Review: The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes #2)
Brittany Cavallaro
Katherine Tegen Books
Published February 14, 2017

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Goodreads

About The Last of August

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 realize 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.

The Last of August  on Goodreads

Audiobooks and a Bit of Background

I’ve been having a ton of trouble sleeping the last several months. It’s like my body crashes really deeply for 4-5 hours and then I’m wide awake, brain whirring at top speed. I hate it because it makes me want to get up and do something useful, like lying there trying to go back to sleep and being unable to is such a huge waste of time. At the same time I know if I get up and do something, I’m more likely to stay up longer and that can really ruin my daytime life with kids and such.

So my solution has been to listen to audiobooks. It’s actually worked out really well most of the time. A lot of the backlist titles I’ve reviewed lately have been the result of audiobooks I’ve listened to while navigating those troubled nighttime hours.

My Review of The Last of August

Which brings me to THE LAST OF AUGUST. It’s been a while since I read A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE, the first book in the Charlotte Holmes series. If you’re unfamiliar with this series, the basic premise is that Sherlock Holmes and James Watson’s present-day descendants meet up at a boarding school and begin solving crimes together. I really enjoyed the first book, but I’m terrible at pursuing a series all the way to the end, so it has taken me a long time to get back to this one.

I liked THE LAST OF AUGUST a lot. Holmes and Watson have that dynamic duo thing going plus loads of romantic tension, and on top of that, a whole family of villains seems to be intent on putting an end to Charlotte’s family.

Some of the twists and turns caught me completely by surprise. I sort of expected that– since it’s sort of part of the Holmes charm to have the big reveal at the end where all the pieces snap into place. I felt like Jamie played a more active role in this book than in the first one (though it’s been a while, so I may be wrong), and I liked that he put some pieces together himself and took charge of a few things, even if they didn’t always go quite as he hoped.

Jamie and Charlotte together are heartbreakingly sweet. He can’t help loving her, and she is so cerebral and analytical and feels so broken beyond repair, but loves him in her own way, too. It’s one of those relationships you keep rooting for because they make each other better, and you just want them to keep making each other better until they’re somehow whole.

I’m hardly an avid mystery reader, but I think if you like Flavia de Luce books, this might be a great series to try.

The Last of August on Amazon

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Charlotte is from London. Jamie is white American.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used somewhat frequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Before leaving school, Charlotte was raped. The incident is never shown, but it’s clear that she’s struggling to process the trauma. Sometimes she can’t handle being touched. Jamie is patient with her and respects her boundaries.

A boy and girl kiss in more than one scene. In another scene, a girl undresses in front of a boy. A vague recap lets readers know they did not have sex but had other sexual contact.

Spiritual Content

Violent Content
Situations of peril. One character is poisoned. More than one character is kidnapped.

Drug Content
Charlotte is a recovering addict. She’s tempted at a party where guests are using cocaine. Teens drink alcohol at a club and auction. (It’s legal at 18 where they are.)

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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