Title: The Last of August
Author: Brittany Cavallaro
Series: Charlotte Holmes #2
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 30
(see below for breakdown)
Watson and Holmes: A match made in disaster.
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 realise 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
I really enjoy the style of these books. I really enjoy the narration by Watson and then the tone switch when we get glimpses of Holmes’ perspective. The story started out really promising, the search for a missing member of the Holmes family in Berlin, all tangled up with an art forgery ring. The Art forgery angle was really interesting and not something i have read before but as we progressed through the mystery it managed to be both rushed and drawn out at all the wrong places. It went off on weird tangents without explanation and spent a number of times was rehashing events from the previous book. There was occasional leaps of logic which left me wandering if I had missed pages.
This meant we didn’t get much character growth between the two books, it seemed to just cycle through the same pattern of Watson pining over Holmes, running to do Holmes bidding, the excitement of the case, they have a fight and repeat and repeat every few chapters. We did get to meet more members of both the Holmes and Moriarty families but they didn’t get a lot of time and any descriptions were lost in the confusion. Particularly in the ending. It just seemed to flood in a rush and was both over complicated and didn’t really resolve anything.
While I do enjoy the characters and I enjoyed the start of this story it just didn’t fully hit the mark for me, just scraping 3 stars in the ESCAPE system.