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Happy Halloween: Stalking Jack the Ripper & Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

Happy Halloween Everyone! 

I've got some spooky reviews for your all hallows eve today! 
So grab some of that Halloween candy I know you've stashed away and pick up one of these gothic Victorian tales!

Stalking Jack the Ripper

Audrey Rose Wadsworth is a little different than your average Victorian high bred lady. She'd rather cut into a cadaver than attend a tea party. She secretly apprentices to her uncle who is a forensic scientist and often sneaks away to join him in his lab. Attending classes on the subject (disguised as a boy) she meets the enigmatic Thomas Cresswell - her uncle's star student.
When her uncle's lab begins to investigate a string of murders - their mangled corpses crowding the lab - Audrey finds herself drawn to the search for the murderer.

This book easily makes one of my top books for this year and will definitely be claiming a special place on my "favorites" shelf. I absolutely loved this historical fiction take on a Sherlock meets Jack the Ripper murder mystery.

First, I want to say that this book rates so highly for me because of the characters and character development. Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell are perfect together. They have the best banter (reminds me of those old timey moves when dialogue was actually clever) and are so fun to watch sleuth their way through solving the mystery of Leather Apron.

May I also say, that while the whole thought of forensic science/cadavers just totally icks me out - I LOVE that Audrey Rose is so passionate about science. She's definitely an anomaly for her day and I love that so much about her. I also love that she's independent and completely capable without the men in her life. They simply add to her story as supporting characters.

I think what I liked best about this book though is that it's just plain fun. It's well written, the characters are great and it's just a fun story overall. And to be honest, I really needed that! If you're looking for some fun entertaining reading material, I highly recommend.

Buy It

Hunting Prince Dracula

Picking up where Stalking Jack leaves off - Audrey Rose and Thomas leave London to attend an exclusive forensics school in the depths of Romania - land of the Dracul family. The school is in the famed castle of Vlad Dracula. When students of the school begin to die and the corpses turn up entirely drained of blood, Audrey Rose and Thomas once again find themselves investigating the sinister. Only this time it appears that vampires are afoot.

Okay, so from the descriptions I will be the first to admit that these books did not seem to be in my wheel house. They seemed to be kind of cheesy and also corpses and autopsies and blood. But I LOVED these books and I am eagerly anticipating the next one. Kerri Maniscalco is so good at writing her characters - and while the plotting is fast paced - the characters really captured me. Cresswell and Wadsworth make a great team and their banter is fantastic.

Plot wise - this book is similar to the first. It centers around a series of murders and with the mystery of figuring out who is responsible the central plot point. The characters face a number of challenges, Audrey Rose's primary challenge is bending traditional gender roles. This gothic Victorian novel is equal parts spooky and fun making it perfect for your Halloween reading list.

Buy It

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