About the Book
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #3
Written by: Kerri Maniscalco
Published: June 6, 2018 by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Synopsis: In this third installment in the #1 bestselling Stalking Jack the Ripper series, a luxurious ocean liner becomes a floating prison of scandal, madness, and horror when passengers are murdered one by one…with nowhere to run from the killer. .
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?
*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher at ALA in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***
I am a huge fan of this series. When I read the first book two years ago I fell completely in love witht he characters, the setting, the mystery, everything. I was so excited to see Kerri again at ALA and pick up a copy of this book. So excited in fact that I didn't wait to read it, something I almost never do. Yes, friends, I read this book three months ago and I waited to share my review.
My favorite part of this book and the series in general is the character. I absolutely adore Audrey Rose. She is such a fantastic protagonist and my favorite kind of female heroine. She's not perfect and while she is completely badass she is still feminine and vulnerable sometimes. But the best part of Audrey Rose is that she is entirely herself and who she wants to be despite what society might expect from her. This book is so much about trying to figure out exactly what she wants with her future. I loved seeing Audrey Rose figure that out even if I didn't totally agree with all the decisions that she made throughout the book.
But my favorite characters are probably the secondary characters. It seems strange to call Thomas a secondary character but I guess that's what he is. Who cares what he is, because Thomas is amazing and my absolute favorite. Thomas is in rare form in this book and is a hilarious and fantastic snark machine. He always makes me laugh especially at the magic shows. Some of my favorite quotes come from Thomas interacting with others. One of those people I love him interacting with is the ringmaster. I don't want to give too much away about him but he is the sort of over the top charming sort of person that I think a lot of people are going to like. I however am hardcore Team Thomas and was a annoyed at him for trying to come between my ship. But I will say, he was a complex and interesting character like a lot of the members of the circus.
Speaking of the circus, this setting was completely amazing. I am not usually a big fan of books set during circuses. I know so many people love fantasies in circuses but for me they always seem too over the top magical and not at all realistic. This however felt realistic. It was grounded in reality of actual circuses at the turn of the 20th Century. I felt the wonder and mystery that characters were feeling and I was just as fascinated with everything that was going on. But I think the characters in the circus also made it all the more interesting. I wanted to know about them and about the circus.
The only thing that I didn't love as much about this book was the mystery. I'll be honest, the mysteries in this book are not at all complicated. I have solved every single one of them and usually I solve them with a throw away comment that leads me directly to the killer who is only revealed. Their motivation is then revealed as the book develops. I am perfectly okay with that. I like solvable mysteries. The only problem however is that there needs to be a good explanation as to why they are doing what they are doing and how it is all connected. Here I didn't quite get that. Even when everything was all said and done there really wasn't much of that cohesion to the mystery. Plus there really was no connection to the overall narrative of the series. I know this series was only going to be three books but then it ended up being four. I think maybe this one just kind of felt like a companion that is connected to the series but indirectly. I wish it had added more to the larger story but maybe it will in the end.
Overall this was a really great read. I loved being able to reconnect with Audrey Rose and Thomas, and to go with them on another great adventure to a fascinating historical circus setting. I wish the mystery was a little more cohesive but I still really enjoyed it.
Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. If you liked the first two books in the series then you have to read the next book in then series. On the whole this is a truly brilliant historical mystery series and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction or crime novels.
About the Author
And now as part of the blog tour for this book I want to share some of my favorite quotes. I don't usually make a note of quotes while I am reading but when it came to this book I did do that. There are some overall amazing quotes that just resonated with me. Then there are some hilarious Thomas quotes that made me so happy.
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Prize: One ARC of Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco (USA only)
Have you read Escaping from Houdini? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!