Title: Escaping From Houdini
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: Historical Fiction – Mystery
Age Classification: Young Adult
Publisher: Little, Brown US
Release: September 18, 2018
Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell are now travelling across the ocean to their next investigation in America with Audrey’s uncle. However, no sooner are they out to sea, bodies start showing up, the first one at Audrey and Thomas table during the first night of the onboard Carnival.
Audrey Rose is getting better at reading a crime scene but she spends most of this novel confused about the living people in her life. She is struggling to find the appropriate balance between being a respectable member of society and the best forensic scientist she can be while also trying to decode her hearts desires and protect her family.
Thomas is not his usual cocky, sarcastic self. Still cool, calm and calculated at a crime scene, but he also became rather aloof and acted jealous and even a little desperate. It was a struggle to see this side to the usually confident and sassy young man.
Mephistopheles is the ringmaster of the Moonlight Carnival who promises that the carnivals tricks and midnight bargains will have the audience losing their heads, their hearts, their souls or even their lives. Audrey never expected that anyone could tempt her heart, but the mysterious carnival ringmaster has no intentions of letting her get away.
Liza, Audrey’s cousin, is a surprise addition the trip after Audrey’s party notices her in the Moonlight Carnival’s act. She had written to Audrey telling her of the magical man she had met, but Audrey had not expected her cousin’s love interest to be a suspected serial killer.
Harry Houdini. The man in the title and one of the stars in the Moonlight Carnival. However, besides the lockpicking skills, he has secrets, including his real name, that leaves Audrey questioning his true intentions.
I am still missing the Thomas we had in Stalking Jack the Ripper and hoping he makes a return in Capturing the Devil, but I found myself enjoying other characters more than I had expected to. Even the mysterious Mephistopheles had me intrigued and wanting to discover more about him. I also liked the opportunity to learn more about Liza as she had been an interesting addition to Stalking Jack the Ripper.
The plot was incredible! The overall Stalking Jack series continued to flow well, the historical time period was maintained and the mystery element was executed brilliantly. I was constantly guessing who our killer was and what their motives were. The setting also had me intrigued. The ship limited suspects, the carnival adds entertainment and the mix of high society and questionable individuals makes for some very interesting interactions. The final two chapters were thrilling and terrifying, but oh dear lord they were great! It was a heart-racing conclusion that had me experiencing many emotions. My emotions were also toyed with in the epilogue, though it did help secure me as a reader for the fourth and final book in this series!
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
This was a book I did not want to put down! I would even go as far to say that this is my favourite book in the series so far!
Have you read Escaping From Houdini?
If so, what are your thoughts? (Keep them spoiler-free in the comments please!)
If not, are you a fan of historical mystery novels?
Until next time bibliophiles!