A Study in Charlotte is a retelling of Sherlock Holmes but with a twist. The two main characters who are teenagers are descendants (great-great- great children to be exact) of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Both Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson find themselves at the same Connecticut boarding school. The novel’s storyline has the premise that John Watson not Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that wrote the Sherlock novels. Charlotte’s family is pretty much still famous as well as rich, while Jamie’s family has pretty much drifted into obscurity.
When a murder happens at their school that leaves both Jamie and Charlotte as prime suspects it’s up to Charlotte to clear their names and fast. The female Sherlock Holmes was surprisingly enjoyable twist. As a Sherlock Holmes purist I didn’t think that I would enjoy it. Charlotte Holmes still has the same quirks that Sherlock has that we know and love.
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro brings Sherlock to a new generation of readers, as well as quite possibly introducing teenage girls to the detective genre. A Study in Charlotte shows teenage girls that they can be detectives as well as be interested in science. That they can be anything they put their minds to. Charlotte isn’t always the most likeable character but she does have her moments. The book ends with the loose ends tied up, but does leave the ending opened for a squeal.
Formats Available: Book
Reviewed by Carissa, Main Library
Many readers more than likely assume that all mysteries are the same. That’s not true mysteries are as unique as their fiction counterparts. There’s the classic detective story, the traditional suspense, as well as the murder mystery, the police drama just to name a few.
Then there’s the cozy mystery subgenre, which is a whole different type of mystery. Think Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote. Don’t let that fool you – these aren’t your grandmother’s mysteries.
Another way to look at cozy mysteries is basically that they are Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys for grownups. So if you loved those series as a kid and want to continue reading similar books but know that you don’t want to read kids’ books as an adult then cozy mysteries are the perfect alternative to getting caught reading adult books.
The main character in a cozy mystery – the mystery solver – just happens to be an average citizen with no police, or detective experience. Many times they work to so solve the mystery because the local law enforcement is incompetent or they are a family member or friend have been accused of the crime, and they want to clear themselves or some else as quickly as possible.
There is a cozy mystery out there for just about any reading taste. Cozy mysteries have a cast of characters though on average it tends to be heroines. They can have any type of career, the following of which are but to name a few:
There are quite a few cozies that feature librarians as the hero or heroine, such as the Library Lover’s Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay. There’s even a series or two that have a cat helping to solve a mystery, the Cat in the Stacks series by Miranda James and the Lighthouse Library Mystery series by Eva Gates.
There’s a cozy mysteries for every reading type, and there’s one for you. If you’re not sure where to start just stop in at any library and the reference staff will help find the right cozy for you.
Article by Carissa, Main Library
The Cuckoo’s Calling was written by Robert Galbraith, the pseudonym for J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame. When I picked this mystery up I didn’t know what to expect. As a teen I loved the Harry Potter series. I attempted to read The Casual Vacancy, the adult fiction novel that she wrote under her own name, and didn’t really care for it. So I went into The Cuckoo’s Calling, the first book in the Cormoran Strike series, with caution even though I do love a good mystery. I was presently surprised with this book in a good way.
The Cuckoo’s Calling is a mystery set in contemporary London. Cormoran Strike is a wounded former SIB with the Royal Army, what would be the military police in the United States. The novel opens with his detective agency in trouble. Strike is in debt to people he really shouldn’t have borrowed money from in the first place; the same people are demanding that he repay the loan immediately or else. To top it off he’s living in his office and he cannot keep a secretary.
A case that could either make Strike’s career or finish it lands in his lap. The brother of one of his former school friends wants him to find out what really happened to the victim of an apparent suicide. The police have written the case off as a suicide but Strike’s client is convinced that the victim was murdered. He soon discovers there’s more to his new secretary than meets the eye. She’s actually quite capable of helping with his cases.
The Cuckoo’s Calling starts out a little slow but that’s to be expected with a first book in a series. It has to set up the storyline and character development. It starts to pick up from the middle of the book onward. The mystery ends with a twist that the reader might not see coming. The Cuckoo’s Calling puts a modern twist on the classic detective novel. Cormoran Strike is the new broody detective quite possibly Sherlock Holmes for a new generation.
The library also carries the next two books in the series, The Silkworm and Career of Evil.
Formats Available: Regular Type, Large Type, Audiobook, eBook
Reviewed by Carissa, Main Library