Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalo
|Cover Courtesy of Goodreads|
Goodreads Synopsis: 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 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?
My Review: I was blown away by this book! The characters, plot, setting, all of it was incredible! Let me explain further:
- The attention to detail was impressive, and I appreciated the work the author put in to develop the story and create an enchanting cruise ship. She really took her time, and with each death came a detailed examination of the body (postmortem), clues, and suspense.
- This story definitely wasn't predictable, and felt like a very realistic mystery with so many suspects (okay, maybe 5-ish, but my brain can't even handle that lol).
- Character-wise, I really enjoyed Thomas Cresswell's wit, humor, and sass. The banter between him and Audrey was hilarious. Audrey herself was also a fun, intelligent protagonist. She was always true to herself, and didn't care what other people thought about her. She also made sure that people trusted her, and didn't give up on her ideas.
Some minor flaws:
- I have to admit, it did get a bit boring around the last few bodies because of the repetitiveness of the deaths.
- The triangle between Thomas, Audrey, and Mephistopheles was unnecessary and annoying. I hadn't even read the two previous books but it was clear that Audrey was making a huge mistake by neglecting Thomas.
- The title was a bit misleading. I won't divulge too much, though, because I don't want to spoil anything.
If you're a fan of murder mysteries and forensic science and don't mind a bit of gory detail, this one is for you! I rate it 4.5 stars, and can't wait to read the first two books in the series! (Also, I'd recommend reading the first couple of books before this one because it does discuss details of those stories.)