Review Room

Book reviews and miscellanous thoughts

Audiobook Review: A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

Written By: amodini - Jan• 06•18

Title : A Study in Scarlet Women
Series : Lady Sherlock Series (Book 1)
Author : Sherry Thomas
Narrators : Kate Reading
Genre : Mystery
Publisher : Blackstone Audio
Listening Length : 11 hours
Rating : 4/5
Narrator Rating : 4.5/5

This book is a twist in the Sherlock Holmes saga, as the Holmes and Watson characters are played by society ladies. The heroine here is Charlotte Holmes, who chafes under the gender-based restrictions of Victorian society. She hatches a plan to remove herself from the marriage market, but the plan backfires and renders her a society pariah. Ms. Holmes then leaves her parents’ London home, and with the help of a kind widow, who takes her in, assumes the identity of “Sherlock Homes” and sets up shop as a sleuth.

“Holmes” solves a number of cases, but she has some difficulty in solving a case of three inter-related murders. Solving this particular case is crucial especially because her sister is one of the murder suspects.

I like historical fiction, and this book seemed especially interesting because of the gender based angle. I will admit that initially I was pretty confused about “Sherlock Holmes” because he also seemed to be a character in the book. It isn’t yet clear what time period the book is set in exactly – is Sherlock Holmes alive, or has it been past his time? It does not help that I “heard” not “read” this book, because it is easier to roll back a few pages to clarify details, than to have to roll back time on my phone’s audiobook player to get to the exact spot.

I did like Charlotte’s character, and quite sympathized with her frustrations at all the societal pressure on a female of marriageable age. Author Thomas builds the characters well, so well in fact that the initial part of the book seemed to drag a bit. There is quite a bit of build-up before Charlotte can come into her own as a detective, and it takes some patience to get through all that before we get to the meat of the mystery. I generally give an audiobook about 2 hours to pull me in (an average audiobook is about 12 hours of listening time), and this one almost did not make the cut. However sticking through it was well worth it, and I am looking forward to the books in the series (this is the first one).

Narrator Kate Reading was very pleasant to listen to and did a great job bringing all the characters, both male and female, to life.

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