Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1) by Kerri Maniscalco
I always tend to find myself sticking to one genre when I read. I find what works and what I know will grab my interest and I stick to it because honestly there is so much out there to read! I think that even if I only read one type of book for the rest of my life, I still wouldn’t be able to run out of content. So usually when I hear the words, historical fiction, my eyes tend to glaze over and I’m thinking that I can suddenly see plenty of unplanned naps in my near future. But while this book started just a tad on the slow side that quickly changed. I mean when your main character is literally stalking Jack the Ripper, you’re bound for some excitement, right?!
Stalking Jack the Ripper is about Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her adventure in becoming a Forensic Scientist in a time when women were looked down upon for having their own careers. Set in London in the 1880’s, Audrey Rose sneakily studies under her uncle’s tutelage by observing dead bodies to learn anatomy and to determine how someone died from the subtle clues that can only be seen by a keen eye. While with her uncle one day, she learns of Jack the Ripper and that he might be a serial killer at large in her very home town. Being the ever courageous and stubborn woman that she is, she decides that she will take solving this mystery into her own hands and sneaks about in search of finding Jack the Ripper and who he really is. With the help of her uncle’s other student, Thomas Cresswell, Audrey Rose gets herself into all sorts of shenanigans all while trying to find the truth behind these poor women’s murders.
The scenery in this book is so easy to picture, I felt like it was effortless to imagine the dark grey London city streets and buildings, the horse drawn carriages, the women in their 1800’s garb. Everything was so familiar yet seeing it from the point of view of a woman wanting to be more than a house wife learning to stitch and clean and cook was such an interesting perspective. Especially when said woman actually wants to be a forensic scientist and learns to do just that by studying dead bodies. The dank and cold labs where she studied these bodies, as well as the intimate classrooms and cold dreary alleys was like picturing a scene straight out of Sweeney Todd. Did I just discover Jack the Ripper’s true identity? Sweeney Todd did have a thirst for blood… I guess you’ll have to read the book to find out!
The banter between Audrey Rose and Thomas was pure entertainment. Their snarky comments with subtle flirtation had me flying through this just to bust out laughing at their next ever so entertaining encounter with each other. I couldn’t get enough of it! All while at the same time just hoping that there would be a budding romance. It was great! Their characters were so unique and full of personality that I honestly felt like I had two new friends by the end of the book. I loved that it felt like not only was it a mystery as to who Jack the Ripper really was, but you were also learning who the characters were also. They grow on you as each adventure unfolds. There is so much depth to each person you read about that I found myself thinking them to be real instead of fictional characters in a book. I guess thats the upside of historical fiction. Real places and real scenarios that blend in with the fiction so seamlessly.
I was so enthralled with this setting and characters that I immediately started the second book in the series once I finished Stalking Jack the Ripper. This book gave me a fresh genre that wasn’t overdone or bland for me. I found myself ready to tackle any new book adventure ready for more! I’m happy to say that the rest of the series is just as amazing and I can’t wait to read the fourth book when its out next year! I was so unprepared for how much I would fall in love with this book and think that it was so fun and creepy and kept me wondering throughout to the very end. Be prepared for a bit of gore though, and if that’s not your thing then I highly suggest maybe picking a different book since there are a LOT of dead bodies. But even so, it doesn’t take away from the need to solve the mystery right along with Audrey and Thomas all while making your heart flutter with the anticipation of a love story.
If You Liked This Book
I’m going to kind of go out on a limb here with this recommendation. I don’t read very much historical fiction so this category tends to be out of my realm of suggestions. But if you’re looking for the darker side of city life with an air of mystery and danger involved I think that you should definitely check out Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody. While these books aren’t set in the same time or place, they both have such a definite atmosphere that sucks you in and doesn’t let go, all with a hint of romance to keep your heart happy too.
Have you read this series? What did you think? I am all about these books and need to find more to curb my craving so if you have any good follow up suggestions let me know!! I’d be forever in your debt 🙂 What books have gotten you out of your normal genre that you really enjoyed? I’m curious so let’s chat about it!