From GoodReads: 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.
1 – I’m not a fan of Sherlock Holmes in the original, and I’ve never until now enjoyed any revisitation or re-imagination of the Holmes persona. Not TV show or movie or modern book retelling. But this book was a lot of fun. It won’t be a book I’ll remember forever or anything, but I enjoyed the characters – even Sherlock – and had a fun time puzzling out the mystery. I also enjoyed that Thomas threw in some gender-study bits in this revamp as Holmes-as-female, especially surrounding female sensuality.
2 – The book was very confusing in the beginning. I was listening to the audio and I’m not sure if this was more clear in the physical book, but the story jumped around in time very abruptly for awhile. I had a hard time understanding what was happening, when they were happening, and how old Charlotte was at any given time. One scene, she’s caught sleeping with a man, in the next, she’s not ten years old yet, with no transition. So yeah, confusing. But after the first dozen scenes or so, the timeline became clear and I had no more problems.
3 – Unlike the original Holmes, Charlotte’s deductions seem reasonable and she doesn’t feel like some magic psychic snob with a personality disorder. She’s socially awkward and does her best to fit in, and she doesn’t think herself above everyone else. She’s cautious about her ability to make deductions and worries about the way it discomfits people. In a few words, she’s a vast improvement over any Sherlock I’ve ever read/watched.
4 – The audiobook is read by my favorite audio narrator, Kate Reading, so of course that lent itself to my enjoyment. It was, as usual, excellent.
5 – This is the really surprising thing. As soon as I finished this audiobook, I immediately downloaded the audio of the next book in the series from my library. So not only did I find a Holmes revisitation that I enjoyed, but I enjoyed it enough to want to read further right away. Yay!