Mystery Monday | A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Mystery Mondays

Mystery Mondays is an occasional review feature here on Words of Mystery that showcases books in the mystery (and on occasion thriller) genre that we are currently reading and our thoughts on them. Feel free to comment and leave suggestions as to what we should read and review next.

Who is it by? Brittany Cavallaro is a poet and fiction writer. A Study in Charlotte is her debut novel, and the first in a new trilogy. The rights for its publication have been sold in Brazil, Portuguese, Germany, Japan, and France and Taiwan. Currently, she lives in Wisconsin with her husband, cat, and cat. You can follow her on Twitter at @skippingstones.

What is it about? Jamie Watson is a descendant of the Dr. John H. Watson, so it seems that he was fated to meet Charlotte Holmes, the great-great-great grand daughter famous Sherlock Holmes. And since both are related to the original crime-solving duo, they were bound to get themselves caught up in a few mysteries themselves. Despite, an unpleasant introduction to each other, the two are forced to work together when it appears that someone is trying to frame them for the murder of one of their classmates.


Where does it take place? A Study in Charlotte is set in Sherringford, a fictional Connecticut prep school. Like most boarding schools, many of the students come from well-to-do families while others like Jamie attend the school on a scholarship.

Why did I like it? I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I not usually a fan of retellings of my favourite classics however A Study in Charlotte had me intrigued at its synopsis. From the beginning, I loved the boarding school setting which was perfect for this modern, YA spin on the crime solving duo of Holmes and Watson.

Also while it is a retelling of sorts, A Study in Charlotte is about the original Holmes and Watson duo, instead it focuses on two of their teenaged descendants. Jamie and Charlotte’s dynamic is very reminiscent of their ancestors, although both are also able to stand on their own as original characters. And while there is an inkling of romance between the two, it does not eclipse the mystery and investigation aspect of the plot. For those of you who are fellow Sherlockians, I think you will appreciate the numerous allusions and nods to the original duo. These include the relationship between Charlotte and her brother as well the tension that continues to exist between the Holmes’ and Moriarty family. One of my favourite things about this book, is all the lamp shading that occurs, for instance many of the original Holmes’ cases are referenced, as well as what happened to the Watsons’ rights to the Holmes’ stories. Additionally the guide to dealing with the Holmeses that Jamie’s dad has is hilarious in that many of the things mentioned are pretty much spot on which makes sense after all its all the information that has been collected by the previous Watsons who’ve worked with and/or interacted with a Holmes.

There are many adaptations and spin offs of the Sherlock stories, however A Study in Charlotte featuring some descendants of the original Holmes and Watson is one that fellow Sherlockians should definitely check out especially if they enjoy YA fiction. Thus, I know I will definitely be looking forward to the next installment in this trilogy.

When is it out? March 1st 2016

Publisher Social Media: Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Blog Tour | Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez Book Review


Jessica Martinez
Advance Reader Copy, 422 pages
Publication date:
October 7th 2014
Katherine Tegen Books
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez was actually one of my most anticipated fall releases so I was ecstatic to be a part of the blog tour for this book. After all a story concerning a girl on the run from her father and boyfriend after witnessing them kill a man sounded just so thrilling. Unfortunately the execution of the story was not as exciting as I had expected as the first half of the book was slow to start.

In spite of that, there were a few things that I liked when it came to this book. First I loved the fact that much of the story takes place in Montreal. It’s always appealing when a Canadian city is the key or one of the major settings in a book. Another thing that I thought the authour did an excellent job of was capturing the emotions and confusion of a teenage girl who has to come to terms with several harsh realities with incredibly no warnings. I suppose it was fitting for Valentina to be as impulsive as she was given her situation, her age and her relatively privileged and sheltered life. Still she managed to be quite resourceful (with a little help) and I liked the scenes where we can observe her struggling to reclaim her own identity and independence.

That being said, I also found her to be at times extremely naïve for a person who was supposed to be on the run. She gave up her identity quite easily when she re-encounters one of the two people she’s been running from her former life. In addition, I did not perceive the appeal of the two guys in her life. Her boyfriend, Emilio was emotionally manipulative and the new guy, Marcel was a jerk though he does slightly improve after a certain event in the book. Nevertheless I thought that Valentina could do so much better than the choices she was given. In the conclusion however, I liked the place where Martinez leaves the character of Valentina. Overall, Kiss Kill Vanish was a decent book that had an extremely promising concept; unfortunately however, for the most part it left me feeling a little bit disappointed.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Waiting On Wednesday #22 – Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights upcoming titles that we’re looking forward to/dying to read.
It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

Jessica Martinez
Publication date:
October 7th 2014
Katherine Tegen Books


Valentina Cruz no longer exists.

One moment, she was wrapped in Emilio’s arms, melting into his kiss. The next, she was witnessing the unthinkable: a murder in cold blood, ordered by her father and carried out by her boyfriend. When Emilio pulled the trigger, Valentina disappeared. She made a split-second decision to shed her identity and flee her life of privilege, leaving the glittering parties and sultry nightlife of Miami far behind.

She doesn’t know how to explain to herself what she saw. All she knows now is that nothing she believed about her family, her heart, or Emilio’s love, was real.

She can change her name and deny her past, but Valentina can’t run from the truth. The lines between right and wrong, and trust and betrayal, will be blurred beyond recognition as she untangles the deceptions of the two men she once loved and races to find her own truth.

This book sounds really thrilling, and I would love to read and review it for one of my Mystery Mondays feature as it sounds like it would be a perfect fit. I really like the whole concept of how the main character is betrayed by those she loves and now has to go on the run. Here’s to hoping the book is as good or even better than the description.

What book are you “waiting on” this week?