Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #3
Format: ARC provided by Hachette Book Group Canada
Top 3 Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Thriller
My rating: Set it on fire/ If you have nothing else to read/ you need to read it/Run and buy it.
To buy the book: CA•US• FR• Bookdep
Add to: Goodreads
Hello bookdragons! How are you on this lovely Fall day? Me, I’m crying at work! Ok, I’m kidding. I’m not crying, but I could. I just need holidays SO MUCH! But anyway! Have you read the Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco? If not, you are seriously missing out. Let me tell you why with this spoiler-free review of Escaping from Houdini!
Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re 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 then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea. It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even 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?
An incredible duo of characters
Audrey-Rose and Thomas, that we are following for several books now, found themselves on their way to the United States. But instead of a beautiful and entertaining cruise, they found themselves (again) on the path of a serial killer.
Even if the idea is the same than for the other books of the series, Maniscalco keeps it interesting thanks to these two characters full of wit and humor. They work well by themselves and amazingly together. I love Audrey-Rose as a narrator, her struggles with the forensic life but mostly with her will to be free from what her society think is the place of women. She found in Thomas Creswell a great partner in (solving) crimes and another peculiar personality. I’m probably a bit in love with him too 😉
And because they are so well written, it is a pleasure to follow them one more time through their perilous adventures!
A spooky setting
What would you do if you were stuck on a boat, in the middle of the Ocean, with a murderer on board? I would freak out for sure! Well, that is the setting of this book, already forming a good start. But it is not all! Entertainment was planned with the Midnight Carnival, having as a star performer Harry Houdini himself! This Carnival added darkness and unease through the pages, a touch of gore and magic all at once.
Even if sometimes the plot felt far stretched, some coincidences too big or some actions unrealistic, it was impossible not to get carried away by this series of gruesome murders. A perfect Fall read!
In a few words
I’m in love with the combination of historical fiction and murder mysteries, always have, and this book makes no exception. Add to that great characters and I’m all in! The end even made me break a tear 😉
See you for a cup!