Escaping From Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3) by Kerri Maniscalco

4.5/5

The Moonlight Carnival promises those attending will lose their heart, mind, life or very soul to the show if they are not careful. It comes hauntingly true when a girl is murdered during the very first show. Audrey Rose & Thomas must aide Dr. Wadsworth in finding the murderer, but when the whole carnival is suspect who can they trust? Things become even more tangled when Audrey Rose enters a dangerous deal with the mysterious Mephistopheles. When Audrey Rose begins her own sleight of hand to solve the murder, she’s in danger of losing her very heart.

Escaping from Houdini is my favorite cover from the series, and comes very close to topping my favorites list. The string of murders that accompanies the voyage on the RMS Etruria and the Moonlight Carnival show are some of the most eerie murders yet. Audrey Rose finds that each murder is related to or represented by tarot cards and cartomancy. Yet stringing together their meanings is harder to pin down than one might anticipate. I loved this aspect, tarot is something I’m immensely fascinated about. It gave this installment a mystical element similar to the strigoi of Hunting Prince Dracula.

I loved exploring the various carnival acts with Audrey Rose and Thomas. The magic of each act complemented the gruesome crimes so well. It was such an eclectic mix but it worked so well! As Audrey Rose is drawn deeper into the carnival, her own sleight of hand takes a toll on her relationships with those closest to her. I loved seeing this inner darkness and doubt from Audrey. It really humanized her and made her so much more complex. I did have a slight issue with how the epilogue resolved things but it wasn’t a huge deal and I’m counting down the minutes until Capturing the Devil!

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