I am a big fan of Sherlock Holmes -- give me everything from the original stories, to TV reincarnations, to book spin-offs and I'm more than happy to indulge. I read the first book in this series A Study in Charlotte, back in January and though I'm not usually a YA reader, I thought it was a pretty good start to a new series and certainly a fresh take on two of my favorite characters in literature. (Psst - If you think you might be interested in reading, stop here and go back for the first. This is one series you definitely need to read in chronological order.)
In The Last of August, we meet up with Charlotte and Jamie in London, where they are spending time with both of their respective families during the winter holidays. It becomes immediately clear that something is off -- something is not quite right in the relationship between our two main characters. That tension remains throughout most of the book, as the two battle with themselves and each other over what their relationship should look like going forward.
While trying to work out their angst, the two are also on a new case, as Charlotte's beloved uncle has gone missing, and they're pretty sure his disappearance was at the hands of the Moriarty family. I don't want to say much more here about the plot -- spoilers are not so fun in mysteries, you know -- but I can speak more to the experience of reading it. After reading the final page, I will say this: the last 30 pages or so were intense and somewhat confusing and for me that made it worth pushing through to the end. Overall, this book just did not captivate me as much as the first. I think that my waning interest may be due to the greater focus on the relationship between Watson and Holmes. I am much more interested in the mystery aspect than in the lives of the characters themselves, and I have to say that I felt like the mystery was hastily thrown together, and when it came to the big reveal I felt confused. In the end, I didn't appreciate how "genius" the plot was supposed to be, so I think when it comes to this series, the first was worth the read and the second was more take-it-or-leave-it.
Bottom-Line Rating: 3/5
- Title: The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes #2)
- Author: Brittany Cavallaro
- Publisher: Katherine Tegen, 2017
- Price: $11 on Amazon
- ISBN: 0062398946
- Format: Hardcover
- Source: Personal Library