Escaping from Houdini is the third book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco.
Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.
But privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The strange and disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow more and more bizarre. It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation before more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?
I enjoyed reading the book and following Audrey on her adventure to America with her uncle and Thomas. We continue to see how fearless and single-minded Aubrey is she faced with a murder during dinner. Audrey, Thomas and her uncle are on voyage to America where the ship is being entertained by a travelling troupe of performers. Audrey discovers her cousin is on board as part of the circus group as she has fallen in love with one of the performers-an escape artist named Houdini.
From the first night, she is intrigued by one of the performers, the ringmaster Mephistopheles who seems like he is trying to get in between her and Thomas. After a couple of murders, with tarot cards being left behind, Mephistopheles makes her a deal in return for helping her cousin to leave the show, Audrey must participate in the finale and not tell anyone what she is doing, especially Thomas.
I loved the introduction of Mephistopheles as you began to see a change in Audrey as she not only tries to solve the mystery with Thomas and practicing with the circus performers for the finale.
I enjoyed the twist at the ending as the murderer was discovered and it was someone I wasn’t expecting. Audrey finally realises her feelings for Thomas and they become even closer, especially when Audrey is healing.