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Seventeen-year-old Marisol Holmes may be the great-great-great granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes, but it’s hard to live up to the family name when only one mistake can spell your downfall. After trusting the wrong guy in a case gone totally wrong, Marisol convinces the Conclave, an underground organization of detectives solving supernatural cases, to give her a last chance to prove her worth, and maybe even heal her broken heart.

After all, as a half-blood jaguar shifter, Marisol is uniquely qualified to solve this murder—and every scrap of evidence points toward the culprit being a fellow jaguar shifter. But is one of her own people involved, or is this all a ploy to kick Marisol’s mother off the shifter throne?

Then Marisol discovers her best friend, Roan, is missing, and maybe the killer’s next target. The stakes just got higher than political intrigue. Just when things couldn’t get worse, Marisol’s ex-boyfriend-turned-nemesis, Mannix, starts leaving sinister clues for her. Marisol fears this case might be far more personal than she could’ve imagined.

It’s time for Marisol to prove her worth, or her people could fall into chaos while her best friend loses his life.

300 pages, ebook

First published June 26, 2018

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About the author

Majanka Verstraete

45 books409 followers
Author Majanka Verstraete has written more than twenty unique works of fiction. A native of Belgium, Majanka’s novels explore the true nature of monsters: the good, the bad, and just about every species in between. Her young adult books include the acclaimed Mirrorland (YA Dark Fantasy) and Angel of Death (YA Paranormal) series of novels.

Majanka is currently developing a new YA shifter series with a fresh take on fierce female detectives called THE ADVENTURES OF MARISOL HOLMES which will be published by Monster House Books in October 2018.

Her NA paranormal romance series, Ghost Slayer, has been picked up by Fire Quill Publishing. The first volume will be released in 2017.

When she’s not writing, Majanka is probably playing World of Warcraft or catching up with the dozens of TV series she’s addicted to.

You can find more about my books on http://majankaverstraete.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 51 reviews
Profile Image for Amanda .
432 reviews154 followers
June 30, 2018
You can also find my review here:https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress....

I picked this book up for two major reasons, number one being shifters, it's been a long time since I've read a good shifter book, number two being Sherlock Holmes. Every mystery lover must admire Sherlock Holmes. Jackaby was a novel that I felt like combined Sherlock Holmes and the fantasy world, so I hoped that this might be like that. But unfortunately this book was not like that at all.

The title A Study in Shifters makes you think the book would be about shifters, but none of the characters actually shifted into their animal forms until the last ten percent of the book. It was basically a high school murder mystery book with some shifter politics thrown in. Which is fine, but not exactly what I was expecting. 

The one thing that really bothered me about this book was the way Marisol's thoughts and internal monologue were done. When Marisol was trying to piece together parts of the mystery or having any internal thought she would refer to it as "going into Sherlock mode" or going into her "mind palace" and searching through the imaginary cabinets in it for memories or answers. When she referred to her jaguar side she referred to it like it was a separate part of herself. It was like reading about someone with multiple personality disorder who was aware of the other personalities. It really disrupted the flow of the story and I just couldn't get used to it. 

....."At this, my jaguar let alone an enormous roar that echoed off the walls of my mind palace. She jumped up and clawed at the air, showing her teeth, and I knew that if I could still shift, my jaguar would have no trouble clawing her eyes out."

Yes, this is a real quote. Where she is referring to the jaguar in her mind, not a real jaguar. Instead of saying, the jaguar part of me wanted to shift and tear her face off, you got a picture of how the jaguar who lived in her "mind palace" responded to things.

"As I ran through those hallways, I reached deep within myself, to the dark hallways of my mind palace, and I began running too, toward that room that had served for so long as a prison for a part of me I couldn’t live with anymore. The door was half-destroyed already, my jaguar having done most of the work for me. She stared at me through the ruined door."

One of the things I did really like was the Indiana Jones style of puzzles for the mystery. There was a cipher and some interesting riddles that Marisol had to solve in order to figure out the mystery. It had some National Treasure vibes that were fun to read about. 

The pacing and plot were kind of slow, but it's really the writing that killed it for me. I just couldn't get into it. This isn't really a book I would ever recommend, which is sad. I really wanted to like this one, it had so much potential, but it just didn't come anywhere near fulfilling it. 

I received a copy from Netgalley and Monster House Books
Profile Image for Christina Bauer.
Author 100 books954 followers
May 21, 2018
A kick-ass heroine who's both a jaguar shifter AND a descendant of Sherlock Holmes? What's not to love!?! Plus, the story is packed with intrigue, action, mystery and a touch of romance. Bottom line--fans of Mercy Falls will love A STUDY IN SHIFTERS!
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,157 reviews458 followers
July 14, 2018
*Source* NetGalley
*Genre* Young Adult / Paranormal
*Rating* 3.5


A Study in Shifters is the first installment in author Majanka Verstraete's The Adventures of Marisol Holmes series. Meet 17-year old Marisol Holmes, the great, great, great granddaughter of the infamous Sherlock Holmes. But, let's stop there or a minute. By the obviousness of its title, this book is about paranormals. Paras who are mostly shifters like jaguar, snake, wolf, bear, etc. And, while Marisol is being portrayed as the heir apparent to the Holmes line, she is in deep trouble with the Conclave as the story begins thanks to trusting the wrong person.

*Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*

Profile Image for Paula  Phillips.
4,838 reviews294 followers
July 9, 2018
I have always been a fan of Sherlock Holmes and tales of YA mysteries. I love teen detective books. I loved the twist of this book where we discovered that not only was Marisol related to the great Sherlock Holmes, but she is also part jaguar and is a shapeshifter. Marisol is a half-blood and heir to the shifter throne as her mother is Duchess and the Jaguars rule the shapeshifter kingdom. After a recent mission went completely wrong and Marisol not only felt betrayed by someone she thought she loved, but she also lost her cousin and the ability to shift into a jaguar. Now to get back to the Conclave and do what she does best by solving mysteries. She must remain under supervision when she is completing her fieldwork and spy assignments. The latest one is a difficult one for her as a leopard shifter has been killed and the killer is being made to look like a Jaguar did it. This is highly unlikely as Marisol is about to discover. Who wants Jaguars to look weak? What happens though when Marisol discovers that her worst nightmare has returned and now to save her friends, she must play a game of wits with him once again? Can Marisol save the day and prove not only her worth to the Conclave but also will pushing herself to force her Jaguar to be unleashed and give her once again the ability to shift? Find out in this fast-paced mystery and stay tuned for more Marisol Holmes adventures. P.S This book ends on a cliffhanger, and I have to admit I did not see this ending coming.
Profile Image for Cassandra.
1,192 reviews105 followers
August 16, 2018
My Thoughts - 5 out of 5 Unicorns - I loved it!!!
***I choose what I read and review based on what intrigues me!! Yes, I got a review copy of this book, but no one tells me what to think, feel, or write about any book!

The cover is very intriguing and what caught my eye!

This is my first time reading this author’s work, and this is book 1 in a new series. This is a YA book though there are some dark moments of murder.

I found the premise of this series very awesome. Marisol is a teenage shifter, and she is a relative of Sherlock Holmes. Just like Sherlock, she solves crimes and has an amazing mind. I think just being a teenager is tough, and she also has to deal with royal drama because her mom is queen. And she is only half shifter and treated like it is something bad. She is amazing in this story. I couldn’t put the book down. I loved the mystery and intrigue of her working on solving the crime.

Majanka has created a fantastic story and creative world. I loved every moment, and I can’t wait to return to this world.

I highly recommend to YA shifter fans who love mystery and crime solving all rolled into one book! Outstanding and can’t wait for more!
Profile Image for Cranky - The Book Curmudgeon.
2,089 reviews148 followers
June 16, 2018
5 Cranky Stars

Marisol Holmes, yes she’s related to Sherlock Holmes is a shifter, and a teen sleuth to boot. She made a horrible mistake and the Conclave lost all trust in her. In order to gain it back, she has to work super hard to solve a murder at a school.

Let me tell you about this book. IT IS AMAZING! I thought I had the mystery solved but I was WRONG! The storyline was easy to follow and not predictable. The plot was amazing, I really loved how everything ties together.

Marisol is a strong female character that is perfectly flawed. She is smart, feisty, and tough on herself. There are not enough words to show how much I love this story. I really hope that there will be more Marisol Holmes stories in the future.
Profile Image for Christina Bauer.
Author 100 books954 followers
March 15, 2018
I love me a good mystery, but sometimes the whole sleuth thing is a little tired. Not so with Marisol Holmes! She's the great grand-something of Sherlock Holmes AND a jaguar shifter. How cool is that? Also, I love the back story about Marisol's past loves and future heartthrobs. This is one not to miss!
Profile Image for Chris Torretta.
863 reviews38 followers
June 29, 2018
Flew through this book!

Full review coming soon to ruffdayreviews.com.

Thank you to Xpresso Reads and the author for allowing me to review this book in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Hélène Louise.
Author 18 books81 followers
June 26, 2018
(I thank Netgalley and Monster House Books LLC for sending me the ARC in exchange for my honest review)

I was quite excited to read this book: shifters, murders’ investigations, Sherlock Holmes’ legacy, a YA read, all these themes are just what I like. But alas if I appreciated the story, the narrative’s choices and flaws annoyed me so much that I decided to stop at the third of the book. As a matter of principle I always try to read a book so far before giving it up, but I don’t force me to finish it if I believe my opinion settled.

The story is interesting and intriguing and I liked the idea of a mysterious half humans half animals population – shifters – hidden in plain sight, with powerful auto-controled families. And if the half-blood status of the heroine wasn’t very original, I liked the edge it gave to her life. Her relation with her mother was interesting and well exposed, credible and touching.

Alas plenty of details grated on me and I couldn’t read on.

The narrator is permanently referring to her inner jaguar, nearly in each sentence, explaining how the invisible animal is reacting to the present situation. This narrative decision bogs down the story, and it got on my nerves till the very beginning.

There are shifters…everywhere in the story. Jaguars, snakes, horses, leopards, spiders, otters. Well theoretically. At the third of the book I still haven’t seen anyone in fur or scales, only very basic humans with generic personalities linked to their animal species. A bit boring and repetitive so far – but of course it may have been more riveting afterwards, I wouldn’t know.

