Let me start by saying that A Study in Charlotte was one of my favorite books that I read last year (or the year before…whenever I read it). The conceit is that Sherlock Holmes and John Watson were real people and their descendants share the qualities of their famous relatives as they are molded and shaped into “who they’re supposed to be”. A Study in Charlotte had us meeting Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes at boarding school and working through their first case together. I really loved it…like loved it, loved it.
The Last of August picks up right after the first and while this book has a few mysteries– where is Leander Holmes (Charlotte’s uncle)/is Leander still alive? What mystery was he working on (that involved art/art students)? What was Leander’s relationship with Jamie’s dad and why won’t his dad give him emails that could possibly lead to his finding him? Does Charlotte want Jamie, the way Jamie wants Charlotte…and should the pair even go down that avenue–they are partners after all–it could complicate things and Charlotte’s already pretty complicated.
And that’s where I feel like the story gets problematic. Most of the book is about Jamie and Charlotte (and a little bit of ex-boyfriend/tutor August Moriarty) trying to decide if they should take things to a physical level. Charlotte seems adamant that she doesn’t want any physical relationship with Jamie but then…well, then I got confused because her messages change–but I’m not sure why. Is Charlotte interested in Jamie or is this to placate him? Too much time is spent on their navigating these waters and not enough time is focused on the mysteries. While it felt bloated in the middle and I struggled to keep going, the last few chapters held so much action and so little explanation that I longed for a little plodding because so many things that matter happen at the end–and I really needed more time with them, time I didn’t really get.
Some of my feelings about the book are definitely due to the fact that I had been anticipating this book for almost a year…pretty much after I put the first one down, I googled to find out if there was a second one. The book’s pretty ok, but not fantastic. This is meant to be a trilogy so I’m still very much looking forward to see what happens next for the pair as they mean to convert 221 B Baker St into a detective agency instead of the “museum that it’s become”.