A Study in Scarlet Women

A Study in Scarlet Women opens on a scandal: the young Charlotte Holmes is caught in bed with the married Roger Shrewsbury--by his wife, mother and a gaggle of society ladies quick to gossip, no less. Charlotte remains unperturbed in the face of public scrutiny, however, and is prepared to face the consequences of her actions. Fleeing her family's home, she sets out to make a life of her own, despite the odds stacked against her as a single woman without connections in a time when upper-class women were taught to aspire to nothing more than marriage. But when Lady Shrewsbury turns up dead and suspicions are cast on Charlotte's sister for her murder, Charlotte is forced to re-engage with the life she thought she'd left behind for good--this time under the guise of one Mr. Sherlock Holmes, crime-solver extraordinaire.

Charlotte is no ordinary Victorian woman, waiting to be saved from a life of spinsterhood--nor are the women she surrounds herself with. They are strong and independent female takes on classic Holmes characters, determined to forge their own way in life: Charlotte posing as a man named Sherlock, aided by Mrs. Watson, widow of one Mr. John Watson. In so casting her characters, Sherry Thomas (The Luckiest Lady in London) has succeeded in crafting a story inspired by the Holmes canon that never feels derivative. On the contrary: A Study in Scarlet Women is a fresh, female-driven historical mystery and the promising start to a new series of Charlotte Holmes stories. --Kerry McHugh, blogger at Entomology of a Bookworm

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