A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

3 stars. Another series for which I am late to the party! This is book one of (currently) seven. A re-imagining of Sherlock Holmes with a female protagonist that both hits and misses the mark. Charlotte Holmes is a disgraced woman because of her own actions. She is also secretly Sherlock Holmes. The set up was convoluted and I never really understood her motivations for the “fallen woman” scenario. The plot was likewise hard to follow as Charlotte/Sherlock solve a, dare I say convoluted, murder mystery.

I get it, the first book is always hard because the reader has no idea who these people are or why they are doing the things they do. Especially when you are starting with Sherlock Holmes-we know this character and Charlotte was a bit disconcerting to me. Once it got rolling, things made more sense but the actual story took so long to get to the end; I was so lost I didn’t care who did it or why. That is on me not the author. There were so many other characters to keep track of and there was so much talk, talk, talk then go back and talk to the same people all over again. I assume some of these characters like the Inspector, Charlotte’s family, and helpers/assistants will be fleshed out and make more sense as the series progresses but in this book they just wandered in and out of the plot.

The hits are the idea and the world building. The settings are spot-on and I felt as a reader that I was in London and on Baker Street; the characters were interesting and I like the idea of a lady Sherlock with her own history/backstory so that was all very well done. The misses for me were the number of characters, first book syndrome reared its ugly head as the people just kept showing up, more and more of them every chapter; then either never seen again or visited over and over for confusing reasons. The ending was a stretch for me in how it wrapped up and the reasoning behind the “why done it”. All this to say I did enjoy the book and will keep on with the series-book two is already on hold at the library.

Oh hi there 👋 It’s nice to meet you.

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