Marisol is supposed to be as brilliant and socially akwark as her great great great grand-father, Sherlock Holmes. But alas it doesn’t show at all, and the repetitive affirmations didn’t convince me. For instance she sees or understands some things absolutely evident but that nobody in the story has seen or understood, which is absolutely unbelievable! In a way it likes telling us that someone is a maths genius by explaining that they can solve basic first degree equations is less than five minutes. Hum. Marisol’s exposure as a person with poor social skills is very awkward too, lot of telling, unconvincing showing. She seems to be a polite introvert, but never someone with Asperger syndrome (as implied).

All in all it’s a shame as the story had potential in my eyes, but in the end it wasn’t for me. But I’m now quite demanding with my reads, so I still recommend you this book if the themes intrigue you, and if you aren’t such a quibbler as I am!
Profile Image for Elena Love.
320 reviews2 followers
June 28, 2018
*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own!*

I'm a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes and was basically ecstatic when I discovered A Study In Shifters! It gave such an amazing and original spin to the classic because it incorporated the Paranormal element of shifters, something that made it even more unique and different from other novels based off of the greatest detective in the world of Literature, which usually have a Historical Setting!

Our story begins when Marisol, Sherlock's great-times-three-granddaughter, who's trying to live up to the family name and prove that the one mistake she made does not define her! After a case gone wrong because she made the mistake of trusting the wrong guy, she convinces the Conclave - an underground organization responsible for solving supernatural crimes - to give her a second chance. According to the evidence she finds, it looks like the killer she's trying to bring to justice is one of her own people, a jaguar shifter! The stakes get even higher though, when her best friend, Roan, goes missing and might be the killer's next target. The political intrigue surrounding the mystery of this supernatural crime takes a backseat to everything else that's being going on and things become even more sinister when her ex-boyfriend turned nemesis starts leaving clues for her. Everything becomes so much more personal for Marisol and she has to do everything in her power to proof her worth while saving her best friend and her entire Kingdom.

Let's start off with the characters! Marisol was such a breath of fresh air and her determination become quite evident from the very beginning of the novel. A descendant of the great Sherlock Holmes herself, she's trying to live up to his name and get to the bottom of things, which isn't the easiest thing to achieve when one mistake led to her downfall. Even though she's been through a lot, she's trying her hardest to do the right thing and become the person she was always meant to be! Being half human and half shifter, it's not that easy for her to prove herself and convince people that she's good at what she does, even if her mother is Royalty. She's used to being looked down upon and it becomes even worse when she's betrayed and thrust into a world of political intrigue. I really admired her dedication to discovering who the killer was and it made me respect her even more! Also, her development throughout the novel made her even more likable than she started out being and I really enjoyed being a witness to her adventures!

Moving on to the pacing of the story, which was perfect for me since I enjoy fast paced novels that don't feel rushed or not that well thought out. I never felt like the story got too slow and something was happening to keep me riveted to it at all times, which is a very difficult thing to come by in books nowadays. The writing was great as well and the even though the character development - excluding Marisol's - did not prevail, it was definitely there. The world building was everything I'd hoped it'd be and the author did a good job at living up to a classic that's also a favorite of mine, even though it wasn't the best version of it it could've been.

The only thing I didn't really enjoy in the novel was the relationships between the characters. It felt like things abruptly ended while they were trying to reach that climax the plot needed in order to become even more interesting. They were very realistic and the mystery incorporated in the story made everything that was happening even more vivid in my head but, the transitions between them weren't as smooth as I would've liked. There was also some repetition that could've been avoided because it ended up being a bit overwhelming at times but, overall, the murders that took place and how solving them was handled made me focus on what was important in the development of the plot.

Overall, I really enjoyed A Study In Shifters and the fact that I haven't read anything like it before made the experience of reading it even more interesting for me! I feel like it targets a certain audience with the way it's written so, you have to be really invested in the story and willing to let some things go, in order to truly enjoy it.
Profile Image for Eve (Functioning Insanity Reviews).
407 reviews17 followers
July 13, 2018

I was provided a digital ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review thanks to NetGalley and Monster House Books.

Rating: 4 Stars

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!
Profile Image for Mutated Reviewer.
838 reviews16 followers
June 27, 2018
Goodreads Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Marisol Holmes may be the great-great-great granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes, but it’s hard to live up to the family name when only one mistake can spell your downfall. After trusting the wrong guy in a case gone totally wrong, Marisol convinces the Conclave, an underground organization of detectives solving supernatural cases, to give her a last chance to prove her worth, and maybe even heal her broken heart.

After all, as a half-blood jaguar shifter, Marisol is uniquely qualified to solve this murder—and every scrap of evidence points toward the culprit being a fellow jaguar shifter. But is one of her own people involved, or is this all a ploy to kick Marisol’s mother off the shifter throne?

Then Marisol discovers her best friend, Roan, is missing, and maybe the killer’s next target. The stakes just got higher than political intrigue. Just when things couldn’t get worse, Marisol’s ex-boyfriend-turned-nemesis, Mannix, starts leaving sinister clues for her. Marisol fears this case might be far more personal than she could’ve imagined.

It’s time for Marisol to prove her worth, or her people could fall into chaos while her best friend loses his life.

My Review:
Before I say anything about this book, I want to say how much I absolutely loved it and how I can't wait to see what happens in the sequel. It sucked me in from the moment I started it, and I read it almost in two sittings. It was exciting, and completely different than anything else I've read lately.

