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A Study in Honor

de Claire O'Dell

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

Séries: The Janet Watson Chronicles (1)

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24815106,346 (3.63)13
Set in a near future Washington, DC, this novel offers a feminist twist on Sherlock Holmes, in which Dr. Janet Watson and covert agent Sara Holmes unmask a murderer. The near future, Washington, D.C.: While treating broken soldiers on the battlefields of the New Civil War, a sniper's bullet shattered Dr. Janet Watson's arm and ended her career. Struggling with the semi-functional mechanical arm, homeless and jobless, Watson meets another black and queer woman: Sara Holmes, a covert agent who offers the doctor a place to stay. Watson finds her new roommate strange-- but when they discover that soldiers from the New Civil War have begun dying one by one, and the deaths may involve the pharmaceutical industry and even the looming election, Watson and Holmes join forces to secure justice for these fallen soldiers. -- adapted from back cover.… (mais)
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I went into this book intrigued for three reasons:
- Claire O'Dell is the (open) pseudonym for fantasy author [a:Beth Bernobich|1394555|Beth Bernobich|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1270570844p2/1394555.jpg], who's works I adore
- Female Sherlock Holmes and Watson!
- Near Future/quasi-scifi leanings!

The fact both of them were black and queer didn't even register with me - I saw the cover (which of course features two Black women - also I love this cover), but I hadn't read the backcover before I was requesting the book.

This is a compelling read. Yes, I used the word compelling and yes I meant it. While the bare bones of the well trod Sherlock mythos are here, O'Dell gives us a new take that grounds the story in a very real sense of the world. We're not given the exact year this is set, but its after the current presidency and its explicitly stated that the war Watson fought in is a result of the world this presidency encourages. but I won't get into my own politics - cause I agree with a lot of the conclusions drawn and implied here as well as can easily see this sort of thing occurring in the real world It gives this an undercut of tension while I was reading, a sort of fear that "holy shit this is all too true" feeling.

It made it hard at times to read as fast as I wanted. Emotionally I got overwhelmed; with how Watson felt, with how she reacted, with how the world was. But I needed to know what was going to happen. I needed to know how the puzzle pieces fit together, why it all mattered. So many things that on the surface amounted to very little - the death of a veteran who was obviously haunted by the demons from the War, a military Doctor who disappeared, a squadron who disobeyed orders - these are all so mundane, so common, but Watson felt it was imperative to dig deeper. And that urgency, that drive, made me feel it too.

Holmes, Sara Holmes, is both every frustrating characteristic of Sherlock Holmes and all the best parts amplified. She is not written more "feminine" or in any fashion that would pigeon hole her as "oh she's just a female Holmes" and easily dismissed. She's fascinating because honestly her behavior is so gender non-specific. She's not warmer because she's female nor did it seem to give her any special insight. Her calculations and intelligence are genderless; her motivations and her actions equally so. If Watson didn't remind us that Holmes was female, I'd be hard pressed to find any where in the narrative (that isn't a physical description of her) that points to that conclusion.

In the end, like most Holmes' tales, the mystery has a very common place motivation. And for me, this book became way less about the mystery then it did about who Watson would be at the end. Would she still be the bitter, veteran who just wanted a device that would allow her to reclaim a part of herself she considered essential? Would she recapture any of the idealism she had before she joined the War effort 3 years prior?

Or would she, like so many of her comrades in arms, succumb to the misery the world was forcing onto the broken and discarded in the name of progress? ( )
  lexilewords | Dec 28, 2023 |
These women, Janet Watson and Sara Holmes, are not Sherlock and Holmes. It would have been a boring book if O'Dell just changed their genders, plopped them in the future and had them do over the classic stories. Like the TV show Elementry, this book takes the essence of the two classic characters and crafts these characters' story around those essences.

The story really starts when a female veteran that Watson meets at her job dies. everything in Watson's life starts to snowball and get even worse than it is at the start of the novel (and that's saying something).

I enjoyed the novel for sure. The characters were interesting and most definitiely unique. At times here and there some parts felt over done by a bit, but, overall, it was just a heckuva thriller ride, especially at the end. ( )
  DanieXJ | Apr 30, 2023 |
This book was pure delight. I'm always a sucker for any recasting of the Sherlockian story, so this was a natural for me. I (sadly) appreciated the story's searing commentary on today's political climate and its frightening projection of near-future consequences.

Holmes and Watson as black women in Washington D.C., Watson (as in the original) a traumatized war veteran, is a fresh take on the relationship. (Mrs. Hudson and Adler are also represented.) This is the first book of a series which I will continue to enjoy. ( )
  JudyGibson | Jan 26, 2023 |
4 stars

Interesting and a little different from what I usually read. Might be the only contemporary re-telling I've ever actually read (at least while realizing it was a retelling). Focused a lot more on PTSD than the actual mystery. ( )
  tuusannuuska | Dec 1, 2022 |
Another adaption of the adventures of Sherlock & Watson; I thought the plot was pretty original and the protagonists just dissimilar enough from the original as to not be overly predictable. Holmes is definitely more personable in this novel. My dislikes include Watson constantly being on the verge of a mental breakdown and not acting very useful in general, the constant emphasis on race in situations where it was not needed, and the setting. The references to Trump, Bush, Paul Ryan, Obama, etc pulled me out of the story near constantly. If the setting had been in an ambiguous future America I think I would have enjoyed it more. When reading a fictional book I would rather not think about current/recent US politicians. ( )
1 vote awesomejen2 | Jun 21, 2022 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Claire O'Dellautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
McGrath, ChrisArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Set in a near future Washington, DC, this novel offers a feminist twist on Sherlock Holmes, in which Dr. Janet Watson and covert agent Sara Holmes unmask a murderer. The near future, Washington, D.C.: While treating broken soldiers on the battlefields of the New Civil War, a sniper's bullet shattered Dr. Janet Watson's arm and ended her career. Struggling with the semi-functional mechanical arm, homeless and jobless, Watson meets another black and queer woman: Sara Holmes, a covert agent who offers the doctor a place to stay. Watson finds her new roommate strange-- but when they discover that soldiers from the New Civil War have begun dying one by one, and the deaths may involve the pharmaceutical industry and even the looming election, Watson and Holmes join forces to secure justice for these fallen soldiers. -- adapted from back cover.

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