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Escaping from Houdini

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In this third installment in the #1 bestselling Stalking Jack the Ripper series, a luxurious ocean liner becomes a floating prison of scandal, madness, and horror when passengers are murdered one by one…with nowhere to run from the killer. . Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood- In this third installment in the #1 bestselling Stalking Jack the Ripper series, a luxurious ocean liner becomes a floating prison of scandal, madness, and horror when passengers are murdered one by one…with nowhere to run from the killer. . 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?


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In this third installment in the #1 bestselling Stalking Jack the Ripper series, a luxurious ocean liner becomes a floating prison of scandal, madness, and horror when passengers are murdered one by one…with nowhere to run from the killer. . Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood- In this third installment in the #1 bestselling Stalking Jack the Ripper series, a luxurious ocean liner becomes a floating prison of scandal, madness, and horror when passengers are murdered one by one…with nowhere to run from the killer. . 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?

30 review for Escaping from Houdini

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kerri

    UPDATE 10/11/18 internet: cressworth wedding 2019! me: they've known each other 4 months, AR just turned 17, Papa Wadsworth hasn't approved of them even dating yet, they've liked each other for two months, they've kissed 3 or 4 times, Thomas screwed up twice 2-3 weeks ago in HPD, but if you're suuuuure... #SJTR4 #murderbynumbers #happyfriday! https://twitter.com/KerriManiscalco/s... just a little Friday fun. hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with tons of spooky reads!! xoxo 8/9/18 UPDATE: EFH F UPDATE 10/11/18 internet: cressworth wedding 2019! me: they've known each other 4 months, AR just turned 17, Papa Wadsworth hasn't approved of them even dating yet, they've liked each other for two months, they've kissed 3 or 4 times, Thomas screwed up twice 2-3 weeks ago in HPD, but if you're suuuuure... #SJTR4 #murderbynumbers #happyfriday! https://twitter.com/KerriManiscalco/s... just a little Friday fun. hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with tons of spooky reads!! xoxo 8/9/18 UPDATE: EFH Fall Tour announcement can be found here! (along with signed editions available throughout the US on release day!) https://kerrimaniscalco.com/2018/08/0... INTL Pre-orders (available to all) can be found here: http://premierecollectibles.com/escap... IG--I'm hosting an INTL giveaway RIGHT NOW and it ends on 8/16/18! https://www.instagram.com/kerrimanisc... 7/23/18 UPDATE: both the US pre-order prizes and INTL pre-order giveaway have been announced! US pre-order: https://www.jimmypatterson.org/titles... INTL giveaway: https://www.instagram.com/p/BllHpLWFM... 4/6/18 UPDATE: i'm hosting the very first ARC giveaway on twitter RIGHT NOW! go forth and enter, friends! remember, there aren't going to be very many ARCs in the world, so don't miss out!!! xoxo 1/16/18 update: COVER REVEAL IS THIS FRIDAYYYYYYYYYY (1/19/18) xoxo ***** 12/17/17 update: title, summary, and tentative release date are being announced TOMORROW! ***** title announcement coming before the end of december. are you ready??? ***** i am having a little too much fun writing this dark draft :)

  2. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♎ [howling libraries]

