Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco is the third book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. Again, the cover is beautiful and keeps with the theme of the first two books. It took me awhile to actually finish this book due to going on a trip and getting out of my reading habit. Going forward with this review, I am going to assume you have either read Stalking Jack the Ripper and Hunting Prince Dracula, or my reviews for those books. If you haven’t read either, be prepared for some spoilers. Like always, I will not have any spoilers for Escaping from Houdini.
After finding out that they did not secure places at the school in Romania, Audrey Rose and Thomas board a ship to New York to solve another mystery. While aboard the RMS Etruria, they find out that the first class passengers will be entertained nightly for the week trip by a traveling circus.
Then suddenly, upper class women start to go missing and bodies start showing up shocking everyone on board. With the Moonlight Carnival aboard and their curious influence permeating the decks, the murders become increasingly more bizarre.
Once again, it’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to bring all the pieces together while passengers die by the day before reaching New York. However, when clues start to implicate the next victim will be someone she loves, Audrey Rose must solve this mystery before the killer’s grand finale.
Escaping from Houdini got me really excited. We already know that Audrey Rose loves going to the circus and the daring acts. Add a dash of romance aboard a ship, some murders, and boom you have a story I want to read. Doesn’t hurt that some of the new characters are quite charming.
In Escaping from Houdini, the story mainly focuses on Audrey Rose and her independent investigations. Don’t worry, Dr. Wadsworth and Thomas are still there investigating alongside her, but Audrey Rose does secret sleuthing of her own. Now I enjoy this and dislike this. For what I like about this is Audrey Rose uses other methods to gather information, trusts herself and is trusted by others to be independent, and we see a different side of Audrey Rose. As for what I dislike about this are some of the methods and choices Audrey Rose makes during this time. Putting the investigation first to catch a murderer is admirable, but the way she goes about gathering information is sometimes down right dirty and immoral.
Now Thomas is ever the charming scoundrel. With his intentions and relationship with Audrey Rose clearly defined, Thomas is very mature and trusting of Audrey Rose. Though he still makes inappropriate comments and teases Audrey Rose, Thomas is the mature one out of the two. Thomas trusts Audrey Rose, respects her, follows her lead, tells her everything, and despite certain situations, loves her and respects any choices she chooses to make regarding their relationship. Never does he treat her poorly, as if she is inferior, or take her freedom away. All I want to do is protect this scoundrel with my whole heart. I’m also deprived of a certain conversation at the end of the investigation. It needed to happen for resolution and insight into the characters. Alas, being the reader, I was not privy to such things.
“I love you… More than all the stars in the universe. In this life and ever after. I love you.”
“We women could be called creatures, if only the men who said such careless words accepted our claws were fearsome things when we decided to scratch.”
“She’s the muscle. I’m clearly the charm.”
“You’re both so intelligent in matters involving the mind, but the heart? It’s as if beings from other galaxies are puzzling out fried potatoes.”
“So often we were only tasked with cutting open the dead . . . Speaking with the living during their time of grief was much harder.”
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
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Snag a Copy: I will always suggest getting the hard cover, but buy in any format on Amazon
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