A study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro is a Young Adult Mystery set in Connecticut that involves murder, intrigue, and infatuation. Jaime Watson has no idea how he ended up at the same school as Charlotte Holmes, great-great-great-granddaughter of the famous detective known for his genius and volatile temperament. Jaime has been warned to stay away from her his entire life, yet he is drawn to her the instant they lock eyes over cards.
Charlotte, however, seems uninterested in getting to know Jaime. That is until a murder forces them to work together to clear both their names. But will getting close to Charlotte actually hurt Jaime instead?
‘So what if someone, back a hundred years and change across the Atlantic Ocean, some other Watson made best friends with some other Holmes. People become best friends all the time.’
Are you destined to become friends with a stranger because of a family connection? Personally, I have never been in the position to have to make this decision, but I know others who have. But what if this family connection pushes strangers away from one another instead, as is the case with Jaime and Charlotte?
If you like Young Adult Mystery, then A Study in Charlotte should be included on your to-read list. Taking Watson and Holmes’s history and spinning it into a modern-day story is the perfect way to enjoy this classic tale. I appreciate how the author added some deep flaws in the development of her characters. These insecurities contribute to the story’s charm and stop it from being just another who done it without heart.
This brings me to the first location of importance: London
“I have a rainy-day fund, you know. Until recently, it was raining… a lot. But I…I’ve been trying to use an umbrella.”
I love this quote. Decode the meaning however you choose to, but it’s relatable in so many different situations. It’s a favorite of mine and one I almost missed.
It also represents the internal struggle that Charlotte is faced with. Maybe it’s for attention, or possibly to hide the discontent she has for her situation in life. Whatever is it, admitting she is troubled but wanting to fix things is a big step.
London is where the story of Holmes and Watson first began. It’s the significance of Jaime and Charlotte’s history that pulls them together. Without that connection, the chances of them meeting in the first place would have been minimal.
This brings me to the Second location of importance: Charlotte Holmes Super Secret Lab
“You had us break into a crime scene to steal evidence-something that could make us look even more guilty than we do already-and you’ve never done that before?”
Have you ever dragged someone into a really crappy situation you thought you could control? Overconfidence in outcome has bitten me in the ass multiple times. When a friend unwillingly suffers the consequences of my decisions, well, that makes the situation even worse.
The time spent together in Charlotte’s lab both concerns and intrigues Jaime. In his opinion, she is definitely weird, but in a good way. If anyone else were to find her hidden supply closet, they would probably call the authorities. Jaime, however, understands that Charlotte’s eccentric behavior makes her special. But can he make her see that as well?
This brings me to the third location of importance: Nurse Bryony’s Office
“You’re about as stealthy as a lame elephant.”
Charlotte believes herself to be invincible. She doesn’t think that anyone can outwit her. Solving crimes is her thing, the one gift she has to give to others. However, her lack of humility can also get her into trouble, make her overlook certain possibilities.
Although Jaime may not be as smooth as Charlotte in her investigations, he has his own way of getting things accomplished. Nurse Bryony’s office is his first real test assisting Charlotte. It is important in their dynamic and confidence in each other, even if it didn’t go exactly as planned.