Happy to have C. Hope Clark back on the blog today!
Turning Classic Adult into Contemporary YA:
By C. Hope Clark
Sherlock Holmes is classic mystery. The character has been portrayed dark, humorous, handsome, and plain. Sherlock has solved the mysterious as an older man, a younger woman, and everything in between, but one of the more recent depictions comes in the form of a young adult girl around 18 years old. And her name is Charlotte Holmes.
Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson are the great-great-great descendants of the original Holmes and Watson, and they are every bit as wise and quirky as their ancestors.
Author Brittany Cavallaro is the author of the Charlotte Holmes series. She holds an MFA in poetry, acquired her PhD in English Literature, and is a Sherlockian fanatic. And she’s done a phenomenal job taking all things Sherlock and Holmes and morphing them into young adult. From the arrogance of Sherlock and his taste for the occasional drug, to Watson’s loyalty to Holmes, only this time through young adoring eyes.
On a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school, Jamie Watson finds himself forced to attend school alongside the illustrious, brilliant, yet temperamental Charlotte Holmes. They aren’t BFFs. Not by a long shot. Instead of a comfortable relationship, with the occasional dust up between the partners, they tend to perform as rivals, daring and testing each other, usually with Charlotte in the lead, and Jamie picking up the pieces or reining Charlotte in when she goes crazy off course. Her forever in her condescending yet endearing behavior toward Jamie.
This YA series relives all things Sherlock through the villains, through the descendants of Moriarity, Holmes and Watson, even through the clues from the playbooks of past tales solved by the original duo so many years prior. But the contemporary setting opens doors to more creative crime solving, more contemporary methods of danger, and more convoluted, emotionally-charged exchanges between the youngers sleuths.
As a mystery loves, and a lover of Sherlock, I met Ms. Cavallero at an Iowa writers conference, where we both served on the faculty of a three-day event. The night I heard her read aloud from A Study in Charlotte, the first in the series, I fell in love with her work. This new manner of depicting such classic mystery history, so wisely brought to current times with the right splash of humor, slang, and teenage angst, snared my attention, and I’m currenting reading the third in this series, The Case for Jamie.
This bridge between old and new, adult and YA, makes this series attractive and intelligent regardless which Sherlock you prefer. It’s smart. It’s spicy. Yet it brings forward the classical bones of the Arthur Conan Doyle versions.
What a wondrous method of introducing teens to the wonders of Holmes and Watson. . . and reintroducing adults to the Sherlock world through the progeny. Don’t you wish we could take so many of our classical stories and reintroduce them through the characters’ descendants? How cool would that be? Remembering the old through the new.
BIO – C. Hope Clark’s current release is Dying on Edisto, the fifth in the Edisto Island Mysteries. . . and her ninth mystery novel. Hope is published through Bell Bridge Books out of Memphis, TN and thrives on the world of mystery. She is also founder of FundsforWriters.com, chosen by Writer’s Digest for its 101 Best Websites for Writers for 17 years, and her newsletters to writers reach 35,000 readers. www.chopeclark.com
Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Cecily Taylor Series, the Star Series, and Dating the It Guy.
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