Now that that's done, lets talk about what it's about. Marisol has been through a lot lately. After the cold blooded murder of her little cousin, her best friend, she's been detached and quiet. She lives in a world of animal shifters, and where the supernatural is hidden from the human population. A descendant of Sherlock Holmes himself, she's trying to get her old job back in the Conclave, a supernatural sort of detective agency that keeps everything hidden. Not many people know about them. It begins with a man she calls Balthy, giving her a thirty minute test to determine if she can return to her job. After all, she doesn't know who she is anymore without the Conclave. Her mother, a cold jaguar shifter, is royalty, and her father was a human so a lot of people think less of her since she's not full blooded shifter. Will she be able to prove herself and get back to normal life, more or less?

The world that Marisol lives in is very established and easy to imagine. After she's completed her test and is forced to do yet another trial run, at a boarding school, I couldn't put the book down. The way it's written is very clear and easy to read, also really informative. I didn't have any problem jumping from the last book I read straight into this one. The characters are so realistic it's scary, especially when there's murder and shifters involved. Usually I'm not big on books about animal shifters, but this is completely an exception. I would definitely like to buy a copy of it just to have on my bookshelf, that's how much I like it. Definitely check it out if you get the chance.

Here's a link to the book on Amazon, and another link to the Author's Twitter.



Thanks for reading! Check out this review and more at my blog.
Profile Image for Nadine.
237 reviews5 followers
June 27, 2018
Just one word WOW!!!

That is not my first book from Majanka, not too long ago I read and reviewed Ghost Slayer. If you read that review you know that I quite enjoyed it. It is not every day that I read ghost stories.

This means that going into A Study in Shifters, I already had some expectations… Not a lot mind, I try to give each book a fair shot and not add extra pressure to them.

Tell you what though, I was impressed!

If you are one of my regular followers, then you know that I love it when books are smart. By that, I mean that they have to be original, especially when you are borrowing from either pop culture or well known literary characters.

Majanka took Sherlock Holmes and put one of the greatest twists on it!

Considering that we currently have 3 Sherlocks on Tv and Film, we can safely say that I am SherLOCKED out! For this reason, I was super delighted when I met Marisol Holmes in all of her glory!

A direct descendant of Sherlock, just as smart and headed straight into solving a murder!

But there is more…

Marisol Holmes is half shifter!

The book title gives it a little away…

See told you… originally smart and I tell that I had a huge smile plastered on my face throughout the book. It ought to come to no surprise that I finished it in one go! Full disclosure, I never read Sir Arthur’s books… I know! I have no excuses…

However, I do believe the first Sherlock appearance was in A study of Scarlet book and even the BBC’s Sherlock Season 1 Episode 1 was A Study in Pink… so it does make sense that for the first book of a Sherlock-related series is called A Study in Shifters!

Do you see that pattern?

Made sense to me, and again… Smart decision Majanka!

I am with you here…

I do not want to give you too much background, but I was really delighted in Marisol and how much she reminded me of… well you know! She has a difficult back story that plays a huge part in what is going on… I really liked her very much, she has so much room to grow after all she is 17 here and I felt that in certain aspects she was very relatable.

I mean I was 17 once!

But really, I do not want to spoil it for you, but know that it was really well written, fantastic twists and some really big surprises that even I never saw coming! (Often times I do!!)

Majanka, you have done a fantastic job and now we need to discuss when the next book is coming out because I kind need it yesterday?!!!! I am also curious as to how many books are planned in this series because honestly there is potential for tons as long as they get better and better with time!

Though containing elements of paranormal in the book, at the core it is still a murder/mystery… If you are a huge fan like I am of all the “Sherlockness” going on these days, you are going to LOVE A Study in Shifters!!

No ifs or buts about it!

Love I am telling you!!!!

Go and get this book stat!

You will thank me for it! Have I ever steered you wrong?
Profile Image for Rebecca Veight.
618 reviews7 followers
June 28, 2018
Marisol is Sherlock Holmes' great great great granddaughter and also a half blood jaguar shifter. Part of a crime-solving institution, the Conclave, she is currently in trouble with them due to the Big Betrayal.

The supernatural element makes the story quirkier but not superficial, with Marisol's caught between 2 worlds feelings, giving it even more depth. The battle of the protagonist's emotions is depicted quite well, in a way that makes you feel for her from the very beginning. I really enjoyed how the jaguar part of her was presented.

The desire to make up for past mistakes is very strong, the foundation of Marisol's persona. Guilt, a driving force for her actions in the case she was given. Her Sherlock mode was quite engaging and if you're a fan like me, you enjoy that she has some of her ancestor's idiosyncrasies. I especially enjoyed her bluntness, but she isn't intentionally mean, on the contrary, just socially awkward.

The investigation is intriguing and leading us down a twisty but logical path. The Big Betrayal is interesting and you thirst to find out what happened, but the part by part reveal, does get a little repetitive in some of its events. Her 'trips down memory lane' are quite informative though, sometimes touching, and seem integral to the present mystery.

The stakes are much higher by the end of the book, making it more exciting the more you read. And just when you think you know how it will end, "boom!" that plot twist that will have you clamoring for the sequel.
Profile Image for Ashley Dawn.
Author 10 books80 followers
November 27, 2018
I completely got into this book. Marisol is a decedent of Sherlock Holmes...she is also a shifter princess and a detective. There was a lot on the line for Marisol in solving the mystery she is assigned to. She has a partner that I really got to liking and thought maybe that would be her Watson. There is a backstory that I want to have a book all it's own (totally hope the author does that!).

