I often find posts by other bloggers
that strike a chord in me for one reason
or another and I’ll be occasionally sharing
them here on Buried Under Books.
Today’s share is from
Just Another Book on the Shelf:
Book Review: A Study in Scarlet
Women by Sherry Thomas
Summary: What if Sherlock Holmes was really a woman? I’ll give you a minute to let that sink in. In this story, Sherlock Holmes is the alias for a woman named Charlotte Holmes who possesses Sherlock’s abilities and a lot of his idiosyncrasies. She runs away from her family after a scandal that frees her from their expectations but also ruins her chances for independence if her identity becomes known. Through a series of both bad and good luck events, Charlotte is able to start a consulting business under the alias of Sherlock Holmes. In other news, a few high society people die from what seems like accidental or natural causes. There is no connection between the three, or is there? Charlotte sees the beginning of a connection and brings it to the attention of the police. But they can’t solve it without Sherlock, right?
First sentence: On the day Mr. Harrington Sackville met his darkness with fangs, certain parties in the know were bracing for–and eagerly anticipating–a major scandal involving the youngest member of the Holmes family.
It seems like I never choose the same kind of book twice in a row. I’ve gone from a classic to creepy young adult fiction novellas to young adult contemporary to another classic to an adult mystery Sherlock Holmes retelling. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can’t imagine reading just one kind of book forever. For me, there’s way too much out there to stick to just one thing. Maybe that’s part of my TBR problem… Whatever.
I am one of those people that start trying to figure out the answer to the mystery from the very first page. I have a decent amount of success, but not with this book. If I had been keeping a log of all the characters and stories, then maybe I would’ve known. As it is, I had no idea who the killer was or what their real motive was. Every new piece of information kind of buried me to the point where I had no idea how everything would work out. And it wasn’t until the last few chapters that things finally started to make sense.
I have always respected Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories; I have always been in awe of them. There is no way that I would ever have the scope of information and the tenacity to create the complex plots that he did for Sherlock. Ms. Sherry Thomas did the original Sherlock stories justice with this book. This is a book that took an incredible amount of thought, and I appreciate reading a story that doesn’t seem like it was created with a formula.
Charlotte has enough of Sherlock’s traits to make her very strange to the rest of high society. She has no desire to marry well or at all. And she doesn’t feel things in the same way as other people do; she doesn’t have the same emotional response to things. Her first thought is always to the logic or reasoning behind it. While the male Holmes seems mostly eccentric, the female Holmes is a shock to the system. She is nothing like women were expected to be. Even she does not realize the possibilities for her future. It takes Watson to help her realize what her life’s purpose will be.
I’m not going to say too much about Watson because the discovery of Watson is one of my favorite parts of the story. It comes about so naturally that I didn’t see how this could also have been by design as well. And the companionship between the two is exactly what is needed for both characters.
At the end of the book, Charlotte and her sister Livia are sitting at the Reading Room of the British Museum, and the beginning of the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes are born. While Livia has never had Charlotte’s deductive mind, she is clever enough to transform the real cases into the fictional cases that will become famous. This can only mean that there will be more adventures, which is just fine by me. I can’t wait to read the next one. If only I had purchased it… Not sure how long this book buying ban will last.
What are some of your favorite mystery stories and writers?
By justanotherbookontheshelf on August 1, 2018