Chinoiserie print of students

About the Book

Title: The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes #2)
Published: 2017
Series: Charlotte Holmes
Swoonworthy Scale: 7

Cover Story: Wallpaper My Library With It Already
BFF Charm: Yay
Talky Talk: Modern Watson
Bonus Factors: Europe, Christmas
Relationship Status: No Mystery Here

Cover Story: Wallpaper My Library With It Already

I am WAY obsessed with the covers for this series. Sherlockian Toile, as Mandy called it, is like, so hot right now. Imagine this pattern lining the walls of an old library. That studious dark green? Gimme.

The Deal:

~*~sPoILeR aLeRt~*~ This is your official warning that The Last of August is the second book in the Charlotte Holmes series, and thus, this book report may contain some light spoilerage for the first book. Continue at your own risk, babies.

Poor Jamie Watson just wanted to have a chill Christmas break after spending his fall semester at boarding school being framed for murder, then almost getting murdered, alongside Charlotte Holmes. The pair are holed up at Holmes’ family estate in Sussex, resting after their run-in with the Moriarty family (and trying to awkwardly navigate the rocky sea that is their feelings for one another) when Holmes’ favorite uncle Leander goes missing. Holmes is determined to find Leander, and suddenly, Watson finds himself being dragged across Europe, ensnared in a tangled web of Holmes-Moriarty family drama and the dark underbelly of the European art world, while trying not to get killed (again) in the process.

BFF Charm: Yay

Yay BFF Charm

There’s certainly no shortage of complexity with these two. Watson and Holmes contain multitudes, and those multitudes aren’t all sunshine and rainbows. There’s a lot of darkness in their depths, but that’s what makes them interesting. You want to hug them, shake them, then hug them again. Charlotte’s past haunts her like a persistant ghost. She holds people at arms’ length, yet when her vulnerability shows, she’s as frail as glass. Jamie alternates between anger and warmth quickly and with fervor, but his passion makes him a perfect foil for Charlotte.

Swoonworthy Scale: 7

Woo boy. These two. They’re so freaking full of feelings. Mostly for each other. And yet, everything is so complicated between them. They’re both afraid of crossing a line from Best Friends to Something More, and for good reason. Charlotte is a rape survivor, so despite the fact that she trusts Watson more than anyone else on the planet, a physical relationship between them will never come easy. And Watson is hyper aware of this, and struggles with both wanting her and wanting her to feel safe. Then there’s the added issue of August Moriarty’s presence in Charlotte’s life suddenly, which Jamie is *none* too thrilled about. For me, the swoon from this book didn’t come from typical swoonworthy moments (and trust, there are some) but rather the way that Watson and Holmes struggle to navigate their feelings without ruining everything they already have.

Talky Talk: Modern Watson

Cavallaro continues to dazzle with prose that’s filled with twists and turns, outsmarting the reader at every opportunity. Jamie’s narration is always a delight to read, but I especially love the few chapters we get from Charlotte’s weirdly amusing point of view. I’ll admit, The Last of August is a bit of a slow starter. I didn’t really feel like anything happened until about 30-40% into the book, and with a lot of time passed since I read A Study in Charlotte, there were a handful of people mentioned in the beginning that I barely remembered. These things combined made it hard to stick with for the first few days, but I promise, once Watson and Holmes head off to Europe, things get very exciting.

Bonus Factor: Europe

Skyline of Paris France with Eiffel Tower in back

I’m fairly certain the only thing that could make me love this Sherlock Holmes retelling even more is if it were set all over Europe. AND OH HEY LOOK, this one is! Watson and Holmes start out in Sussex before heading to Berlin and then, (be still my heart) Prague. ::sighs forever::

Bonus Factor: Christmas

Candy canes, twinkle lights, bows and wreathes on a table

Okay, but I’m VERY certain the only thing that could make me love a Sherlock Holmes retelling even more than THAT, is if it were set in Europe at CHRISTMAS. ::dies from sighing::

Relationship Status: No Mystery Here

No doubt about it, I’m head over heels for this series! And The Last of August certainly ends on a cliffhanger (sorry/not sorry), which has me that much more excited for the third book in the series.

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

Rosemary lives in Little Rock, AR with her husband and cocker spaniel. At 16, she plucked a copy of Sloppy Firsts off the "New Releases" shelf and hasn't stopped reading YA since. She is a brand designer who loves tiki drinks, her mid-century modern house, and obsessive Google mapping.