A Study in Honor by Claire O'Dell

A Study in Honor

Dr. Janet Watson knows firsthand the horrifying cost of a divided nation. While treating broken soldiers on the battlefields of the New Civil War, a sniper’s bullet shattered her arm and ended her career. Honorably discharged and struggling with the semi-functional mechanical arm that replaced the limb she lost, she returns to the nation’s capital, a bleak, edgy city in the throes of a fraught presidential election. Homeless and jobless, Wats...

Details A Study in Honor

TitleA Study in Honor
Release DateJul 31st, 2018
PublisherHarper Voyager
GenreMystery, Science Fiction, Fiction, Lgbt, Adult

Reviews A Study in Honor

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    “It’s not as expensive as you think.”Sara Holmes leaned against the entry to the parlor, arms folded and mouth quirked into a smile. The lace gloves on her hands were just visible, though their color had faded to a pale gray.“How did you-”“Deduction. And a certain empathy born of like experience.” god, this was so good. it's a really fucking awesome reimagining of Sherlock Holmes but they're both black sapphic ladies and also, it...
  • Hart
    I was really looking forward to this book, and although it has some great qualities, I didn't enjoy it. I have not read many published Sherlock Holmes adaptations, but I think I've rated them all two or three stars. So, please keep in mind that I may be more biased against adaptations with these characters than I realize.The cover is absolutely perfect; it's so rare for a cover to show the characters exactly as they're described, and I am always ...
  • Rhode
    DNFed at page 100. It’s compelling enough to pull you in, but then for me it kept hitting sour notes, and I was disturbed by the author photo.The book’s written in the first person, plus the heroine writes about herself in her journal. We get an unlikely amount of background info (ie infodumping) from that journal. Nobody writes a summary of recent current events in their journal, do they? For that matter, do they write in a bland, complete-s...
  • Joe Crowe
    So cool. That's what this book is.It combines sci-fi and Sherlock Holmes in a feminist telling of the Holmes mythos with Janet Watson and an LGTBQA Sara Holmes in a future after a second Civil War. The author has created spins on the characters that are true to their origins. Clearly, author O'Dell is having a blast with the characters. This is Holmes at the Holmesiest. Beyond the Holmes stuff, the story is a frenetic, intelligent mystery. O'Dell...
  • KP
    (Review originally posted on the John H Watson Society website.)General ReviewI think most people could guess by now that I love twists on the classic Holmes story. While I do enjoy the more traditional pastiche—give me a Lyndsay Faye story any day!—there is something that continues to intrigue me about pastiches that do something different to our characters. Holmes and Watson were, after all, men of their time, even if they were eccentric. P...
  • Heather Jones
    If you’d handed me A Study in Honor knowing nothing except what’s in the blurb, I’d probably have told you that I’m not really into near-future dystopian political thrillers, even one that’s re-visioning of Holmes and Watson featuring two queer black women. But tell me that [author I love] is coming out with a new series under a new nom de plume and I’ll give anything she writes a try. I would have missed out on a great book if I’d ...
  • Paul Daniel Ash
    lovely dystopian procedural I had forgotten, when I started reading it, that it was a re-imagined Sherlock and Holmes with black women. The characterizations are all delightful and the action builds at a terrific, measured pace. I can’t say I’m unconcerned about a white women writing black lives at a time when black authors are struggling to get published, but the work strikes me as well-done.
  • Avery (Book Deviant)
    ok so. i really liked this book!! but a retelling of sherlock holmes...should have a mystery BEFORE the 50% mark. which this book ultimately failed at, because i only really caught wind of the mystery around the 65-70% mark.also--that ending? convenient and cheap as fuck. i wanted a solid end to the mystery, not more questions and anger at being cheated out of an actual, substantive ending.sigh.full review to come eventually (i promise.)
  • Cynthia
    this was a really great read - i'm weak for holmes/watson always, and their dynamic was delightful in this. i was shrieking with joy at so many moments; holmes' particular brand of baffling intensity is wonderful. i love claire o'dell's reimagining of them as queer black women in a near-future US, and watson's voice was solid and engaging. and sara holmes is such a deeply devoted weirdo oh my god i love her.
  • erforscherin
    Not my cup of tea, I’m afraid. I’m always game for a genderbending Sherlock Holmes story (hello, Elementary!), but I was pretty disappointed here. Maybe most puzzling were the decisions to make Holmes a spy rather than a detective, and to keep Watson in the dark most of the time and/or repeatedly drug her while the bigger plot happens offscreen — why?? Without getting a chance to see those deductive skills at work, or a true partnership for...
  • LAPL Reads
    Sherlock Holmes is the world’s best known, and possibly most popular, detective. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published the first Sherlock Holmes story, “A Study in Scarlet,” in 1887. Over the next forty years, Doyle went on to write fifty-five additional short stories and four novels about Holmes and his faithful companion, Dr. John Watson.Holmes and Watson have become icons for both Great Britain and the mystery genre, and their adventures did ...
  • Morgan Dhu
    In a near-future America wracked by civil war, wounded army doctor Janet Watson, a surgeon who no longer has two flesh and blood arms with which to operate, heads to Washington. In addition to the physical trauma of her injury and the retrofitted prosthesis that doesn’t quite work right, she is dealing with the knowledge that her final military action was a shameful one, its veterans viewed with disgrace. Battered by war, without a promise of w...