Going to the school and blending in, not to mention a friend from the past and a foe that make their way into the story. So much going on in the shifter world and a possible battle for power. Her mother being distant because of how Marisol messed up. I just can't say more for fear of giving away secrets, but you need to read this book.

The way this ended, gah! Give me the next book now! It was a 5/5 for me.
Profile Image for Johanna Sawyer.
3,369 reviews37 followers
June 30, 2018
Thanks to the publisher for an arc to read and give my honest opinion.

Marisol Holmes, descendant from the great Sherlock Holmes and also a jaguar shifter. After being outed from the Conclave for royally screwing up her last mission to the point of people getting hurt, she warrants another chance. This time Marisol heads to the exclusive Waynard Academy in England to investigate a murder of one of the students there.

This was an amazing read! I absolutely loved it since I am a huge Sherlock fan. The author did an amazing job of giving Marisol an arch nemesis in Mannix, the guy who betrayed her. I can't wait for another book! Five huge stars of entertainment! The shifter part is really cool too, a unique blend for sure.
Profile Image for All Things Urban Fantasy.
1,921 reviews613 followers
July 6, 2018
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

I was excited to see a book with a character who is a descendant of Sherlock Holmes and also a jaguar shifter. Unfortunately, A STUDY IN SHIFTERS didn't quite work in it's execution of the story. I enjoyed the mystery aspect with a magical flair and a protagonist showing various beloved traits of Sherlock Holmes (no drug addiction though!). We got that to an extent.

There were many superfluous repetitions and odd side conversations that really sapped my enjoyment of the story. There are multiple reference to the "Big Betrayal" which I get is a hook to read more but the way it's presented over and over in the first few pages made me have to go back and check that this wasn't book two of the series. I felt like I was missing something constantly which took me away from fully engaging with the story out of sheer annoyance at Marisol's "Big Betrayal" being yet again mentioned. We're also being constantly reminded about Marisol's connection to Holmes. It's in the title of the series and the title is a reference to a Sherlock Holmes story, A STUDY IN SCARLET. We get it, no need to reference it beyond the first chapter!

I loved the idea of Marisol being a descendant of Sherlock Holmes and seeing her use her analytical mind to figure out the big mystery was fun! She's clever, dedicated, and determined. She's young and has that idealistic "I can't get hurt" mindset of someone her age. This leads to a issue I have with YA in general. I just can't get past the juvenile mindset and actions of characters. The conflict in YA novels seems to always revolve around a protagonist's love life. I read romance for that sort of conflict, thank you. She keeps hanging onto the whole love life angle more heavily than the fact that there is a killer or killers on a school campus and they need to be stopped.

The writing of A STUDY IN SHIFTERS' writing felt too young for me especially with the repetition of plot points and character descriptions. Part of that is due to my constant struggle to enjoy YA books (there are some, I promise), part is that I just don't think the writing was that great. I really enjoyed the idea of this story and hope that it works out the kinks in the following books.
Profile Image for Viktória Tóth.
301 reviews12 followers
June 4, 2018
I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.
This was unfortunately just an okay read for me. Don’t get me wrong there were a lot of things I loved about the story but the few things that bothered me just left a considerably bigger impact.
First the things I enjoyed. I really liked the whole idea of the protagonist being the descendant of Sherlock Holmes and being a spectacular investigator herself a well, that fact that all this was combined with her being a half-shifter as well just elevated things. It was an interesting and kind of original premise to the book.
I also enjoyed the strange and angsty romance between Marisol and Roan even if their interactions sometimes came in rather inconvenient times in the storyline.
I found the whole storyline intriguing and full of possibilities and the bad guy was a genius character.
Basically I loved the ideas behind the story.

However, I had a big problem with the execution. First and foremost with the freaking repentance. I
don’t count the times when there are words repeated because my copy being a ARC, alas unedited, there is a chance those get corrected, but when it came to sentences, statements being repeated that’s a bigger problem. Mostly because I feel that the author did it on purpose trying to stress the importance some things but when 1 thing gets repeated more than 10 times only in the first chapter that’s not only too much but also becomes annoying and fast. Pair this with the overly detailed and sometimes inconsequential conversations and you get my problem. Because of this I felt that the core of the storyline gets lost along the way in some occasions and also it was slower and a bit boring at those parts.
My second problem was with the atmosphere of the story. It had that annoying juvenile mentality going for it. You know the one where in the direst situations the main character love life plays a bigger role in her/his train of thought than the killer for example. It’s the reason why I don’t read as much YA anymore, because I just can’t handle these kind of things anymore. But if you love YA or younger then there is a big possibility that you are going to love the book. This is just a pet peeve of mine.
Overall, I loved the idea behind the story but I think the execution need some work still. But as I stated earlier if you love YA this book is for you, there is mystery, action, drama and romance aplenty to go around.

Profile Image for Hacedores.
339 reviews44 followers
June 19, 2018
Esto de pedir cosas a Netgalley por si suena la flauta tiene consecuencias inesperadas. Hacía mucho que no leía nada que tuviera como protagonista a Holmes ni a nadie de su familia (aunque recuerdo que no hace mucho salió un cómic que pasó sin pena ni gloria) pero al ver que lo mezclaba con cambiaformas, todo podía salir o muy bien o ser algo horrendo digno de echarse unas risas. Por suerte para mí, salió bien, de tal forma que nos encontramos con una novela claramente enfocada al público YA al que le gusten los misterios y las resoluciones de tipo serie de detectives con cosas que directamente parecen tomadas la parte visual de series de ese tipo. A eso le añadimos el toque emocional de tener a un animalito mono dentro pero verse separados por la culpa y la incapacidad de aceptarse completamente por culpa de una Gran Traición y todo va sobre ruedas.

