Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Last of August

I think I've previously detailed my love of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I checked the books out from my elementary and junior high schools. I watched the Robert Downey Jr. remakes and tried to watch Elementary and did watch the BBC Sherlock. I've been to 221B Baker Street and have stood outside the building which served as the BBC's 221B. I analyzed some of the stories in college and debated the merits of The Speckled Band. So, while I don't know every Sherlock story by heart, I have a fair understanding of Doyle's work, both original and remade. Not to mention, I have a soft spot for the stories. So I enjoyed A Study in Charlotte much more than others seemed to. I found the banter delightful, as well as the references to stories I'd read before. The Last of August was received more poorly than the first in the series, but that did not deter me.

Retrieved from Goodreads
After barely making it through school alive, Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are spending winter break in Europe with each other's families. But what starts as a tense holiday turns into a dangerous case of art fraud and kidnapping. Jamie and Charlotte race to discover the culprit before someone turns up dead, teaming up with some former enemies along the way.

I'll admit to not following the particulars of the investigation all that closely. This book was read on audiobook while I cleaned and cooked and went about my day. But art fraud is always a good story in my book, having watched every episode of White Collar. The banter between Charlotte and Jamie was back, though in a less interesting setting in my opinion. Jamie is seething with emotions for Charlotte that she does not understand or reciprocate in a way he wants. He lashes out by being stupid but also heroic. Charlotte hides things and is self-destructive and brilliant. They clearly have a loving, toxic relationship that I found interesting to watch unfold. The scenes from Charlotte's point of view were a particular joy, and a nice break from Jamie's unrelenting whining. My favorite parts with Jamie were when he was trying to be someone else, trying to think like Charlotte and never quite getting there. I did not love the ending, because it lacked the Holmes monologue on how everything fit together. Maybe it's a cheap ploy, but I always loved the debunking of the case with Holmes's of course attitude. I also did not love how Charlotte's rape was dealt with. Jamie whines about how the emotional toll of the rape is affecting him, but doesn't really seem to understand that in this case he should bugger off with his annoyance. But while these things bugged me, I still enjoyed Jamie and Charlotte's bickering, and will be reading the last book in the series.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars (more like 3.75)
Up Next: Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham

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