  • Kristen
    A Study in Honor has a great premise and I loved a lot of the ideas that went into this reimagining of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. I did think that Janet Watson's characterization was well done and that she herself was the highlight of the novel, but I also thought that her promising dynamic with Sara Holmes never quite gelled. Ultimately, I found it to be rather slow going much of the time since the investigation didn't particularly interest...
  • Starr
    I was given a copy of this book, free, in exchange for my honest opinion. This is a gender and race flipped Sherlock Holmes retelling. Though I was interested in it, I have to admit that I ended up enjoying it a lot more than expected. Dr. Janet Watson was a surgeon in the army, on the front lines during the new civil war. She was discharged when she was shot and lost her arm during one of the battles against the New Confederacy. Now that she is...
  • Alison
    I really liked this retelling of Sherlock Holmes, except with black sapphic ladies in the middle of a post-Trump civil war. The political mystery I found interesting, and I loved the characterization of Sara Holmes and Janet Watson. Watson did revel in her misery quite a lot during the book, and I think it represented PTSD well. There wasn’t as much relationship building as I would have liked, but I hope we can see that in the next book.
  • Patti
  • Geonn Cannon
    It takes a while for the mystery to get rolling, mainly because there's so much set-up (which I appreciate). This new Watson and Holmes are an intriguing pair, and I look forward to reading more about them in the future. Definitely lives up to the anticipation created when I read the summary.
  • Noella Handley
    An unsettling vision of what our near future could be like. Fun for fans of Sherlock Holmes, but also completely stands up as a great story on its own.
  • no
    i can imagine 90% of janet's dialogues and internal monologue in martin freeman's voice
  • Lexie
    I went into this book intrigued for three reasons:- Claire O'Dell is the (open) pseudonym for fantasy author Beth Bernobich, 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 c...
  • Stacey Lunsford
    I had hoped for more from this novel based on reviews. The futuristic part was based on the idea of white supremacists starting another civil war. The mystery hinged around soldiers being given dodgy drugs to make them "super soldiers" with the usual fatal drawbacks. The character of Watson was pretty well fleshed out, the Holmes character much less so. I knew that the dying soldiers had been given dodgy drugs early on because this is a familiar ...
  • Morgan
    Honestly, I'm a bit annoyed about the author's attempt to write with a black voice. I only made it to chapter 4, but every instance of the author trying to point out the problems of race seemed forced and inauthentic. Plus, the introduction of Watson to Holmes was utterly ridiculous and made no sense, honestly. I will not be finishing this book.
  • Monika Spancheska
    A Study in Honor is a sci-fi thriller written by Claire O'Dell. It follows Janet Watson, a military surgeon who during the Second Civil War loses her arm in the battlefield. With an ill-fitting prosthetic arm and severe PTSD, Watson arrives in DC and tries to get her life back on track; there she meets Sara Holmes, and her life soon becomes threatened. I was so disappointed by this book, which makes me sad, since when I first heard about it, it s...
  • Alice, as in Wonderland
    Oh yeah, so I'm biased. Holmes and Watson have been reincarnated a thousand times over, and I lap it up every single time, but so rarely have they been women of color, let alone woc AND queer. If there was a button that decided if this book could enter the world, I might have broken it through sheer force of want. This is a Watson book. You know, it's a little weird to say that, because many adaptations of Holmes do a great disservice to Watson. ...
  • Eric
    TL;DR A Study in Honor by Claire O'Dell is the gender-flipped twist on the Holmes icon that I didn’t know I needed. Highly recommended! Review To paraphrase Heraclitus, you can never step into the same stream twice. This simple saying occupies a Schrodinger’s version of truth because you both can and can’t. The stream itself is the collection of water, land, stone, and geographic marker while at the same time each of those are undergoing mi...
  • Megan
    Sherlock Holmes has never really been my thing. My sister stole the big collected Arthur Conan Doyle stories from our dad's shelves and then she read all of them, and Holmes became her territory. I could have encroached, but she and I--every once in a while--decide to differentiate ourselves, so that maybe, just maybe, people will stop thinking we're twins. So Sherlock was my sister's thing, and I enjoyed the idea of it but generally stayed away....
  • Kelso Kappel
    What I liked: This book features two well written female leads that are riffs on Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Through a series of events, they find each other working together to solve a growing mystery. They had great chemistry and although it seemed at times they were veering into romantic territory, I was relieved the author never pursued a romance between them. I also found the political landscape intruiging as the story takes place during...
  • Krayfish1
    Good premise, terrible execution.Making Watson and Holmes black women in Washington DC because Watson is home from the 2nd Civil War, and wants to shake a new prosthetic arm out of the VA is a lovely premise, and I really wanted to like it.Watson is okay. During the first 50 pages it felt like she was just a convenient way for the author to spout her current (liberal, white woman's) political views, but she slowly developed into a character as sh...