La trama se centra en un asesinato, el primero que dejan investigar a Marisol Holmes después de su caída en desgracia. Ella, la heredera del clan del Jaguar, una mestiza con sangre humana por parte de padre, tiene el encargo de ayudar a su supervisora, una serpiente, a encontrar al asesino de una joven. En un instituto lleno de secretos, gente bondadosa y malos bichos, tendrá que emplear sus dotes Holmesianas mientras mantiene a raya a su jaguar interior. Además, por si acaso eso no fuera suficiente, dos hombres de su pasado tienen que ver con el caso. (Sí, no voy a decir que no estuviera deseando que se liara con alguna de las chicas, pero no hubiera estado mal que, al menos, hubiera habido una señal en esa dirección en alguna de las potentes relaciones femeninas de las que se habla en la novela).

Quizá una de las cosas más sorprendentes de la novela es la forma tan clara en que caracteriza a los personajes en apenas dos o tres diálogos, de forma que rápidamente les asignas una posición dentro del misterio. Es cierto que la resolución del mismo no es tan sorprendente como eran los de Holmes y, en este caso, tiende más a ir dando pequeñas pistas en vez de detenerse al final de todo el proceso y explicar cómo lo descubrió todo, pero eso sirve para llevar el ritmo de una manera más actual. Es interesante el uso de mecanismos de la serie Sherlock, como el palacio mental o la escena del crimen recreada de memoria por Holmes. Funciona muy bien, sobre todo si eres un espectador habitual de series de este tipo, porque puedes hacerte la imagen mental perfecta de lo que está ocurriendo gracias a la descripción.

La sociedad de cambiaformas que crea es lo suficientemente sencilla para que resista el análisis superficial que necesita para lanzar a andar la historia y, al mismo tiempo, incomoda un poco que no se hayan puesto al nivel de los tiempos (aunque sí haya referencias durante el texto al momento actual, con Google y otras referencias sencillas de captar). Por otro lado, la construcción de las relaciones de la protagonista y la muestra de que en el mundo en el que se encuentra la magia y los cambiaformas son reales y se mantienen en una mascarada, intentando que nadie sospeche de su existencia, puede dar lugar a situaciones muy interesantes en futuras novelas de la saga.

En definitiva, se trata de una novela entretenida que consigue hacer honor al nombre de Holmes, aunque a veces sea un poco más lenta de lo que esperaríamos la protagonista ya que el lector se encontrará con que, con un poco de astucia, puede descubrir la solución a varios de los misterios antes que ella. Por otro lado, es interesante ver cómo las emociones y la lógica se muestran en un personaje que puede separarlas siguiendo las enseñanzas de su antepasado.
Profile Image for Riley K. .
555 reviews10 followers
April 27, 2021
I loved this story so much. Marisol is the perfect blend of Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew, and every strong female heroine that has ever been written. If you love mystery, paranormal, and whodunits this book is for you.
Profile Image for Jasmine.
957 reviews82 followers
July 3, 2018
A Study in Shifters is the first book in a fun new series that puts a feminine (and paranormal) spin on Sherlock Holmes.

Marisol Holmes is a great x3 granddaughter to the infamous Sherlock, but she's also a jaguar shifter. And her mother's the head of the jaguar shifter clan. That makes her a half-blood, and not every other shifter is keen on having a half-blood in line for the throne.

Marisol has had her ups and downs, but lately it's been a lot of downs. She put her trust in the wrong guy, and let's just say that didn't have a happy ending. Then, to make matters even worse, a girl at a private school turns up dead, and all signs point to a jaguar shifter. It's up to Marisol to figure out what's really going on before it's too late.

I found the story to be an entertaining, quirky, and fun read. I've always loved Sherlock mysteries, and mysteries that were similar in vein (like Encyclopedia Brown), so A Study in Shifters was right up my alley. Plus, it had a paranormal aspect, which I found to add even more intrigue to the story. I'm not a huge fan of shifters, but I think that's because most shifter stories are more adult romance rather than YA mystery. I enjoyed the shifter aspect in this story.

I found Marisol to be a smart, albeit a little naive, girl who could hold her own, even against some not-so-nice characters. She's relatable, but still someone you wish you could be like.

I also really liked the girl who was a fox shifter (her name slips my mind right now). She was intelligent, and even though she only shows up a couple of times, she became a character I couldn't wait to see again. It might be my love of all things foxes, though, and that's why I liked her so much. I'd be a fox shifter if that were possible. lol

Of course there are characters you love to hate, too. The Head of the Conclave is one of them (his name also slips my mind right at the moment), as is Mannix.

The plot chugs along at a nice pace. It's not too slow, but not so quick that you speed through it. The storyline is intriguing and holds you rapt with attention, and you actually want to help Marisol solve the mysteries that are going on around her. There's an almost interactive quality to it, which I liked.

I also really love this cover.

The only thing I would have liked more of was shifting. I get why Marisol didn't shift into her jaguar until closer to the end, but it would have been fun to see some of the other characters in their animal form. Like a fox. Or an otter. That would've been fun.

