Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco. This tour is being hosted by Fantastic Flying Book Club. I’ll be sharing my review today and there will be a giveaway. I will also be sharing some of my favorite quotes.
Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3)
by Kerri Maniscalco
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Release date: September 18, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery
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?
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Escaping-From-Houdini/9780316527392
Kerri Maniscalco has done it again. I absolutely loved Escaping From Houdini!
As with all the books, I can’t get too much into the book without giving things away. But I’ll do my best. I did read an arc and I’ve heard that the final copy has a different ending. I’ll be curious to see what has changed.
My favorite thing about this book, besides Thomas, was the setting. While I love the ocean, the thought of being trapped on a boat with a murderer is just terrifying. The Moonlight Carnival made it even creepier. I honestly loved the nightly performances. They were so detailed and added so much to the story. The characters were interesting, too. I like how it didn’t just focus all on Houdini, but instead on Mephistopheles. He quickly became a favorite character. His personality reminded me so much of Thomas. And I loved the layers to him that Audrey Rose was able to discover. I could understand why she was so drawn to him.
I was so happy to see Liza back, too. I adore her and would read a book centered more on her story. Also, Mrs. Harvey. She makes me laugh and I would love to see even more of her in the future.
As with all the books, the murders and postmortems were very detailed. I was afraid that the gothic feel would be gone because of the boat, but I still felt it. The carnival was often times very dark.
I found myself going back and forth on who I thought was the murderer. The person was one of my suspects, but I just wasn’t positive. I love that Kerri makes so many people feel like the murderer in each book. It really keeps me guessing and trying to figure it out.
And I have to mention my love for Audrey Rose and Thomas yet again. What more can I say about them? I love Audrey Rose’s strength and determination. Thomas has the best personality and continues to be a book boyfriend. I am so sad to know that their story will be ending soon.
I gave this book 5 stars. I didn’t want to put it down. Thank you to Jimmy Patterson Books and Little Brown for sending me a physical arc for review. I really appreciate having the book so I can see all the pictures. They add so much to the reading experience.
New Year’s afternoon aboard the Etruria began like a fairytale, which was the first indication a nightmare lurked on the horizon, waiting, as most villains do, for an opportunity to strike.
“If I didn’t know any better, Wadsworth, my dear,” Thomas said, voice laced with teasing, his typical method of distracting me from my darkness, “I’d believe you were about to perform your own escape act. Am I to be your assistant, then?” He stared down at himself, frowning slightly. “I left my sequined frock coat in London and this one’s a bit plain. It doesn’t particularly scream ‘carnival chic’.”
“Right,” he said, turning his thoughts inward for a moment. “What I mean is…I promise to stand by your side through whatever comes our way. You’ll end up being the hero, no doubt, but I’ll look good beside you. And that’s what truly counts.”
“Magic is science. It’s simply a fancier term for showing people the possible is attainable.”
Thomas pulled back enough to look into my eyes, his wicked grin returning. “Miss Audrey Rose Wadsworth, conqueror of my soul–you are an absolute fiend. You’d like to flout tradition simply because of your need for my body.” He held a hand over his heart. “I swear I have never loved you more.”
“That’s life, my dear.” He lifted a shoulder. “They are the dregs of society–the throwaways and so-called freaks. When that’s beaten into you by others, you tend to stick yourself and live by your own code. Who can you trust when the whole world turns so savagely on you? And in the name of what? Because we choose to live by our own rules? Because a young woman would prefer to draper herself in ink instead of silk? Or because there’s a person who enjoys swallowing flames in place of mucking out alleys in the East End?”
Society scorned them, turned them into freak shows and curiosities, and now they are only interested in cheering because of the glamour of those velvet curtains. The allure of magic and mysticism. Should they encounter those same performers on the street, they would not be so kind of accepting. It is a sad truth that we don not live in a world where differences are accepted. And until such a time, Miss Wadsworth, I will provide a home to the misfits and unwanteds, even if it means losing bits of my soul to that hungry, unsatisfied beast Mr. Barnum has called show business.”
“Is that all?” he smirked. “Did you enjoy it? I’d wager your heart beat a little faster. Your palms dampened with dread and expectation. We are all fascinated by death–it’s the one thing each and every one of us has in common. No matter our station in life, we all must die. And we never know when it’s coming for us. Seeing someone nearly drown itself isn’t scary or intimidating. It’s the truth and realization of what truly excites us that is most disturbing.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.
Her first novel in this series, Stalking Jack the Ripper, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history.
Prize: One ARC of Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco (USA only)
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