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.
Hunting Prince Dracula is the second book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco.
Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.
But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.
We join Audrey and Thomas as they travel to Romania to study at one of the best schools of forensic medicine. From the beginning of the story, you can tell Audrey is still trying to cope at the discovery of who Jack the Ripper was and what she went through so she leaves London.
Although the escaped London, new murders occur at the school and Audrey can’t help investigate with the help of Thomas. I love that we are starting to explore the world and that the setting of the story is set at a castle and surrounding villages that are full of tales and superstitions that there is even a class taught at the school.
Thomas and Audrey’s relationship deepens as they continue to rely on each other to solve the mystery and some secrets that Thomas holds, are discovered in the end.
The story is very well written and there is twists and turns that make you not want to put the book down. I love that we have a sharp and forward thinking female protagonist in Audrey Rose and her fearlessness truely endears her to me, especially as she doesn’t conform to societies expectations in the Victorian-era.
I’ve recently read Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalso and I truly enjoyed this Young Adult Mystery novel. Stalking Jack the Ripper is the first book in the series and it takes you back when Jack the Ripper was on his spree and you follow Audrey Rose Wadsworth as she tries to help her uncle solve the case.
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.
Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.
This is a page turning mystery that kept me reading as I wanted to find out what will happen. This book is set back in the Victorian-era, where it was unheard of women working, and especially to study in a laboratory about forensic medicine. Although she acts as society demands, she is fascinated with forensic medicine. We are introduced to Audrey as she attends one of her uncle’s lectures where she runs into Thomas Cresswell and she forms a low opinion of him. Throughout the novel, we see how her opinion changes as they work with her uncle to solve the mystery of Jack the Ripper. I enjoyed this changing dynamic.
While I was reading I had many theories of who Jack the Ripper, and the ending truely surprised me as I wasn’t expecting who it was. I definitely recommend this book to those who are looking for a good mystery novel.