    #1: Stalking Jack the Ripper ★★★★★ #2: Hunting Prince Dracula ★★★★★ #3: Escaping From Houdini ★★★★★ Let me tell you guys, I have been dying to post this review! It’s been a few months since I read this one, but the publisher did request that I wait to post my thoughts until close to the book’s release, and naturally, I obliged. Now that I can finally gush freely with you all, I have to tell you that I adore this series. It is such a fun roller coaster of emotions and suspense, and I honestly think #1: Stalking Jack the Ripper ★★★★★ #2: Hunting Prince Dracula ★★★★★ #3: Escaping From Houdini ★★★★★ Let me tell you guys, I have been dying to post this review! It’s been a few months since I read this one, but the publisher did request that I wait to post my thoughts until close to the book’s release, and naturally, I obliged. Now that I can finally gush freely with you all, I have to tell you that I adore this series. It is such a fun roller coaster of emotions and suspense, and I honestly think Kerri could write a dozen books following the adventures of Audrey and Thomas, and I would happily read each and every one of them. He flashed a quick grin. “A lifetime full of surprises, remember, Wadsworth?” “Indeed.” I could not imagine a future that didn’t include unwinding each secret he possessed. Just the same as in the past two installments, my favorite parts are each and every moment in which Audrey and Thomas are alone, whether they’re swapping flirty banter, admiring one another’s intellect, sneaking steamy moments in hidden corners, or confessing sweet, tender emotions and desires. That said, this installment relies less on relationship building and more on suspense, intrigue, and a bit of con work. “Truth is often compared to a blade. I question those who marvel when it pricks.” What I expect to be a controversial topic is Audrey’s behavior in this book, which I ultimately loved, despite struggling with at first. Escaping fell slightly below Hunting Prince Dracula in terms of enjoyment for me because of her actions, which I hold conflicting feelings about: on the one hand, her deceit is heartbreaking as we see the pain it causes her loved ones, but on the other, Audrey proves herself as a bright young woman who has come to recognize that she has to figure things out for herself and to see if she’s settling, or truly on the path she needs to be on. That said, I think readers everywhere will be pleased with the end of her curious emotional journey. “Hope is an invisible, but mighty force. Don’t dismiss its power.” On a less conflicting note, let me tell you, the setting is this book is fantastic; it is so delightful and intriguing. Nothing is ever quite what it seems to be on the ship, and there’s a lot of world-building for the circus and its performers that lends to an immersive, captivating arena for the murders. “Miss Audrey Rose Wadsworth, conqueror of my soul—you are an absolute fiend. You’d like to flout tradition simply because of your need for my body.” He held a hand over his heart. “I swear I have never loved you more.” As for my favorite aspect of the series, Thomas: he has developed into this delightfully kind creature when it comes to his love for Audrey, but his humor and snark are still fully present, as is his brilliant wit. Thomas is truly one of my favorite YA love interests of all time, because not only is he funny, charming, and cute—he’s also incredibly respectful and in awe of Audrey’s talents, and even when it breaks his heart, he’s fully prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure that she feels free to make the choices she needs to make. I just love him so, so much. “Swords, secrets, and stolen kisses.” Finally, our newest prominent player: Mephistopheles, the ring-leader of the traveling show. I know that there have been some mixed feelings about him from other ARC reviewers, but I have to say that, despite some of the really twisted things he does, I thought he was a phenomenal addition to the story. He’s got this moral greyness to him that you can never quite determine the shade of, and his motives are rarely, if ever, clear. “You speak the language of my complicated heart, Wadsworth. I am a very lucky man.” I hoped he still believed that once I’d confessed my morning activities in full. Genuinely, I am so interested in seeing what the general consensus is when the finished release rolls around and reviews start to roll in, because I think Kerri made a lot of risky moves while writing this story (which paid off). I definitely looked at Audrey Rose a little differently by the time I closed the cover on this one (not in a bad way, though), and I wonder if it will shift even further once the finished ending comes out—because, in case you didn’t know, the ARCs don’t have the final ending. Kerri wrote a fake ending for the advance copies, which gives me the perfect excuse to reread this beauty when my pre-order arrives in September. I’ll come back and update this review after I’ve finished, to let you all know if any of my thoughts have changed, but as it stands, I can promise you that I will still be recommending this series to anyone and everyone, as it is such a fun read with a truly lovable cast of characters. All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to Jimmy Patterson Books for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review! You can find this review and more on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook! --- Buddy read with Kayla and Amy!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Katerina