Overall, I quite liked A Study in Shifters, and I am definitely looking forward to more books in the series.

Four stars from me!
Profile Image for Deborah Ross.
Author 87 books84 followers
November 22, 2019
This murder mystery set in a high school for shape shifters falls squarely within the “School for Supernaturals” category, so if Harry-Potter-with-wereteens is your cup of tea, this book is for you. Even more so, Marisol Holmes is the heir to the jaguar clan, which holds the throne among shifters, and she’s the descendent of the legendary detective. At the beginning of the story, she’s still reeling from what she refers to as “The Big Betrayal,” in which her much-loved cousin died, and also in which she trusted the wrong charismatic, manipulative, devilishly handsome suitor. To make matters worse, she’s unable to shift into her jaguar form and is desperate to keep that failure a secret.

Now Marisol must earn her place in the law enforcement Conclave again by solving the murder of a high school student from a rival, leopard clan. On the surface, it looks very much as if the jaguar clan (and therefore Marisol’s mother, the Queen) are going to be ousted as a result of their role in the murder. Marisol suspects the evidence is a setup, planted for political reasons. Now all she has to do is find out who really did it, while dealing with her snake shifter supervisor and the haunting memories of her past. Has Mannix, the suitor who lured her into the plot that killed her cousin, returned and if so, for what purpose? (I found it no coincidence that Mannix and Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes’s arch-nemesis, begin with M.) Then there’s Roan, fellow jaguar shifter and intimate pen pal, who’s mysteriously disappeared after attending the same high school Marisol is investigating.

A Study in Shifters fits neatly into the magical high school and teen detective murder mysteries categories. It’s similar enough to stories of both types to be immediately accessible – the students even make reference to Harry Potter. Yet the elements of the shifter clans and their politics and abilities offer fresh, original material, and the mystery unfolds in unexpected ways that kept me turning the pages. I loved Marisol’s “inner jaguar” and her perfectly depicted teenager uncertainties. Marisol is faced with not only solving the mystery but coming to terms with her own nature and choices. For me, that makes for an immensely satisfying story. I look forward to more from this author.
Profile Image for Luxe.
76 reviews6 followers
June 29, 2018
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review.

If you know me, you know that I’m a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. So when I came across this on Netgalley, I did not hesitate to request. I knew that I would like this but I didn’t expect to have enjoyed this as much as I did.

I love the mystery with a paranormal twist. I think it’s quite unique to incorporate paranormal elements to a descendant of Holmes. The mystery element in the book is great; tested my brain and really made me think. When I thought I got it all figured out, BAM, a plot twist would appear. The plot twist at the end especially was absolutely amazing and took me completely by surprise.

The main character, Marisol Holmes, is fairly easy to like. She is a half-blood, half human and half jaguar shifter. Despite being a Holmes, Marisol was often affected by her strong emotions, thus committing mistakes. But no one’s perfect, right? I also liked how Marisol has a Sherlock Mode, where she abandons all emotions to focus on facts for solving cases. Aside from that, Marisol also has her inner jaguar and she kind of grew on me.

However, I sometimes get the feeling that I’m reading the second book in a series where I haven’t read the first one. I had to check Goodreads just to make sure that this is indeed the first book. I think that the book could have done with maybe a bit more background of what happened in the Big Betrayal, not just a quick explanation about it. I would also like a bit more about Roan. 😉

I really enjoyed reading A Study In Shifters because the author did a great job in combining mystery and paranormal, and creating a great main character. I’m really looking forward to the next in this series!
Profile Image for Fiona Leung.
247 reviews6 followers
April 29, 2019
Wow I was pleasantly surprised at this book! This is my first time reading author Majanka Verstraete and I will continue to look out for her stories :)

Marisol is a descendant of Sherlock Holmes but is also a half-shifter - her mom being a jaguar shifter and the current Countess ruling over all the other shifters, essentially making Marisol a "princess". Marisol works for the secretive Conclave, helping them solve cases. However her most recent case went really bad and in order to keep her job, she's being put to the test.

When a case turns up pointing all fingers to a jaguar shifter being the murderer, Marisol is sent from Paris to London to discreetly investigate. While there, she found out that her childhood friend Roan is missing and has been for the past couple of months. At the same time, her ex-boyfriend Mannix who turned out to be a crazed murderer started leaving her clues, Marisol realises things aren't as straight forward as they seem.

This is one action-packed story, giving us an insight into the shifter community, how Marisol compartmentalizes her memories and emotions, often shifting into Sherlock mode to solve cases. It was a really interesting read and there's the next book to look forward to!

I do want to point out there seems to be several small mistakes (or perhaps typos) in the book but it could be due to me reading a non-finalised version.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
Profile Image for Mrs. Kenyon.
1,232 reviews24 followers
July 7, 2018
Marisol Holmes is a half shifter and a descendant of Sherlock Holmes. She made the mistake of trusting the wrong person and now the Conclave wants her to prove herself before they will let her return to investigating supernatural cases. She is a very skilled detective, especially since she takes after her Holmes ancestor. Her trial case seems to involve a jaguar shifter and Marisol must not only prove her abilities, she must determine if this murder was an attempt to get her mother off the shifter throne? Will Marisol uncover the truth before it hits closer to home? What will she learn about herself in the process?

