Someone happened to mention this book by Brittany Cavallaro at my local Read Harder IRL Book Group and it prompted me to pick it up off the shelf when it caught my eye at my library a few weeks later. I’ve never been a big fan of the original Sherlock Holmes stories, but I have been all over the reboots that have been popping up everywhere in the last few years.
This is a YA take on the classic in which Sherlock Holmes and John Watson were real people and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was their literary agent. The book takes place in modern day with Charlotte Holmes and James Watson as the great-great-great-grandchildren of Sherlock and John respectively. They end up at the same boarding school (not so coincidentally as it turns out) and start solving mysteries together when a fellow student dies in the same manner as a victim in one of the classic Sherlock Holmes stories.
As much as I appreciate a female Holmes, I couldn’t help but wonder why not go ahead and have a female Watson? And why not give Holmes a sister instead of a brother? Some color would have been nice, too. As it was, it was pretty white washed.
That said, it was still a very enjoyable read. It’s told from Watson’s perspective and the best parts of the book were probably his interactions with and comments regarding Holmes. The dialogue and character development were definitely the best part of this book, as far as I was concerned.
The original Holmes was a drug user, Johnny Lee Miller’s Holmes in the show “Elementary” is a recovering heroin addict, and the trend continues in this book. Holmes uses cocaine, heroin, and oxy, that we know of. It’s a very real problem that gets her into big trouble multiple times and there’s a scene in which Watson has to deal with a very high Holmes.
I’ve only read a few of the original stories, but this one (in addition to the many other reboots I’ve been enjoying) have made me think it’s time to read at least a few more, if only so I can get a basic understanding of the characters and situations that books like this are based on. That said, you don’t have to be a student of Doyle’s work to appreciate this one. It’s a lot of fun either way.
What did you guys read this week? Any other impulse check outs from your local libraries?