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My Dear, Dear Watson

Our favorite screwed-up teen detectives are back for round three of Moriarty Murder Mystery Fun Time in the newest book in the Charlotte Holmes series.

My Dear, Dear Watson

BOOK REPORT for The Case For Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro

Cover Story: Sherlockian Toile: Fuchsia Edish
BFF Charm: Yay
Swoonworthy Scale: 8
Talky Talk: Modern Watson
Bonus Factor: The Big Bad
Relationship Status: The Art of Deduction Seduction

Cover Story: Sherlockian Toile: Fuchsia Edish

Bless whoever designed the cover for A Study in Charlotte, for creating something that so easily and beautifully translates into three gorgeous covers. While I proclaimed loud and proud that I wanted to wallpaper rooms of my house with the last two covers, I will admit that the fuchsia/yellow combo (Ugh, why did I choose "fuchsia"? It's the hardest color to spell.) is my least favorite of the three. Still though, this is, like, an A- as far as YA covers go.

~*~sPoILeR aLeRt~*~ This is your official warning that The Case For Jamie is the third book in the Charlotte Holmes series, and thus, this book report may definitely contains some light major spoilerage for A Study in Charlotte and The Last of August. Continue at your own risk, babies.

The Deal:

It's been a year. One whole year since Jamie Watson watched August Moriarty bleed out on the lawn in front of the Holmeses' Sussex estate. A year since anyone has seen or spoken to Charlotte Holmes. Now, Jamie's trying to get through his senior year at Sherringford. He's got a girlfriend, he's keeping his grades up, and he's trying to salvage the scraps of the few friendships he had before everything went to hell. But this is all extremely difficult to do when he can't get Charlotte out of his head and a mysterious person keeps trying to get him in trouble on campus.

Charlotte, meanwhile, tucked tail and ran after August's murder. She's a menace, she's dangerous, and she's constantly hurting the people she cares for most - at least, that's what she thinks. So she's been on the run, secretly living in NYC, and obsessively tracking down Lucien Moriarty, convinced that he's going to kill her and everyone she loves for vengeance. Despite either of them wanting to see each other, Lucien has other plans for Charlotte and Jamie, and he's waited patiently, biding his time until he's ready to strike.

BFF Charm: Yay

While any previous BFF charms for this series were given under extreme caution, I can finally say that I'm happily tossing BFF charms at Jamie and Charlotte after reading The Case for Jamie. Jamie's got a mad case of PTSD, which, fair. And TBH Charlotte's been suffering from PTSD since the moment we met her. However, now that we're into the third book in the series, we get every other chapter from Charlotte's point of view. Not surprisingly, she's a sardonic genius, which in and of itself is always charming, but being inside her head gave us a sense of how truly vulnerable she is. She's a freaking truffle, y'all: hard outer shell, soft and fluffy inside. One of my favorite moments is when she admits that she doesn't want Jamie reading her journal because she's afraid he'll judge her for all the things but mostly for the fact that she can't spell "necessary." It was honestly just so relatable.

Jamie, meanwhile, is her perfect foil, and I was relieved to be done with his petty jealousy from The Last of August. The trauma he's endured since meeting Charlotte has given him perspective, and even though he's having actual panic attacks, he somehow seemed more chill than before. Maybe because now, he's freaking out over things that actually warrant freak outs.

Swoonworthy Scale: 8

Oh, Holmes and Watson, you two crazy, flawed, screwed-up kids. Over the course of this series I have, at times, shipped you two so hard, and at times thought you were toxic for one another. But you finally managed to get your shit together - as best as you're able to. While Charlotte and Jamie were separated for most of the book, their longing for each other still felt swoony. And once they were reconnected, the swoon amped up *quite* a bit. Okay, a lot. But even at their swooniest/sexiest, Cavallaro approaches their relationship, especially physically, with such gentleness and care. Some of the swooniest moments for me were not in the bedroom, but rather Charlotte and Jamie doing totally normal, every day teenager stuff, like, you know, emailing each other.

Talky Talk: Modern Watson

Cavallaro's writing is one of my favorite things about this series. She manages to be both a little high-brow and a little hilarious. There's just enough formality and darkness in her prose to callback to the original Sherlock Holmes series, but then she infuses modern humor and references that are a really fun juxtaposition to the writing style. Even better, every other chapter in The Case for Jamie is written from Charlotte's POV, which is so weirdly amusing - I want three more books solely from her.

Bonus Factor: The Big Bad

No spoilers, but after three books of build up, we FINALLY get to meet Mr. Evil himself: Lucien Moriarty. And I have to admit, our introduction to him made me literally gasp.

Relationship Status: The Art of Deduction Seduction

My relationship with your series was on shaky ground there for a bit, Book, but you were clearly playing a long con, because you managed to seduce me this time. I can't resist your charm and style, and I'm so glad I stuck around and allowed myself to be seduced by you. Here's to one more book, babe.

Literary Matchmaking:

  

• If you love reading about complicated, screwed-up-yet-strong girls with traumatic pasts, check out The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis.

• If you love a modern day Sherlock Holmes retelling, give the Every Breath series by Ellie Marnie a try.

• Or if you dig Sherlock Holmes but prefer historical fiction or fantasy over contemporary, try the Jackaby series by William Ritter.

FTC Full Disclosure: I did not receive money or Girl Scout cookies of any kind (not even the lame cranberry ones) for writing this review. The Case For Jamie is available now.

Rosemary Hallmark's photo About the Author: Rosemary lives in Little Rock, AR with her cute husband and even cuter dog. At 16, she plucked a copy of Sloppy Firsts off the "New Releases" shelf and hasn't stopped reading YA since. (She's still got a soft spot for the swoony, contemporary stuff.) A former magazine editor, she is now a freelance writer, graphic designer, art director and photo stylist. The rest of her time is spent drinking cocktails, renovating her house and laughing at her husband's ridiculous Pretty Little Liars theories.
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