Hello happy readers! I hope you all are having a good Friday and have some fun plans for the weekend ahead. It's a bit later in the day but wow is it hot as Hades out and humid here and yard work….death. Still my grass was almost to my knees so it was kind of necessary. That said today I am here to discuss a relative new release that I finished last week but have been a bit slow to get my thoughts to paper. The title is the first book in a new series, A Study in Shifters (The Adventures of Marisol Holmes #1) by Majanka Verstraete. I was provided a digital ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review thanks to NetGalley and Monster House Books.
Marisol Holmes, descendant of Sherlock Holmes, and half jaguar shifter and next in line to the shifter throne, is trying to repair the damage done from a mistake she made. After she trusted the wrong guy in the worst way Marisol is able to convince the Conclave, the underground organization of detectives solving supernatural cases, to give her a chance to redeem herself. She is put on a new case, one she has even more reason to solve as the evidence is pointing towards a fellow jaguar shifter and that could spell bad news for her mother and her place on the throne. She is on the case, undercover at the school working in secret with her new supervisor, *cough* babysitter *cough* but things get very personal as the case unfolds. Can she unravel the mystery and solve the case before too much damage or life is lost?
So I was stoked about this book for obvious reasons. Shifters, Sherlock, and I have read all but one series by this published house and loved them so far so why not. It was a new to me author and I was ready to dive in. Like the other books I have enjoyed from this publisher it has beyond everything else awesome worlds and super fast paced books you can fly by. This was no exception. A Study in Shifters is a fast paced read that really keeps the story moving along as it builds the world around you. Marisol is trying to recover from a big mistake involving a boy and more than just a broken heart. I liked diving right into things. Marisol was really hard on herself for her mistakes, which I find relatable. I'm not a shifter and thankfully none of my mistakes were ever this life and death but I know each time I make one, more so when I was still in school, I could fill a library with my worried 'should of' or 'could of' moments. Still even as she struggles with pushing things down she is very clever and amazing at facts and puzzles, something we associate with a Holmes. Stealing a line from a fav show that recently got the boot, she has a high IQ but low EQ, basically book smart not interacting with people smart.
There is a strong hierarchy in the shifter world. Each clan has a leader and then a leader of the clans which is a power struggle. I loved the dynamic about the different clans and look forward to getting to know more of the different clans and their ins and outs as the series continues. Mannix, the one who betrayed Marisol, is a great Moriarty like villain. All of this was a fun and interesting story full of mystery and puzzles which I adored.
Still there were a few things that for me lessened my adoration of the book slightly. Again I was reading an ARC so some of this may have been corrected or edited prior to publication. The biggest was some repetition. I understand the need for some for sure in building but some aspects , but the constant references to the "big betrayal," were a bit excessive especially in the first part of the story. IT was mentioned so often I felt they whole event could have been explained twice instead of the references. There was also a lot of talk about the different modes and the mind palace which I enjoyed but sometimes her mode or palace was mentioned a few times in the same paragraph. It pulled me slightly from the action of the story here and there which is a shame because it's really good. I think I just didn't connect as much to that lead in being as mysterious and vague, maybe because that wasn't the mystery I wanted to focus on.
So overall I enjoyed this start to a new series and will be looking for book two for sure. The story, the characters, mystery, and this fun little world melding Sherlock and shifters is bound to be lots more fun. And most importantly it was entertaining and that is what counts for me. I was captured and really enjoyed my reading time so I still rate it high and look forward to reading more. Because to be sure there are some things I figured out and others I did not see coming in the least and that is always great. I'm excited to see what is next for Marisol, Indra, Mannix, Roan, Wyatt and the shifter clans!
Until next time…