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.
Everything in this book is complicated. Charlotte and Jamie’s relationship, their families, the kidnapping and art forgery plots – all complex problems with no obvious solution.
I think what I’m enjoying most about these books are the Watson narratives with the occasional Holmes input for context when necessary. It continues to be a nice reminder of Arthur Conan Doyle’s work and Brittany Cavallaro does it incredibly well.
Charlotte and Jamie are angsty teens with too much baggage and a surplus of intelligence. This seems to come together to complicate things with overthinking and an inability to live in the present while trying to predict the future. Throw in a century’s worth of deadly family rivalries and everything gets muddled so that nothing is clear.
The worst part is the lack of closure at the end. There are so many moving pieces still out there and no clear ending. Thankfully I’m only halfway through the series so far! If I had to wait to get started on the next book I’d be very impatient.