    INCOMING RANT. You've been warned. I AM JUST GOING TO PRETEND THAT THIS BOOK NEVER HAPPENED. I've never been this disappointed or frustrated because of a book. Escaping from Houdini was an insult to my emotions, my sanity, and the very heroes Kerri Maniscalco so lovingly created. It took a tremendous amount of effort to turn the pages, to witness the fall of the characters that always managed to put a smile on my face. My pulse accelerated and I wanted to throw things and ravage and scream and bur INCOMING RANT. You've been warned. I AM JUST GOING TO PRETEND THAT THIS BOOK NEVER HAPPENED. I've never been this disappointed or frustrated because of a book. Escaping from Houdini was an insult to my emotions, my sanity, and the very heroes Kerri Maniscalco so lovingly created. It took a tremendous amount of effort to turn the pages, to witness the fall of the characters that always managed to put a smile on my face. My pulse accelerated and I wanted to throw things and ravage and scream and burn the darn book (YES I came this close to committing the most ungodly sacrilege) and get drunk (YES I did stop reading in order to CONSUME ALCOHOL to calm my nerves - and that's from a person who drinks only TWICE a year). Stalking Jack the Ripper and Hunting Prince Dracula were two books I loved, and I can't even begin to describe how upset and aggravated I am from the treatment of what I once thought was the perfect crime solving duet. My expectations tumbled like a tower made of playing cards, and my heart? It was crushed into tiny pieces. (Minor spoilers) Expectation No. 1: Wadswoth and Cresswell being a team, solving crimes, cutting bloated corpses while bantering and flirting. ↬ Reality: Cresswell's presence was dramatically reduced. Why? Because the author decided to insert an unnecessary, cheap love triangle as a means to test their love or whatever, with the second love interest (hereinafter referred to as S.L.I.) being a copycat of Cresswell, a person of debatable morality who kept provoking the latter and suddenly became the center of Wadsworth's world. Oh, and it gets better. Wadsworth ended up questioning her feelings towards Cresswell, the boy who was also her partner and friend, who was next to her during emotional trauma and tragedies, who constantly supported her and literally worshipped her because of someone she knew for LESS THAN A WEEK, WHOSE FACE SHE HAD NEVER SEEN, who kept staging incidents that compromised Wadsworth's virtue just to spite Cresswell and manipulated her. Wadsworth's excuses for the time she spent with S.L.I. were pathetic; she supposedly struck a deal with S.L.I. for a greater good, but her immaturity, her reckless, childish and self-centered behaviour was an utter disservice to her character and everything she's been through. Somehow her flaws were magnified, her saving graces diminished, even though it's the third book of the series, meaning that her slow but steady growth preceded the events of Escaping from Houdini. Investigating crime scenes without Cresswell? Hiding crucial information and evidence from him? Sneaking out at night with another man, practically cheating? I did not sign up for this. She never talked to him, not even once tried to explain what was going on, but at the same time asked for his unconditional trust. And Cresswell? While he had every right to yell, to be jealous and confront her, he simply sat idly and waited for her to choose. Wadsworth claimed that hurting Cresswell, that brushing him aside or doing something questionable was dictated by her head in order to solve the case, yet only pages later she would ignore the logic she so passionately invoked in order to do things she felt that she needed to do, despite reason. Even her inner musings were inconsistent. She was aboard a vessel plagued by murder and mayhem, and she was focused on S.L.I., the freedom he offered, and acted like a ninny that was guided by her hormones. The partnership I came to love so affectionately, the two forensic students that complimented each other like two pieces of a puzzle, Cresswell with his marvelous deductive skills and Wadsworth with her instict, was barely there. In its stead, there was S.L.I. who assumed Thomas' role. All I got was lies, deception, and a foolish girl who was blinded by illusions and hurt the people she loved. Expectation No. 2: Wadsworth advocating feminism. ↬ Reality: Let's break the bubble, folks. Wadsworth is not a feminist. The way I perceive it, feminism is about gender equality, about being treated with respect regardless of sex. It's not about superiority, and it addresses all women. Wadsworth wanted the ability to choose, to make mistakes and learn and take her fate into her own hands. ❝All my life I'd longed for freedom - freedom to pick and choose every detail of my life. To make good decisions and horrible ones. Decisions that would break my heart and remake it ten times over.❞ The problem is, all these principles according to Wasworth applied only to herself. She went behind Liza's back and struck a deal with the devil in an attempt to patronize her, the very thing she hated and fought against. She meddled in Liza's affairs because apparently Wadsworth knew what was best for her, without doing her the courtesy of making her own mistakes. Wadsworth fought for her own right to make horrible decisions, but it seems that Liza was not entitled to the same freedom. And you know what that makes Wadsworth? A self-righteous, dishonest and manipulative HYPOCRITE. The same goes to the way she behaved around Cresswell; Wadsworth wanted to be treated as an equal, to be appreciated for her mind the same way he was. The thing is that during Escaping from Houdini, she never treated him as her partner. Because it seems that Audrey Rose Wadsworth is an almighty deity who doesn't need anyone (except from S.L.I., who understands her and doesn't want to cage her). Expectation No. 3: A well-structured criminal case. ↬ Reality: Let's be honest, a book about murders on a luxurious ship entertained by an eerie and wickedly enchanting carnival is bound to be captivating. Kerri Maniscalco succeeded in creating the proper ambience, the sinister vibe that promised debauchery and blood, the chilling atmosphere right before the murderer presented his ghastly works of art, and that is the sole reason I didn't rate it lower. However, a) I figured out the identity of the killer once a certain clue was presented (and I can't fathom how Wadsworth did not see it coming), and b) I can't shake the feeling that the evidence and the whole construction of the crime were chaotic. Instead of elaborately crafting a detailed, thorough murder case, the author prefered to focus on the drama overdose and the (unfounded) conflict of Wadsworth's feelings, and mistakes inevitably happened. For example, Wadsworth was given a note about a secret meeting and went to the rendezvous point thinking it came from Cresswell. Didn't she recognize that it wasn't his handwriting? *cue facepalm* Escaping from Houdini inflicted a devastating blow on my love for this series, it opened a wound that will probably never heal. I fear that the relationship I cherished, and the heroes I rooted for are now tainted, tarnished by the glitter and the silks of the Moonlight Carnival. And that is something I never expected. Review also posted on Booknest! Stalking Jack the Ripper:★★★★ Hunting Prince Dracula: ★★★★★ Escaping from Houdini: ★★½

