Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Series #: 1
Genre: historical fiction
Age Group: young adult
ARC?: no

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.


Audrey Rose is interested in the forensic sciences — despite the protestations of her family. And when the killings start Audrey Rose is determined to find the solution. Joined by the (intolerable) Thomas Cresswell, she sets off a chain of events not even she could imagine.

Human flesh flayed much easier than I’d anticipated.

We are launched directly into this book as Audrey Rose performs an autopsy at her Uncle’s house. It was a great opening and I really thought it served to set up Audrey Rose’s blooming character arc. She is a clearly strong willed girl that defies what society expects of young women, and she is aided by her uncle in these matters. But, she is also a young woman with feelings. Audrey Rose felt like a very well constructed character and I enjoyed her voice very much throughout this book.

Thomas Cresswell is an interesting character, and he falls into your typical bad boy trope, but it works well for him. He isn’t boring (and he’s not necessarily doing bad things either) and the banter he has with Audrey Rose is amusing most of the time.

The minor characters too, were interesting, and they were in it enough to have a purpose, but not so much so that they took away from the main characters. There was a lovely balance.

Death was not prejudiced by mortal things such as station or gender. It came for kings and queens and prostitutes alike, often leaving the living with regrets.

Plot wise I enjoyed it. About halfway through, I did guess the end result, but it didn’t take away my interest in the book. It made me want to find out how she resolved who Jack The Ripper was. I thought Maniscalco did an excellent job of that by the way. I was impressed.

Both the subplots and the romance plot tied in nicely with the main overarching plot. They didn’t dominate the story and make you forget what was actually going on, but instead they added to the plot, they pushed it forward both character and main plot wise. I was happy to see that. I was even happier to see there was no love triangle in this. I think the romance that was there was plenty for what this book required.

He was in love. How exceptionally wonderful for him. I wished them both a lifetime of misery with ill-mannered children.

I know I’m repeating myself, but I did enjoy Audrey Rose’s character arc overall. She starts out disobeying orders quietly, still trying to make nice with her family and be who she isn’t. (Along with some snarky asides, which HAH.) As we go along in the book, she grows more and more into herself and it is a good growth, both in terms of her coming into knowledge of how she wants to live her life, and her romantic feelings. It was really one of my favorite parts.

I think part of it is that the writing is just SO GOOD. It draws you in and won’t let you go. The way the action occurs, the way the dialogue moves the story along, it all works in tandem and it made it an even better read. And that helps keep you engaged in a book. If you’re having trouble with the writing even as good as the plot may be, you probably aren’t enjoying the book. In this case I loved the whole package!

This book also focused a lot on family dynamics and how they change, and I again, liked that a lot. There were a lot of things that this book did well, and I am so excited to start the sequel! This one I did really like! I’m so glad that I gave it a chance because it was totally enjoyable.