A Study in Shifters is the first book in The Adventures of Marisol Holmes series. The most frustrating portion of the book is the fact that Marisol is constantly thinking about events that happened in the past, leading the reader to think they may have missed a book or two. With that being said, the mystery and adventure were entertaining and Verstraete has definitely created a cast of characters that readers will want to return to. There should be more cases in the future and maybe even a prequel to explain the events from the past.
Profile Image for Cassandra.
1,192 reviews105 followers
August 16, 2018
My Thoughts - 5 out of 5 Unicorns - I loved it!!!
***I choose what I read and review based on what intrigues me!! Yes, I got a review copy of this book, but no one tells me what to think, feel, or write about any book!

The cover is very intriguing and what caught my eye!

This is my first time reading this author’s work, and this is book 1 in a new series. This is a YA book though there are some dark moments of murder.

I found the premise of this series very awesome. Marisol is a teenage shifter, and she is a relative of Sherlock Holmes. Just like Sherlock, she solves crimes and has an amazing mind. I think just being a teenager is tough, and she also has to deal with royal drama because her mom is queen. And she is only half shifter and treated like it is something bad. She is amazing in this story. I couldn’t put the book down. I loved the mystery and intrigue of her working on solving the crime.

Majanka has created a fantastic story and creative world. I loved every moment, and I can’t wait to return to this world.

I highly recommend to YA shifter fans who love mystery and crime solving all rolled into one book! Outstanding and can’t wait for more!
Profile Image for Paul Franco.
1,372 reviews11 followers
September 4, 2018
As you might expect from the title, this has a Sherlock Holmes connection, in this case featuring a descendant of his who’s also a shapeshifter. . . except she can’t shapeshift anymore, after a bad mission she feels really guilty about.
She can still sniff like a jaguar, though. When we meet her she’s trying to solve a locked room puzzle, though there’s no speckled band in sight. She’s rich and lives in Paris, but is sent to investigate a murder in a fancy school in England; never would have thought a book about a shape shifting Holmes descendant would be full of teenage-y cliquey high school stuff.
She starts timid, still scarred by her previous failure, but as she regains her confidence I like her more and more. Given how much time was spent detailing her previous mission, it’s no surprise it has a bearing on the current one.
There’s a lot of mention of her inner jaguar, as though it’s a separate entity, as is her rational Sherlock mind. Strange to think her brain isn’t integrated, but by the end it’s somewhat resolved.
The ending felt tacked on, obviously there just to make a hook for the sequel. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this.
Profile Image for Ann.
5,194 reviews59 followers
June 13, 2018
I liked this 1st book in the new series, Adventures of Marisol Holmes. Marisol is a descendant of Sherlock Holmes and is a half shifter. Her mother is head of the Jaguar clan and part of the Conclave council. Marisol is on probation and is sent with a snake shifter to a school where people are being murdered. This is a great teen read that deals with young love and fantasy. As a shifter fantasy it's well written with many unique beings and an organization to keep them from being discovered by humans. I think this ARC still needs a little editing. I received this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
93 reviews3 followers
February 9, 2019
Sixteen years old, jaguar shifter, royalty shifter at that.......oh, and great - great - great granddaughter to a very famous detective.

This is a good starter book for teens who want a little crime and mystery in their lives.....from a character that's of a similar age with similar angst.

     I really like the main character, Marisol, as she's quite relatable (her being a shifter aside). She has the angst and insecurities just like anyone else.

     She also has a good mind, but don't worry, you should be able to keep up.....even make a few educated guesses yourself!

     There are plenty of twists to keep you guessing, which I enjoyed. It makes it a great read for a lazy weekend.

     However, one thing that did put me off slightly is that the editing isn't as clean as I'd like. Don't get me wrong, the spelling is pretty much fine but some of the words are wrong. They've been used in the wrong context, which is pretty annoying when you're getting into the story. But still entertaining and still worth a read.

     All in all I think the book was the perfect length and a nice twist on a Sherlock Holmes type story.

As the title indicates, this is the first in the series. I'm looking forward to the next book, hopefully it will have a cleaner edit.

Had the editing been better I'd have gladly given 4 stars but as it interrupted the flow of reading I'll be giving 3 out of 5 stars.
Profile Image for Lucy.
441 reviews27 followers
June 18, 2018

2-2.5 stars.

I think I liked the concept of this book, the idea of Marisol being the descendant of Sherlock Holmes with a paranormal twist was attracted to me. However, I am not sure if this book was intended for younger audiences, but the writing style didn’t quite worked out for me. The constant reminders and emphasis on certain things were annoying and repetitive, it had made the story transition awkward and seem juvenile. were both used far too many times throughout the book.

I thought the world building was interesting, and the hierarchy of shoplifters was intriguing, and I would like to learn more about them. However, as the first book of the series, the story mainly focused on Majanka, therefore the information only presented a general concept of the world structure. I found the transition of the story was not always smooth, very often the story stressed about Marisol’s past with her ex-boyfriend. Which I understand it may be important in order to explain Marisol’s background and her struggles, but as her past were inserted randomly throughout the story, they have essentially diverted the focus of the investigation. I also found Majanka’s feelings about her ex and her past have consumed her, and it didn’t feel like she gotten over him at all.

Overall, this book felt like a prequel to the series, and a set up to the forthcoming storytelling of the mystery adventure of Majanka.
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