  4. 4 out of 5

    Candace Robinson

    This is such a fun series. I like the gory factors, Cresswell—especially Cresswell, and the cool themes that are intertwined. So when I saw carnival on a ship, I was incredibly ecstatic. Let me start out by saying the book started off very well—we get some killing right away. But then a mysterious guy with a face mask who is the carnival's leader, Mephistopheles, comes into the picture. This is where our girl, Audrey Rose, starts getting a little ridiculous. My favorite thing about this series has This is such a fun series. I like the gory factors, Cresswell—especially Cresswell, and the cool themes that are intertwined. So when I saw carnival on a ship, I was incredibly ecstatic. Let me start out by saying the book started off very well—we get some killing right away. But then a mysterious guy with a face mask who is the carnival's leader, Mephistopheles, comes into the picture. This is where our girl, Audrey Rose, starts getting a little ridiculous. My favorite thing about this series has been how Audrey and Thomas Cresswell are a team. A lot of this book Cresswell wasn't even there ... but Mephistopheles was. Uh oh, that means possible love triangle. I hate when you're so invested in two characters, especially when you are at book three—there does not need to be another guy in the picture! Anyway, so besides Audrey acting ridiculous, I loved the book! The atmosphere was gorgeous, awe-inspiring and creepy—a mixture of the best kind. It was incredibly well written, and I'm excited to see what happens in book four!

