We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
A Study in Scarlet Women Audiobook

A Study in Scarlet Women: The Lady Sherlock Series, Book 1

Regular Price:$24.47
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

USA Today best-selling author Sherry Thomas turns the story of the renowned Sherlock Holmes upside down.

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, 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.

©2016 Sherry Thomas (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Narrator Kate Reading is masterful in her portrayals in this clever historical mystery with a fabulous twist.... Reading's aristocratic British voices are spot-on, and her acting is outstanding.... This is an exceptionally fine audio experience, with a story that will grab listeners from the get-go." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1599 )
5 star
 (922)
4 star
 (455)
3 star
 (151)
2 star
 (45)
1 star
 (26)
Overall
4.3 (1464 )
5 star
 (808)
4 star
 (427)
3 star
 (162)
2 star
 (37)
1 star
 (30)
Story
4.6 (1459 )
5 star
 (1037)
4 star
 (321)
3 star
 (72)
2 star
 (18)
1 star
 (11)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Lady Wesley 03-25-17
    Lady Wesley 03-25-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    222
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    96
    59
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    17
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "First-rate author and first-rate narrator"

    I wrote the following review for the Kindle version of this book, so I will simply add that Kate Reading's narration makes the story even better. She has such a wonderfully wide repetoire of male and female voices and accents that it's easy to forget that you're listening to just one person.

    Sherry Thomas is one of the best historical romance authors of the past decade, so I had no concerns that she could write a good historical mystery. But Sherlock Holmes? As a woman? Even though I am a long-time Sherlockian, I am not fanatical about the sanctity of Conan Doyle's canon -- so why not? I can enthusiastically report that Thomas has pulled off this challenge in a first-rate manner.

    It is very easy to see Sherlock in Charlotte Holmes's personality, mannerisms, and intellect. Conan Doyle never showed us the very young Sherlock, so Thomas is free to experiment here. Charlotte is the youngest of four daughters born to the unhappily-wed Sir Henry and Lady Holmes. Henrietta, the eldest, has modeled herself after her unpleasant mother, and is married to a Mr. Cumberland. It remains to be seen whether she has adopted her mother's habit of slapping hapless servants and unruly daughters. The next sister, Bernadine, is so withdrawn that she is no longer taken out in society; today we probably would diagnose her as autistic, perhaps epileptic, and anorexic to boot. Sister Livia, Charlotte's only friend, has had eight unsuccessful Seasons and is prone to depression. She at least takes pleasure from writing incessantly in her journal. One other member of the family is Mrs. Gladwell, the widow of Sir Henry's cousin, whom Charlotte has figured out is also Sir Henry's mistress.

    Charlotte is her father's pet and her mother's despair. She is sharply intelligent and blessed with an amazing memory as well as powers of observation and deduction. She is forthright to the point of rudeness and so completely uninterested getting married that she has turned down several proposals. She is quite beautiful and has allowed her mother to dress her in the height of fashion, but underneath the veneer Charlotte is a determined non-conformist.

    Although they play relatively minor roles in the book's plot, I mention Charlotte's family because Thomas paints a particularly affecting portrait of them in the first few chapters. It wasn't really necessary, but it sets up the story so nicely. Such is the mark of an extraordinary writer. Moreover, this part of the story is written from Livia's point of view and suggests that Livia may be the chronicler, i.e., a sort of Watson to Charlotte's Sherlock.

    Charlotte's ambition is to become headmistress of a girls' school, which is really quite silly, as she has never been to school, but that seems to be the only professional option available to a gently-bred young lady. Her father encourages Charlotte's aspiration, but as the book opens Charlotte is infuriated to see that he is succumbing to his wife's pressure to marry her off.

    Although Charlotte is supposedly very smart, she embarks on a farcical scheme to get herself ruined (by a carefully selected married man) and thus made ineligible for marriage. The scheme goes spectacularly awry, and Charlotte flees her home and reckons she can find some type of respectable employment. With no references and no experience, she is finding it rough going. Until, that is, she meets and instantly feels an affinity for a colorful, older lady whose army officer husband died in Afghanistan. This Mrs. Watson is a comfortably-wealthy but lonely former actress who has unsuccessfully been looking for a paid companion. She is intrigued by Charlotte's special talent for solving mysteries, and when she offers Charlotte the position as her companion, the reader can see that she envisions them as partners in adventure.

    Aside from her sweet sister Livia, Charlotte has one other friend: Lord Ingram Ashburton, to whom she has been close since childhood. Indeed, when Lord Ingram enters the plot, it is clear that he and Charlotte are in love with one another. Not that they would admit it, for he is unhappily married and far too honorable to act upon his improper feelings. Lord Ingram, a gentleman archeologist, has served as a go-between for Charlotte and Scotland Yard's Inspector Treadles (ah, we have our Lestrade) where Charlotte's talent has helped solve a few cases. Treadles, however, does not know that Charlotte is Sherlock; he thinks she is Sherlock's sister.

    This, then, is the set-up for the mysteries that confront Inspector Treadles when Sherlock Holmes publishes a letter connecting three, apparently unrelated and apparently natural, deaths:

    "It has come to my attention that Mr. Harrington Sackville’s death, by apparent overdose of chloral, may not be an isolated incident: Lady Amelia Drummond preceded him in death by a week and a half; the Dowager Baroness Shrewsbury followed a mere twenty-four hours later. Lady Amelia was first cousin to Mr. Sackville’s elder brother by the same father, Lord Sheridan, and godmother to one of Baroness Shrewsbury’s children."

