Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Review: Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco

Author: Kerri  Maniscalco
Publisher: JIMMY Patterson
Date of Publication: Setpember 2018

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.

But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The strange and disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea. It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?

Escaping from Houdini is the third book featuring forensic scientists in training, Audrey Rose and Thomas.  The story takes place about 2 days after the events of the second book.  This time around, we find our couple on a ship bound for America.  The ship has a "carnival" themed nightly show for the duration of the voyage.  When there is a murder on opening night, Audrey Rose and Thomas get pulled in to investigate.

While not my favorite of the three, I did enjoy this installation.  The thought the mystery was really good and I didn't figure out the killer's identity.  The characters from the traveling show were fun and mysterious.  We even get to spend some time with the not yet famous Harry Houdini.  As in the first book, the events in this one aren't  really historically accurate, but I didn't mind.   I also loved the ending.  

There is one aspect of the book that made me lower my rating of it, however.  Audrey Rose has to go undercover, in a manner of speaking, to help solve the case.  I don't want to spoil things, but she acts in a way toward the Ringmaster that I didn't agree with.  The author did put an explanation in her notes at the end of the book, but I just didn't care for it.  It seemed out of character for her.  I was disappointed that the author chose to go in that direction.

Despite that, this is a fun YA series that I highly recommend.  I can't wait to see what is next for Thomas and Audrey Rose!

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