A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that A Question of Holmes is the fourth and final installment in Brittany Cavallero's Charlotte Holmes series, featuring the troubled, brilliant, but well-meaning 18-year-old descendants of the original Holmes and Watson. Here, Charlotte and Jamie are finally out of prep school and spending the summer in a pre-college program at Oxford, which is supposed to be an idyllic interlude for two teens in love. But doesn't always turn out that way, as the past disappearance of a student, the murder of a professor, and a lot of orchids take center stage. There are many curse words ("f--k," "s--t," "ass," etc.), and everyone in the story's of legal drinking age in England, so there's lots of drinking, both polite and excessive, the latter resulting in gross hangovers. Characters also smoke cigarettes. Many couples are romantically involved and having sex, but there's not much descriptive detail and lots of inner turmoil about relationships.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson, spending the summer in Oxford doing a pre-college Shakespeare program before they head off to university in A QUESTION OF HOLMES. After the harrowing events of the first three Charlotte Holmes books, sounds idyllic, right? Especially since most of their dysfunctional family members are off being dysfunctional and leaving them alone. But no. While they would love to spend the time having fun, working on their relationship, and figuring out the future, they're soon sucked into a mystery involving a vanished student, a bereft (and much-suspected) boyfriend, a lot of exotic orchids... And then a professor is killed.
Is it any good?
This tale of Charlotte and Jamie's summer in Oxford ties up lots of issues left unresolved in Book 3, making it a satisfying, eventful series finale. Less lurid and edgy and more of a romp than previous books as the central characters try to get past their pasts, A Question of Holmes keeps the sarcastic humor and complex characterization readers have come to know and love. Put this one on the great beach-read list.
"Yes, we had taken down a criminal mastermind; yes, I had lost people I loved as we had done do; yes, I did in fact have that wretched middle name, but despite what Cassidy from Watson's French class told the Daily Mail, I had never once bitten off someone's ear because they wouldn't give me a cigarette.
"If the need had been urgent enough, I would have simply taken one."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why spin-offs of the Sherlock Holmes series, like A Question of Holmes, are so popular. What's the appeal? Do you have any favorites? How do you think the Charlotte and Jamie stories compare to others you know?
What do you think makes a good mystery?
Have you read other stories set in Oxford? Have you ever been there? What's interesting or surprising about the town, the university, and its people and history?
- Author: Brittany Cavallaro
- Genre: Mystery
- Topics: Arts and Dance, Book Characters, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
- Publication date: March 5, 2019
- Number of pages: 304
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: May 8, 2019
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