Escaping From Houdini


Escaping From Houdini: better photo


Escaping From Houdini
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: Mystery/ Romance
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper Book 3
Buy: Amazon

As you can see, I got my copy of Escaping From Houdini from the library. The third instalment of the series features them on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, with Audrey Rose’s uncle Jonathan. If you have read Stalking Jack the Ripper and Hunting Prince Dracula, then you might understand why I say that this is somewhat the weak link in the series. Hopefully I get to read Capturing the Devil soon enough, but let’s dive into this 2018 release.

Back to the characters

Our dear Audrey Rose and Thomas are back, now they are trapped in the RMS Etruria, nowhere to go except to enjoy the show. The entertainment is provided by a very creepy Moonlight Carnival, headed by Mephistopheles. The crew is made up of contortionists, fortune tellers and magicians. Of course by the title, Houdini is indeed in the team. The story starts of tense, in a way. Picking up where they left off in Hunting Prince Dracula, Thomas and Audrey Rose is back in denial again.

I am not entirely sure what is the purpose of this book, except to create a love triangle. When people start turning up dead, arranged in tarot card poses, Audrey starts to become the forensic scientist that she is meant to be. For some reason, Thomas fades into the background, and I am left wanting. It’s an ocean liner which somehow becomes bigger as the mystery deepens. Audrey Rose not only embarks on a mission to find a killer, but also to find herself ( in a way).

Story

In Escaping Houdini, people are turning up dead. The first one had a knife to her back during an introduction, the next one went missing for a while. The trouble is that the dead have living relatives that are rich and powerful. Audrey has to tiptoe around them if she wants to get to the bottom of things, which is complicated by Mephistopheles. The guy seems to be adamant that his crew members are innocent, but the clues seem to pile up against the Moonlight Carnival.

As Audrey goes undercover as Mephistopheles’ assistant, her relationship with Thomas takes a dive. Thomas Cresswell is either too trusting, or the author has somehow no clue on how to create a very convincing love triangle. The mystery hovers between red herrings and confusing conclusions, even Audrey is suffering from a headache. Dare I mention cousin Liza is missing? While I am keen to find out how does she untangle herself from this knotty predicament, the whole book is sadly the weaker link of them all.

Thoughts

Although the story is good, I think that Escape from Houdini is done because the author needs some drama between Audrey and Thomas. While putting them in tight spaces might work, they are not in the correct time line to have fun, plus people are dying. The mystery is overdone, it gets boring when someone keeps denying something obvious. The ending leaves me wondering if I should go on to the last book. But I shall follow through just to see where Audrey Rose and Thomas end up.

Verdict

Quite possibly the omittable book in the series.

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