Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson think they’re finally in the clear. They’ve left Sherringford School—and the Moriartys—behind for a pre-college summer program at Oxford University. A chance to start from scratch and explore dating for the first time, while exploring a new city with all the freedom their program provides. But when they arrive, Charlotte is immediately drawn into a new case: a series of accidents have been befalling the members of the community theater troupe in Oxford, and now, on the eve of their production of Hamlet, they’re starting all over again. What once seemed like a comedy of errors is now a race to prevent the next tragedy—before Charlotte or Jamie is the next victim.
With how intense the earlier three books have been, A Question of Holmes feels almost like a quieter kind of mystery. With Lucien Moriarty locked up, and Charlotte breaking away from her parents and living with her uncle Leander now, their personal problems of the Holmes-Moriatry issues are gone from this book. It is, in short, a different tone in the book and feels almost like a spin-off or an epilogue. Charlotte and Jamie are in Oxford for summer courses, and the former is roped in by the drama professor to investigate a series of ‘pranks’ that happened in the year previous, with it culminating in a student going missing; Charlotte is to go undercover to suss out if something similar might happen this year. Charlotte, who is quite adept at reading people, has a new challenge – actors, who are essentially adept at lying and much more difficult to fool.
Charlotte’s and Jamie’s relationship also gets a nice change – no longer trying to survive threats on their life, or even shaking off a long addiction, they are free to explore their relationship. They are honestly so cute in this book, and I love that Charlotte gets to have some peace; there are still some shadows from the past extending into this new life, but she gets to choose how to deal with them. In the course of the novel, though, she also reconfigures her life, adjusting to a more ‘normal’ version of life, rather than be what her father created, and think over what she wants her future to be. Jamie himself is much less involved in the mystery for half of the book, and this is almost all from Charlotte’s perspective, while Jamie gets to narrate the epilogue (a reversal from the first two books). There was one thing that was answered from a previous book, which kinda sealed the ‘happy ending’ for me. As a finale, it was quite satisfactory, but as a sequel, it might feel like a very different book that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the series.
Is it diverse? recovering addict rep
Previous books in the Charlotte Holmes series
Released on March 5, 2019