Format: E-Galley, 336 pages
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
In the second brilliant, action-packed book in the Charlotte Holmes trilogy, Jamie and Charlotte are in a chase across Europe to untangle a web of shocking truths about the Holmes and Moriarty families.Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter break reprieve in Sussex after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But nothing about their time off is proving simple, including Holmes and Watson’s growing feelings for each other. When Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the Holmes estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring—the game is afoot once again, and Charlotte throws herself into a search for answers.
So begins a dangerous race through the gritty underground scene in Berlin and glittering art houses in Prague, where Holmes and Watson discover that this complicated case might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.
The Last of August is the second installment in author Brittany Cavallaro's Charlotte Holmes series. As with A Study in Charlotte, this story is once again told in the first person narrative by James (Jamie) Watson, Jr. There is, however, a caveat. There are several chapters where we actually get into Charlotte's head while Jamie is out of action. This more than makes up for a whole lot of quite time, and honestly, it was a good change of direction.
Jamie and Charlotte are on winter break in England as the book opens. Jamie, having taken Charlotte to meet his mother and sister Shelby in London, later joins Charlotte in Sussex where he meets her parents Alistair & Emma Holmes, as well as Uncle Leander who is best friends with James Watson, Jamie's own father. There is so much to talk about regarding Jamie's time at Sussex, and how there is so much darkness right under the surface, and how Jamie is treated by Charlotte's mother, that readers will have to figure out what is really happening right before their eyes.
But, that's not the only issue. After Leander disappears abruptly without leaving his normal present for Charlotte, Jamie and Charlotte find themselves in Berlin looking into an art forgery ring, which eventually leads them to Prague and even more twisted storylines,. This leads to Charlotte's narrative during a tumultuous trial of fits and starts where Jamie is hurt. Readers will also meet the man, August Moriarty, who we know that something awful happened between him and Charlotte which has led to Lucien Moriarty's desire for Charlotte's demise. August is one of those supporting cast members who means well, but eventually you have to actually do something with him one way or the other or it's pointless to have him around.
I have to speak about the relationship between Charlotte and Jamie. This book focuses not only on the duos relationship, but the possibly of a budding romance between Jamie and Charlotte, and Charlotte's issues that really need to be addressed. Charlotte, granted is beyond smart, has superb intelligence, and solved her first case when she was 10. But, she treats Jamie like a pet, and not someone who may have lost his heart to her. On the other hand, I do believe Jamie and all of the Watson's have a masochist streak in them to have hung around the Holmes for as long as they have.
Can you imagine being only thought of as the Holmes biographer, and never really getting any credit for helping a Holmes solve a mystery? One of the things you definitely see in this book, is Jamie getting a bit of a backbone and exploring a bit more on his own. I'm all for this. I want Jamie to be his own person. But, I also don't want him to be reckless for the sake of not being left behind by Charlotte. I am also curious to see where Jamie's head is at when the next installment comes out after all he's seen, heard, and witnessed over the past 2 installments.
While I appreciated of receiving an early version of this story, I was kind of disappointed with the fact that I was not able to enjoy the author's family tree graphics regarding the Holmes and the Moriarty's. It was blanked out in my edition. I do encourage those who will read this in the final version of the book, to pay close attention to the family tree since it does come in handy time and time again. There are names that come up that you really won't have a clue who they are unless you can shift back and forth to the family tree. There are a whole lot of issues between the Holmes and Moriarty's, and now that Jamie is involved, he clearly has a target on his back as long as he remains heavily involved with Charlotte.