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Historical Mystery Review: A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas (Lady Sherlock #1)

Egalley courtesy of Berkley

Synopsis from Goodreads
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.

 Audio US | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository


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I've seen some reviews where people haven't been happy with the pace and style of this book, but let me assure you, dear readers, this is not the case for me. I loved A Study in Scarlet Women.

It's a gender-bending misfit of a book, it's awkward and slow, but there is just something about Charlotte and Co. I found irresistible.

The narration starts right in the middle of Charlotte's ruination. You see, Charlotte grew up learning everyone's secrets through her talent of discernment, but she never could understand people's feelings or emotional reactions. It's a total mystery to her WHY people behave the way they do. So, she thinks if she explains something to her father logically he would totally go with her plan for her future. Instead, she is rejected and creates a quick plan B which unfortunately ruins all her chances due to unforeseen circumstances.

Charlotte is funny and sad and awkward and self-deprecating at the same time. As it's Sherry Thomas' writing we are talking about, he is also very endearing along with her sister and a star-crossed lover, Lord Ingram.

Aaah, Ingram! His role reveals itself slowly, and mostly he acts like a guardian angel to Charlotte providing cases? references and a very sneaky, very capable helper. He is livid at Charlotte, because she didn't ask him for help while we, readers, slowly discover their mutual history and hidden feelings for each other.

Another very pleasant character is Mrs. Watson. She is an older woman, a retired actress, who's got the money and is bored witless. She is in search of a companion and, and Miss Holmes is a perfect partner in crime.

The cases are minor ones, - a few investigations to help establish the world-building. They and the villain didn't wow me. Instead I considered this book to be a prelude to good things to come. Overall, a very enjoyable, female-centric historical mystery. Recommended.

* * *
Я видела рецензии, в которых читатели жаловались на темп и стиль этой книги, однако поспешу вас заверить, что лично мне этот детективный роман очень понравился.

Изучение Легкомысленных Женщин - эта книга-оборотень, которая задаётся вопросом: "А что если Холмс - женщина как и большая часть, окружающих его людей?".  Книга эта неловкая, медленная и странноватая, однако что-то есть в Шарлотте и Ко., перед чем я не могу устоять.

Сюжет забрасывает читателя прямо посреди скандала, обесчестившего Шарлотту. Понимаете, несмотря на всю свою силу логики и дедукции, главная героиня никогда не могла понять человеческие эмоции, и когда пришла к своему отцу с логическим планом своего будущего, и он ей в нём отказал, она осталась в шоке и попыталась быстренько построить план Б. План Б провалился из-за независящих от неё обстоятельств, и её мечта оказалась разрушена. Шарлотта ушла из дома без средств к существованию и без друзей.

ГГ вообще - очень мила. Она самоиронична и грустна, но решительна и благородна. Однако, если вы - поклонник творчества Шерри Томас, то вы и сами хорошо знаете её типаж.

Нельзя не забыть о Лорде Инграме, который в тихую играет роль ангела-хранителя Шарлотты и покровителя Холмса. Инграм мучительно влюблён в ГГ, что читается очень вкусно, особенно когда читатель медленно узнаёт детали их отношений.

Ватсон к Холмсу Шарлотты тоже неожиданный и интересный персонаж. Она - пожилая актриса на пенсии с глубокими карманами и скукой, победить которую она пытается с помощью компаньонки, которую находит в лице Шарлотты.

Сами расследования инспектора Треадла, которые берёт на себя Холмс не особо интересны так же как и сам злодей, однако у меня осталось ощущение, что книга эта была прелюдией, обещанием будущих приключений, когда писатель наконец-то разогреется.

Хороший, тихий детективный роман с акентом на феминизм. Рекомендую.

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