  5. 4 out of 5

    may ❀

    i find it absolutely incredible that i can look at a cover and thing 'wow i want to marry that someday' LIKE MY VOCABULARY CANNOT EVEN BEGIN TO DESCRIBE HOW BEAUTIFUL

  6. 4 out of 5

    Riley

    this....ain't it sis

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stacee

    I have been on board with these books since SJTR, so when I got my greedy hands on a arc of Houdini, I screamed at my UPS guy. As always, Audrey Rose and Thomas are perfection. I love their banter and flirting and the way they are true partners in all things. Mephistopheles is an intriguing addition and of course he was quite charming and so infuriating. There is a fairly large cast of secondary characters on the ship and I will admit to not being able to keep up on the passengers, but it didn’t I have been on board with these books since SJTR, so when I got my greedy hands on a arc of Houdini, I screamed at my UPS guy. As always, Audrey Rose and Thomas are perfection. I love their banter and flirting and the way they are true partners in all things. Mephistopheles is an intriguing addition and of course he was quite charming and so infuriating. There is a fairly large cast of secondary characters on the ship and I will admit to not being able to keep up on the passengers, but it didn’t slow me down. Plot wise it was captivating. I loved that the setting was a ship, so there wasn’t anywhere to go and it made everyone a suspect. I was constantly second guessing everything and the reveals are so deliciously slow. I will say there was a small thread of plot that I wasn’t a fan of — it did make some sense and all that, it just wasn’t something I cared for. Overall, it might be my favorite of the three, but I’m not ready to commit to that statement. I loved so many things about this story and even though there were scenes and things that made me want to scream, it was so satisfying. I can’t even wait to see what the next book brings. **Huge thanks to Jimmy Patterson Books for providing the arc free of charge**

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine from How Useful It Is

    I started reading Escaping from Houdini on 7/8/18 and finished it on 7/19/18. This book is an excellent read! I find the romance between Thomas and Audrey Rose intoxicating because of their limited time, privacy, and secrecy. I like the sharp tongues exchanges between Audrey and Mephistopheles. I like all the fancy clothes Audrey Rose wears: silks and velvets as well as the decorations to the live shows. I like the mystery to Mephistopheles’ background because he’s always wearing a mask. I like I started reading Escaping from Houdini on 7/8/18 and finished it on 7/19/18. This book is an excellent read! I find the romance between Thomas and Audrey Rose intoxicating because of their limited time, privacy, and secrecy. I like the sharp tongues exchanges between Audrey and Mephistopheles. I like all the fancy clothes Audrey Rose wears: silks and velvets as well as the decorations to the live shows. I like the mystery to Mephistopheles’ background because he’s always wearing a mask. I like the friction between Thomas, Audrey Rose, and Mephistopheles and their endless witticism/sarcasm/banter/charm/well-timed quips. I can’t tell Mephistopheles’ intentions toward Audrey Rose but the air of mystery makes the read interesting. I like how the characters are good at keeping a poker face in tense situations. This book is told in the first person point of view following Audrey Rose Wadsworth, 17, as she, Thomas Cresswell, and her Uncle Jonathan Wadsworth, whom readers learned from book 1 that he’s an expert in reading crime scenes are boarding a cruise ship called the Etruria heading to New York. There is entertainment on this cruise ship and the newest entertainer to excite everyone on board is Mephistopheles and his Moonlight Carnival crew. Their performance promises the audience of tricks that will both be dazzling and on the brink of danger. Audiences clap wildly from one act to the next with excitement and eagerness until at last, when there’s a knife protruding from the back of their fellow audience that left a puddle of blood on the floor, no one thought twice that it was a real murder but part of an act. Audrey finds herself trapped on a boat at sea with a murderer on the loose. Audrey, her uncle, and Thomas now find themselves with a dead body to examine and it might not be the only one. Escaping from Houdini is truly mesmerizing. I love the topic of magic performances and how it all takes place on a cruise. As much as I love following Thomas and Audrey Rose breaking curfews and sneaking out on secret adventures, I do love the change in this book with Thomas having a competitor. It’s interesting how Thomas is still consider a “friend” after all of those stolen moments. I like Mrs. Harvey in this book more than in the previous books. I like the pictures before each chapter, especially the late 19th century circus performers because it gives readers an idea of what’s to come and their costumes are really out there! I love books with epilogues. I couldn’t guess who the murderer is but I did flipped back to read again to see if there were clues I might have missed. This book is a must read and the series shouldn’t be missed. I highly recommend everyone to read it! Pro: fast paced, page turner, suspense, mystery, cruise, circus, diversity, humor/banter xoxo, Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for more details

