3.5 out of 5 stars
A little time apart does Jamie and Charlotte good. But what does it do for the story?
A year has passed since the end of The Last of August, and the murder that left our Holmes/Watson/Moriarty triumvirate a gaping wound. Little, if anything, has healed. Jamie is back at Sherringford school, playing normal and feeling rotten. After spending a few months nearly mute, he’s sort-of recovered: girlfriend, classes, the knowledge that he should care about his impending future. But without Charlotte, everything is empty. He doesn’t know where she is, and shouldn’t care. But as the logline asks, “What’s a Watson without his Holmes?”
Charlotte is hiding in her own way. Her parents have separated, her mother left to Switzerland where Charlotte is staying because there’s nowhere else to go. She is broken by the events of Book 2, and she’s angry. This, in Charlotte, is refreshing. She’s raging.
And, of course, she’s still obsessed with the Moritartys. Knowing Lucien is at large, and that he must be gunning for her, Charlotte takes turns hiding from him and hoping to draw him out. Neither works, and frustrations deepen. When her investigation nails a solid lead, she reaches it just in time to find out Leander and James have done the same. And they’ve brought Jamie along.
The plot of Book 3 is the best yet – intricate, surprising, convoluted. There was a true wow moment when I said, “WHAT.” out loud to my dogs. You’ll know it when you read it. The diabolic-ness (diabolicality?) of the Moriartys truly shines here – they’re villians for the ages, nursing grudges and framing scenarios. Everyone gets in on the action: Jamie’s mom and sister, Charlotte’s ditz-genius roommate Lena, Elizabeth, the girl from the first book who had the diamond shoved down her throat before being left for dead. When Charlotte and Jamie collide at nearly the climax of the plot, it’s not a page too soon. And even if they save themselves, can they really save who they are to each other?
Yes, and also no. Maybe both. With the best crimes, best emotional soliloquies to intro- and extroversion, and real questions about who you let into your life and why, The Case for Jamie takes the Charlotte Holmes series to the next level.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand, why doesn’t everyone do a book trailer?!?!