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Stalking Jack the Ripper Hardcover – September 20, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Audrey Rose Wadsworth spends most of her time in her uncle's laboratory, studying science and medicine through the dissection of cadavers. Although she has confided in her conceited brother regarding her studies—which are questionable at best for a young girl of her station—she has kept her time away from home mostly secret from her overprotective father. But when her work with a series of gruesome murders pulls Audrey Rose into a serious criminal investigation, she may not be able to keep her double life from her father, or from society at large, much longer. With help from her uncle's second apprentice, Thomas Cresswell, the protagonist is determined to find answers, for herself and the murdered women, even if those answers are closer to her own sheltered life than she'd like. Set in 1888, this seamless blend of history and fiction places its characters directly in the middle of the Whitechapel murders attributed to Jack the Ripper. The heroine is strong-willed and independent, and her sassy and Sherlockian protégé, Cresswell, adds a satisfying romantic element to the work. While this offering is thoroughly researched, some liberties have been taken to further the plot; these are outlined in an author's note at the end of the book. Grisly period images set the mood, and strong language is included throughout. VERDICT An entertaining debut full of twists and turns, perfect for fans of historical fiction and mystery.—Maggie Mason Smith, Clemson University R. M. Cooper Library, SC
Praise for Stalking Jack the Ripper:
"An entertaining debut full of twists and turns, perfect for fans of historical fiction and mystery."―School Library Journal
"Maniscalco has created a serious, sharp-minded, and forward-thinking protagonist in Audrey Rose, whose fearlessness will endear her to readers looking for an engaging historical thriller. Abundant red herrings and a dash of romance round out this gruesome but engrossing story."―Publisher's Weekly
"Audrey Rose Wadsworth prefers breeches to ball gowns, autopsies to afternoon tea, and scalpels to knitting needles. Though her father, Lord Edmund, has forbidden it, Audrey covertly studies forensic medicine...while "the Ripper" remains two steps ahead, lurking where Audrey least expects....Maniscalco's portrayal of scientific invention in a newly industrial era will serve as a fine first foray into Victorian classics."―Booklist
"*A marvelous yet somewhat gruesome mystery...The Ripper scenes are visceral, and the plot dovetails with history perfectly. An unexpected twist makes the ending worth the wait. A must-have."―School Library Journal, starred review
"Audrey is a young woman eager to use her brains and willing to flaunt society's rules....This mystery pays homage to classics like Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein [and] will satisfy those readers looking for historical mystery, a witty heroine, and a little romance."―School Library Connection
"This is a book that will keep you up at night and haunt you during the day."―Beth Revis, author of the New York Times bestselling series Across the Universe
"With ample knowledge of Ripper lore, Maniscalco creates a steadfast and headstrong heroine who is as comfortable in gloves of blood as she is in watered silk. Filled with plenty of gory details, and no shortage of possible suspects, Stalking Jack the Ripper conveys the panic, paranoia, and fascination of 1880s London with a madman on the loose."―Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood and Three Dark Crowns
"Kerri Maniscalco paints a picture of nineteenth-century London that lives and breathes in wonderfully sinister fashion. You won't want to put this book down."―Renee Ahdieh, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Wrath and the Dawn
"Dark and suspenseful...this book kept me guessing until its final, terrifying scenes."―Anna Carey, author of the EVE trilogy
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Top customer reviews
First, let me tell you of the characters. Our MC is the lovely, intelligent, and ambitious Audrey Rose Wadsworth, lady of London’s high society. She’s sneakily studying with her uncle, Dr. Jonathan Wadsworth the practice of forensic science, dissections and all. This, of course, is not to the liking of her father Edmund or her brother Nathaniel who both think it’s improper for any lady, especially one of her status. Then there’s the clever, Holmesian assistant to Dr. Wadsworth, Thomas Cresswell. He’s a skilled assistant and is clearly interested in Audrey Rose for more than just her intelligence, though she doesn’t care to admit that she reciprocates. These are the main players in this literary game of CLUE, though we know where the body is and what weapon was likely used, it’s the WHO and the WHY that no one can figure out.
As an assistant to her uncle, Audrey Rose is drawn in to the Ripper, or Leather Apron, investigations in a very close-up way. She’s examining these poor, butchered women firsthand and everyone from the police to her family look at her askance, as if she herself is involved in something heinous for breaking society’s rules. Admittedly, her involvement probably wouldn’t have happened in this era, but it sure makes for a story that has such an element of empowerment.
1888 was when Jack the Ripper was terrorizing London and the victims found their way to Audrey Rose's uncle's lab. She became determined to discover who the killer was. Her lab rival and potential love interest is Thomas Cresswell. She finds him, by turns, fascinating and vastly annoying. Together the two continue to investigate after Aubrey Rose's uncle is accused of being the Ripper, arrested and taken to Bedlam.
Aubrey Rose soon develops a pool of suspects including Thomas, the police inspector involved in the case, and ... her own father. I really enjoyed the Victorian setting and the creepy atmosphere of the story. The authentic Victorian photographs that were part of the story added to the creepy atmosphere. Descriptions of medical practice of the day added more layers of detail to an already detailed story - and to the creepiness too.
Fans of historical mysteries will enjoy this story.
Most recent customer reviews
Set in Victorian England in the 1880s, the story focuses on Audrey Rose, a seventeen-year-old young woman who much prefers forensic medicine and scalpels to...Read more