Review: A Study In Scarlet Women (Lady Sherlock #1) by Sherry Thomas

For some reason, over the last few months I’ve repeatedly seen the Lady Sherlock series popping up on my Twitter feed. I am a sucker for Sherlock Holmes inspired mysteries so when I saw this come up so often, I gave in and decided to read it!

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 (summary from Goodreads).

By all accounts, this book should have been one that I loved. Mystery, Victorian London, a little romance, and a sassy heroine. But something for me just wasn’t working in this one. I have spent sometime reflecting on what was and I think the biggest issue for me was the third person POV and then we have a few randomly placed multiple person POVs which just didn’t work or were completely unnecessary.

For me personally, this approach limited my connection with the heroine. I thought Charlotte was smart, sassy, and inquisitive and I LOVED her response to people….a real sharp cookie to be sure! However I never felt like I got ‘close’ to her. I felt like I was ever really interacting with her beyond what the narrator was saying which left me feeling detached and less interested in her story. As the heroine, I expected to feel a ‘connection’ with her, or at least invested in her story and I just wasn’t. I found myself getting distracted and uninterested because I never really had a connection with her.

I also felt like it took too long to get into the story. For me there was too much build up to Charlotte’s move to London and because of that I felt like the mystery was condensed into the second third of the book and that was just too long for me. There were also a lot of characters to keep track of that it felt like a lot.

There we just a lot of things not working in this book for me. Honestly, I never imagined in a million years that I wouldn’t like this book. I was surprised that I didn’t and even more surprised that I actually finished it! I found myself loosing interest in the characters and the story. At times I wanted to give up and just not finish. However, I feel strongly that if I am going to give a fair review of a book, then I need to finish it, so I did.

So where does that leave us. Sure the book had alright moments and some twists but on the whole it just wasn’t what I was expecting at all which made me horribly sad. I have never actually give a one star rating in all my 7 years book blogging and reviewing but I couldn’t wholeheartedly give this one anything more than a one or at most, a two star review. I wanted to love this one so much and I was heart broken that I just didn’t. I normally would give the second book in a series a shot to see if it would improve but in this case, I just don’t think this is the series for me. I am sure there are plenty of others who LOVED this book and this series, but I just didn’t.

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: A Study In Scarlet Women (Lady Sherlock #1) by Sherry Thomas

  • Kindle Edition, 336 pages
    Published October 18th 2016 by Berkley

    Review copy provided by: Personal collection

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 1 out of 5

Genre: Mystery, Victorian lit, Detective novel

Memorable lines/quotes: 


4 thoughts on “Review: A Study In Scarlet Women (Lady Sherlock #1) by Sherry Thomas

  1. Hallo, Hallo Anne,…

    As I’m coming into this one via the audiobook (via my local library) I am unsure if this makes a striking difference in how the novel will play out for me? I will have to follow-back with you and make that determination!! I was reading your review via GR as that is where Twitter linked me when I saw your 1* – it surprised me as you are not normally as vocal as I become within my ‘fly in the ointment’ sections of my own book blog – therefore, I *knew!* something was distinctively off about this novel as your 1* was a precursor (in my eyes) for a serious discussion about what took you outside the narrative itself, what removed you from the lead character & of course, what this simply wasn’t your cuppa.

    I’m attempting to write a post soon about ‘not finishing novels’ – I’ll have to tag you as it will parlay back round to some of the notations you’ve mentioned here. Although, I know you finished this one – the essence of not finishing a book and what you’ve itemised out as your reasons behind not enjoying this one will resonate (I think?).

    Still. Never apologise – there are stories out there I get wicked excited over myself and bam! shocker of my own readerly life – I just can NOT love them? *le sigh* This year is sprinkled with such reviews, spotlghts (which are reduced reviews – not the ones where I’m happy over the books, the other ‘spotlights’) and posts where I discuss what really went wrong for me and why another reader would be best for the context of the story.

    Ooh! On the flipside? I read a print novel by one author once and couldn’t connect to her style, her characters or her plot; re-attempted the same author but elected to host the audiobook tour? Guess who *loves!* the author now? I have no idea what makes the cardinal difference when you go from print to audiobook – but sometimes, sometimes – this can and does make the difference. For me that author was Keyworth – (a href=””see also this review)

    1. As a follow-up….

      When the audiobook began, I was a bit shocked at how droll this sounded?! I am not sure what I was expecting but because I regularly read after canon narratives for Holmes & Watson, this felt heavier than most and what shocked me more is the descriptive nature of the words and phrases themselves which for whatever reason was the truer reason I felt “taken out” of the methodology I have become accustomed to knowing as being definitely “Holmesian”. Therefore, I promptly boomeranged the audiobook back to the library and let another patron have at it. It is sadly not my cuppa either and this is definitely one I would have earmarked as either 1* myself and/or a more simple “DNF” without prejudice because it just didn’t live up to what I was expecting either!

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