A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
Summary from Goodreads:
The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.
From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.
The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro
Publishing date: February 14, 2017
Summary from Goodreads:
In the second brilliant, action-packed book in the Charlotte Holmes trilogy, Jamie and Charlotte are in a chase across Europe to untangle a web of shocking truths about the Holmes and Moriarty families.
Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter break reprieve in Sussex after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But nothing about their time off is proving simple, including Holmes and Watson’s growing feelings for each other. When Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the Holmes estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring—the game is afoot once again, and Charlotte throws herself into a search for answers.
So begins a dangerous race through the gritty underground scene in Berlin and glittering art houses in Prague, where Holmes and Watson discover that this complicated case might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.
The first book in this series is wonderful, especially for Sherlockians who can pick up on all of the nods to the stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is my favorite of the modern Holmes retellings, especially those that use descendants of the famous duo as their main characters. The budding friendship and romance between Charlotte and Jamie was also fun to watch unfold. The murder mystery and ensuing race to catch the killer was exciting and fast paced. The private school setting was also fun and the secondary characters of Charlotte’s and Jamie’s roommates added some much needed comic relief. But there were some darker threads in this story that continue into the second book. I liked the fact that Charlotte smoked and had a drug problem, just like her great, great, great grandfather. All of the characters, whether they be Holmes, Watsons or Moriarties, had flaws that are true to the originals. At times, it did feel like there were to many descendants and they all get a bit jumbled, but there is a family tree in the second book that helps keep them straight.
I liked the second book too, but not as much as the first one. Some of the charm of the first book was missing here, especially references to the cannon. They may have been there and I just missed them, but I don’t think so. The second book is also darker and Jamie’s and Charlotte’s relationship flips from good to bad to worse every few pages. Much of what happens in the second book also is heavily dependent on the first book, so if you don’t remember the details well it gets a little muddled. I did like that Charlotte told some of the story, there are a couple of chapters that she writes because Jamie is incapacitated, in other words he was beaten senseless. The action is fast paced and the plot is sufficiently convoluted to keep you on your toes, and I’m still not sure I understand the ending fully, but it is still a really good read.
Book two is reviewed from a copy received from Edelweiss.
Here is a video to go with the second book by Epic Reads: