Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3) by Kerri Maniscalco
Publisher: JIMMY Patterson (September 18, 2018)
Print Length: 416 pages
Audiobook Length: 12hrs and 59 mins
Narrator: Nicola Barber
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 strange and 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?
Once again Kerri Maniscalco expertly crafts a mystery worthy of the sleuthing skills of Audrey Rose and Thomas that left me nervous until the final paragraph ended.
Talking place after the events of Hunting Prince Dracula, Escaping from Houdini finds Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell en route to New York in search of new mysteries only to be confronted with one in the form of the Moonlight Carnival on board the RMS Etruria.
As with previous installments the writing style of Mansicalco gripped me from the minute I started reading Escaping from Houdini. Unlike the previous two installments, however, Escaping from Houdini takes place in relatively close quarters, on the RMS Eturia, but the constricting walls of the lavish ocean liner doesn’t drag down the novel. With murder and mayhem lurking around every crew corridor and first class passenger cabins, Maniscalco made the ship as twisting as the streets of London or the castle in Romania.
As for the characters, well, I have to admire Mansicalco for choosing to write what the reader wanted but not quite in the way that the reader expected. Thomas exhibited much of the same in terms of love for Audrey Rose and the ability to do the right thing, even if that means Audrey Rose goes on without him. He’s wonderful to read about and I only hope that his ending, in the yet unnamed fourth novel, gives us all exactly what we want. Audrey Rose’s character in this novel, however, is where Maniscalco truly shines. Gone is the relatively placid girl we met in the first novel, instead replaced by a confident young woman who will do whatever it takes to catch the killer. She goes undercover in this novel, which goes so far as to potentially switch her romantic interests from Thomas. While I am not usually one for love triangles, I thought that Maniscalco’s use of the Thomas, Audrey Rose, Mephistopheles relationship really showed just how much the two previous crimes had impacted Audrey Rose and Thomas both as individuals and as a couple.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
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And those are my thoughts on Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3) by Kerri Maniscalco. Have any YA mystery recommendations you think I should check out? Leave them as a comment below and help my TBR grow.