Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper

Stalking Jack the Ripper
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

Stalking Jack the Ripper is a delightful murder mystery surrounding the infamous serial killer. Our protagonist Audrey Rose Wadsworth is more interested in forensics than being a lady – not that she doesn’t mind wearing killer dresses and looking fabulous, but a girl’s gotta have more ambition than for just tea parties. She is apprenticing under her uncle, who is a forensic doctor of renown, and because her father disapproves of her interests, she has to sneak around for it. When Jack the Ripper strikes, she and her uncle’s other apprentice, the handsome Thomas Cresswell, who is the Sherlock to her Watson in this story, start investigating on their own. The stakes get higher when people close to her are also drawn in to the web of suspicion and Audrey is determined to find the killer before he strikes again.

While romance is not really the main focus of the story, I found their chemistry humorous. Thomas and Audrey Rose have this flirty-bantering thing going on, where he is mostly flirting and she is bantering. She is a great character to read through – the way she reacts, her anatomical analogies give that little bit more to the book. The story itself is set quite close to the actual events, so it is an amazing historical fiction to try out, too. The mystery-solving duo chase down clues in dark alleys and amongst dead bodies, and while the mystery of the killer’s identity was not really a shock to me, it came together is a well-written climax. I look forward to further adventures from the both of them.

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