A Study in Scarlet Women (The First in the Lady Sherlock Series) is an interesting take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s character. I initially felt uncertain and a bit awkward about Charlotte Holmes’, the Lady Sherlock, because of what she does to gain her freedom and independence. And yet the affair she has is what causes her to take up the Sherlock Holmes mantle for her livelihood.
My feeling about Charlotte eased bit by bit once Inspector Teadles and Lord Ingram enter the book. Then they went away completely after kind-hearted widow takes Charlotte in and under her wing. The two have an immediate connection and more than once Charlotte says the widow could easily be her mother. Spoiler this is just a fantasy on Charlotte’s part, she is not adopted.
These four characters coming together are the take off point of the book for me. The mystery begins soon after when Charlotte’s sister and her father come under suspicion of murder when the mother of the man she had an affair suddenly dies. Right on the heels of this two more deaths occur. Immediately raw fear and determination take hold of Charlotte driving her to find the real culprits. First though she must convince the police and she does through Treadles. Charlotte is also aided by the widow, who gives her encouragement in her gift of great intellect and from Lord Ingram, a childhood friend, in solving the mystery.
Although Study in Scarlet Women, began awkwardly for me how the rest of the book unfolded convinced me to read the next book in the series.