, even when she consistently deceives him to further the plot and discover new information. Watson is the type of friend everyone deserves and very few ever get to have.
All of this is to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this story, these characters, and this nostalgic take on Sherlock Holmes. I’m glad this is the first book in a series and I have more to read! I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys YA and any fans of Arthur Conan Doyle.