    With this shocking announcement – and how could I resist saying it? – the game is afoot. I found this book to be quite as good as any Conan Doyle mystery (and I have read them all many times). The characters are intriguing and well-drawn, and the pacing is excellent. As with any mystery, not everyone is completely honest, but neither did I notice anything so misleading as to be considered unfair. Although this book is not a historical romance like many of Sherry Thomas's other books, I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who enjoys mysteries in a historical setting. I can't wait for the next book, A Conspiracy in Belgravia, due out in September 2017, where Charlotte's client is looking for her missing lover. And that client is none other than Lord Ingram's wife!

    44 of 48 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eddie Lynn 11-22-16
    Eddie Lynn 11-22-16 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    191
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    366
    154
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    24
    14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sherlock in a skirt and corset?"

    I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fan and try to read or listen to all of the iterations of Mr. Holmes. This is a great twist on the traditional character. So many plot lines within the telling of the tale, that if I had been given a test on the characters half-way through the book, I would probably have failed.
    This was pure entertainment for me. I am eager to start on Book 2.
    If you enjoy the path of a Sherlock Holmes story, give this a try. Excellent narration helps any story, Ms. Reading did an outstanding job, as usual.

    41 of 45 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LW09 01-23-17
    LW09 01-23-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fun Idea with Unnecessary Twists and Subplots"
    Would you recommend A Study in Scarlet Women to your friends? Why or why not?

    The main characters were interesting and fun to follow, but the writer intentionally misleads the reader in certain places and over complicates the storyline to create unnecessary twists and subplots. I would be more excited for the next installment if this story was a little more straight forward.


    27 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-21-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    86
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nice premise but..."

    I like the twist on Sherlock Holmes and Watson. I'm also a fan of other Sherry Thomas's books. However, I found it difficult to follow the plot. The story felt cluttered with too many characters and threads, leaving the ending muddy anti-climatic. I'm not sure I'm willing to use another credit for the next story, which is a shame.

    28 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Sarabasha 10-26-16 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    123
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    364
    61
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent twist."

    Fast moving. Complex. And full of historical details. Looking forward to the next installment. Hopefully as Charlotte gathers more experience she will need less male assistance.

    23 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yvonne Southfield, mi, United States 11-18-16
    Yvonne Southfield, mi, United States 11-18-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    948
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1157
    618
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    52
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "LOVE It"


    When is book 2 coming out! This was an excellent book with a new twist on the Holmes and Watson angle. Charlotte Holmes is a modern day woman stuck in the 1800’s. She has all the qualities of the male Sherlock Holmes deductive reasoning, attention to detail, lack of social skills, and little need for the requisite social morals or behaviors. The shame of being caught in a compromising position is worth forcing her dad to let her go to university. Only because she has ulterior motives does she play the traditional female role. When that did not work, she took drastic measures to take control of her life. She makes herself an outcast to force her father to send he to university/trade school.

    Independence is what motivates her choices and the desire for intellectual challenge to stimulate her mind. She and Ms. Watson formed a friendship and business relationship based on their desire for independence and the unconventional manner they pursue it.
    Being familiar with the traditional Holmes and Watson this female version is even more entertaining. Simply putting a dress on is characters exaggerates society’s disapproval and forces the ladies to go to inventive measures to use their intelligence.

    When the inspector discovers the ruse of the ladies he shocked and outrage that he has been duped. Yet, after having a conversation with his wife, who provided insight into the case, he finds that other women have the desire to follow unconventional paths.

    Yet there are progressive men who give support and advice to Holmes. These are married men and again it is social norms for the closeness and hinted attraction of their relationship. Much of Holmes disregard for the conventional guides for relationships is from discovering the bases of her parents’ relationship. This knowledge softens her feelings toward her mother, while alienating her from her father.

    A great part of the story centers around Holmes proving her father and sister did not commit murder of her father’s mistress. Her parents’ marriage is typical in the 1800s when marrying includes having a comparable social standing and wealth. Her mother, Mrs. Holmes was stuck in the intendable position of having to marry Mr. Holmes, who could not marry his true love. Mrs. Holmes was further humiliated to marry Mr. Holmes on the date he and his true love set. In addition, she had to live with the knowledge that he continued a relationship with his true love through their marriage.

    Charlotte who no regard for proper social behavior, was enlighten about her mother’s tyranny and crestfallen about the lack of honor for her father.

    Once out of her parents’ home, she discovers that the duplicitous in which people lead their lives. Her orchestrated tryst with a married man, will forever keep her exclude her from obtaining her independence. It is not until she meets Watson and former stage dance that she learns how to earn a living and live independently.

    33 of 39 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maggie Magoo 11-02-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful Narration"

    Enjoyed this book. The narrator did a great job separating the various (and easy-to-confuse) characters without going overboard with accents. Nicely done.

    16 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MxH San Tan Valley, AZ, United States 01-05-17
    MxH San Tan Valley, AZ, United States 01-05-17 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    178
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    84
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "More Clever Than Expected"

    Clean writing, tight plot, and enjoyable. I was afraid this book would be another mediocre retelling, but the author adds a hint of freshness by touching on women's and children's issues on the eve of the 20th century. There are small parts that are over heavy on the character development, but that's to be expected in the first of a series. Kate Reading gives an impeccable performance. I'm not waiting impatiently for the next book, but I will certainly read it.

    18 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rashima 03-28-17
    Rashima 03-28-17 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    133
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fast moving?"

    Fast moving? If you call a snails pace fast, then yes it is. Almost four hours in and you wondering when it'll get somewhere.

    Veronica Speedwell is fast moving. Beginning to end.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Smile 02-05-17
    Smile 02-05-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "True to form!"

    If you enjoy the original Sherlock Holmes stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and you wondered what Sherlock would be like as a woman then this might be a book for you. Ms. Thomas kept many of the very traditional Holmesian elements in place but came up with a plausible explanation from a female point of view including a Mrs. Watson. I look forward to seeing more in this particular series.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.