An NPR Best Book of 2016
USA Today bestselling author Sherry Thomas turns the story of the renowned Sherlock Holmes upside down…
With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London.
When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her.
But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.
Charlotte Holmes, the independent-minded, upper-class heroine of this promising series launch set in 1886 England from Thomas (My Beautiful Enemy), has no wish to be married off like her older sisters and relegated to second-class status for the rest of her life. Charlotte's choice to lose her virginity to a married man leads to her banishment from her family's country house. She settles in London, where she uses her gift for "discernment" to provide helpful guidance to the police under the alias Sherlock Holmes. She writes to the coroner overseeing the inquest for aristocrat Harrington Sackville to suggest that Sackville's apparent overdose of chloral is connected to the deaths of two of his relatives who expired shortly before he did, each of apparently natural causes. That communiqu brings Scotland Yard into the case and affords Charlotte an opportunity to exercise her skills on a complex mystery. Those looking for a very different Sherlockian lead will be rewarded.
A Study in Scarlet Women
A brilliant twist on Sherlock Holmes that explores the life of an incredible woman in Victorian England. So good!
Excellent! Thoroughly enjoyed the well developed characters and intelligent writing style. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series.
“Do you think extraordinary women ought to be treated differently my dear?...The extraordinary will always be treated differently, they’re extraordinary after all. What I wonder is whether a not-so- extraordinary woman will ever be treated the same as a not-so-extraordinary man.”
This amazing reworking of Sherlock Holmes, set in the changing world of Victorian England, is exactly that- an extraordinary woman trying to make her own way in ordinary England after running up against the societal norms. The last child of a loveless marriage, Charlotte Holmes might be deemed on the Autism Spectrum these days (a trait some believe the original character Sherlock, and possibly A C Doyle himself suffered from). But it doesn’t define her, it makes her “different”.
Her ability to see fine detail, to quiet observe, and to call upon exceptional memory makes her ideally suited for investigational study. Scandalized out of “ proper society, she cannot find work, until she happens upon an elder in need of a “companion “, and she and Mrs.Watson begin working together to find the killer in a series of sort-of connected deaths that have pointed fingers at the Holmes family.
This book, although it starts slow, deserves every accolade it has won. Author Sherry Thomas, a well known historical fiction writer, has well researched intelligent characters in Charlotte and her cadre of misfits. I heartily wait for the next book in the series. Brava Ms. Thomas!