The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

Posted January 14, 2021 by Amber in Reviews / 0 Comments

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The Last of August

The Last of August

by Brittany Cavallaro

Series: Charlotte Holmes #2
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books on February 14, 2017
Genre: Classic Retellings, Contemporary, Mystery, Retellings
Target Age Group: Young Adult
Content Warnings: Chronic Illness, Rape, Vomit

Rating: ★★★★

Check out this book on Goodreads or buy the book at Bookshop.org

Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter-break reprieve after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But Charlotte isn’t the only Holmes with secrets, and the mood at her family’s Sussex estate is palpably tense. On top of everything else, Holmes and Watson could be becoming more than friends—but still, the darkness in Charlotte’s past is a wall between them.

A distraction arises soon enough, because Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring. The game is afoot once again, and Charlotte is single-minded in her pursuit.

Their first stop? Berlin. Their first contact? August Moriarty (formerly Charlotte’s obsession, currently believed by most to be dead), whose powerful family has been ripping off famous paintings for the last hundred years. But as they follow the gritty underground scene in Berlin to glittering art houses in Prague, Holmes and Watson begin to realize that this is a much more complicated case than a disappearance. Much more dangerous, too.

What they learn might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.

 

It’s been far too long since I ventured into Jamie and Charlotte’s world.  I genuinely, wholeheartedly enjoy the Charlotte Holmes novels, and book two was no less entertaining than book three.  They continue the have the Holmes spirit, but in an updated, modernized sense.  And they’re fun.

I can honestly also say that this series is one of the few where I genuinely enjoy the romance.  The flirting is cute, but the messy bits also feel real and possible.  The drama isn’t unnecessarily heightened… Charlotte’s reactions are perfect to her character.  Introducing August in this book was a great addition – he’s a bit of an anti-hero and I enjoyed his addition to the dynamic duo and the way he always made Jamie a little off-balance.  It’s very nearly a love triangle, but not exactly.  I liked it.  I like them all.  August, more than anyone else in this book, kept me on my toes and second-guessing.

Charlotte’s family is a mess, though.  And that’s not poor writing or anything, they just are very… problematic, I guess.  Reactions and behaviors are so cold and unhealthy as a general rule.  I think that it’s decent writing – ever the pragmatist, Sherlock Holmes was much like this himself in the Conan Doyle novels, so it make sense that his family is much the same.  For the most part, I felt like the setup with both Jamie and Charlotte’s families was a bit overlong and things didn’t really get interesting until the two set off on their own.  This didn’t ruin or even deeply affect the book from the perspective of my own enjoyment, but it was a little draggy in the beginning.

The writing is really easy to read – Cavallaro’s writing has a fantastic flow.  It’s very easy to get wrapped up in this book and it was finished before I knew it.  I think with a slower pace, this book would have dragged out, but for the story here, this was written very well and was easy to get into.  I really like both the narrators as well – the audiobook is fantastic, if you like to ingest your books that way.

Book two in the Charlotte Holmes series was a slam dunk, and I’m looking forward to reading A Case for Jamie!

Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★★ 1/2
Plot: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Writing: ★★★★
Pacing: ★★★★
Narrator: ★★★★
Personal Enjoyment: ★★★★★

4 Star Rating

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Have you read any Sherlock Holmes retellings?  If so, are there others you would recommend?  Let me know in the comments!

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