Review: A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

Charlotte Holmes has the greatest deductive mind of her age. She’s inquisitive, intelligent, and ambitious. When she realizes she’s about to be forced into a marriage she doesn’t want, Charlotte takes matters into her own hands and becomes a social outcast as a result. Taking to the streets of London, she finds life difficult for a fallen women. At the same time, there is a series of seemingly unconnected murders. Her dear is sister is implicated in one of them. Desperate to clear her sister’s name, Charlotte assumes the guise of Sherlock Holmes and, with the help of the few friends she has left, dives deep into the case to uncover the truth.

This book was so much fun. I love a good Sherlock Holmes pastiche, and this was was a delight. Charlotte Holmes is her own, fully realized character and not Sherlock Holmes as a woman. What I mean is, Thomas took care to giver Charlotte her own personality and interests instead of slapping on Holmes’ character traits and making him a woman. Charlotte and Holmes are distinct personalities.

The mystery was a little convoluted for me. Maybe it’s because I was exhausted when I was reading it, but I kept forgetting who was who and how they were connected. I felt the names were very similar to each other, which didn’t help. Still, I was able to follow along the main plot and highly enjoyed it. The reveal at the end was properly chilling and a real blow. I also liked how Thomas teased at a more challenging villain in future books. I’m excited for what’s to come.

Definitely. If you like Sherlock Holmes and are interested in reading a gender-swapped version, this is a fantastic book. The characters are rich and vivid, the plot fast-paced, and the conclusion a punch to the gut.