  9. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    I love this series so much oh my god give me more please

  10. 4 out of 5

    Grace (BURTSBOOKS)

    I think it's safe to say this is the weakest of the series so far in terms of mystery and endings but I enjoyed the carnival theme so much I hardly even cared RTC

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Aw, man. It sucks when a series that was on its way to becoming one of my favorites disappoints me and now, I don’t know how to feel about it anymore. I’m filled with a lot of feelings – and pretty much none of them good. I’m just going straight to the spoilers, beware: (view spoiler)[ I’m just so disappointed with Audrey Rose. In the last book, she was frustrating, but at the end of the day, I admired her perseverance to pursue her passion. In this book though, she has made so many excuses, but Aw, man. It sucks when a series that was on its way to becoming one of my favorites disappoints me and now, I don’t know how to feel about it anymore. I’m filled with a lot of feelings – and pretty much none of them good. I’m just going straight to the spoilers, beware: (view spoiler)[ I’m just so disappointed with Audrey Rose. In the last book, she was frustrating, but at the end of the day, I admired her perseverance to pursue her passion. In this book though, she has made so many excuses, but the things she have done are what an asshole would do. She cheats on the person she was engaged with. Like maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if this was the 1st book of the series, and she hasn’t known Thomas for long, and if they’re not officially together yet, so she’s still learning about her love interests and thinking about possibilities – but no, that’s not what’s happening here. It has been TWO books and they got engaged at the end of the last book, so why is this happening now ughhhh. Look, I know what the author is trying to do. Audrey Rose is a feminist of her time, and she’s very keen on establishing her independence and pursuing her talents no matter restrictions society put on women. I love that message and based on what we have seen in the 1st books, the message is clear and I respect the women equality theme. The message that is shown in this book is Audrey Rose CHOOSING whom she wants to be with. And then, showing Thomas being the perfect man for her because he respects women’s rights, and repeatedly shows Audrey Rose that he accepts her choices and will never pressure her or restrict her. I see it, I see it. I see the angle of showing Audrey Rose is a strong, independent woman who makes her own choices – and that Thomas is the most respectful, equality-supporting man ever. And this is somehow to make their love even more “strong and true” because when given the options of being with Thomas or Mephistopheles, she chooses Thomas at the end. HOWEVER, unfortunately, it comes at the expense of Audrey Rose being the dirtbag who cheats on her fiancé. And by cheating, I mean both emotionally (being tempted throughout the book, pondering future with him, thinking how it’d feel like to kiss him, getting kinda jealous at possibilities of him having sex with other girls, etc.) and physically cheating (kissing though, not sex. She hasn’t even had sex with her fiancé b/c this is the historical times afterall). And some of the excuses she give this book – oh, I can’t handle. 1) First and foremost, she excuses engaging into this whole secrecy pact thing with Mephistopheles by saying “I’m doing this to protect my cousin at all costs!” (The pact is that Audrey Rose will spend time with Mephistopheles and allow the performers at the carnival to think they’re having “something” and she’ll join him in one of the performances if he gives her proof that might convince Liza, her cousin, that Harry is cheating on her). There are so many things wrong with this reasoning because i) when Mephistopheles gave her a “letter proof” of the cheating, she didn’t even give it to Liza right away. She had it for a few days because she was “too afraid” to hurt Liza. Waiiiiit what’s the point of this pact if you’re not even going to use the PROOF?? ii) technically, she got what she wanted with the letter and she said that protecting Liza is her main goal here (and Mephistopheles thinks that’s her main goal too), so why does she have to continue the secrecy part and listening to all his rules if he technically gave her what she wanted already? I mean maybe it’s her “honor” system or something like that, but I doubt it. There is this one moment where Thomas asks her about the pact and tells her to just tell him and they’ll figure it out together, but in her mind, she’s like “no, I can’t tell him. I’m not allowed to because of the rules.” Like girl, if you told him, what’s the WORSE that could happen? You got your fuckin’ letter. It does notttt make sense. Even if Audrey Rose told Thomas, she could’ve easily just told him “don’t tell anyone” and trust him to act it out like she is – then she also doesn’t have to worry about any sort of consequences. iii) Furthermore, the way she handles this whole situation with Liza comes off as manipulative at times. She actively seeks proof that will make Liza not end up with a guy who seems dishonest and is a bad “marriage prospect.” Even though Liza is reckless, shouldn’t she still make her own decisions? I mean I get trying to find out the truth especially if you don’t want your cousin to marry the wrong man and ruin her life forever. Still, the way she goes about it is needless to say incredibly dishonest and unnecessarily complicated. And again, when Audrey is hesitating on giving the proof to Liza and holds it off a few days, she’s determining that Liza is not ready to hear the secret even though this is HUGE and affects her life. 2) She also excuses it saying she’ll get close to Mephistopheles to get more information about the performers to solve the mystery. OK, sure. This seems like a convenient plot device tbh because I can see her getting clues a million other ways than following through with the pact he gave her. She could’ve asked Liza for help to spy. She could’ve snuck and interviewed with Thomas even if the performers don’t trust them because they got to have WAYS. How else did the interview and got clues from people in other books? So many ways that don’t have to include her seducing Mephistopheles. Maybe this is the most “efficient” way but at what cost? She ended up lying (and more terrible things) to her loved ones for it. Now when I think about it, Audrey Rose didn’t even solve the “who dun it” at the end. The guy revealed himself during his “final performance” of killing his last victim. So literally, all she found out, all she did – like did it even help? I don’t know. I don’t think so though. 3) She excuses it saying she wants to learn the “sleight of hands” tricks he knew. OK, this I kinda understand b/c she’s a scientist and she’s filled with curiosity. Still, her curiosity in both the tricks and in the man is unsettling. She thinks learning will improve her forensic skills. However, it gives me Odysseus vibes. He who is so focused on his own ambitions and curiosity and ego that he willingly spends years away from his wife and son (of course, the Calypso arc wasn’t his own choice, but the years after the Trojan War ended and BEFORE he ended up on Calypso’s island, HE CHOSE to do it. He is so focused on his own ambitions and his own pursuits that he sleeps with other women (EX: Circe whom he sleeps with and then she helps him out). Just because following your passion is a great thing, it does not mean cheating is “right.” There are no good excuses. And to make it worse, after she finally reveals to Thomas that she is genuinely confused about her feelings for Mephistopheles and she doesn’t know for sure who she wants to be with, she kisses Mephistopheles again and likes it. She is pondering on maybe she isn’t the marrying type, and pondering maybe she’ll be a good fit with Mephistopheles – but when Thomas is about to die, BAM she realizes Thomas is the one she wanted. Like what, too little too late IMO. But nope, all is forgiven because she saves his life and decides she loves him most. Also, I love Thomas, and he really is the best man ever, but his reaction has been disappointing. He does distances himself a bit with Audrey at the end and shows he doesn’t like her spending time with Mephistopheles – but he never actually voices a complaint about it. We know he’s jealous, but he’s never once indignant. Why isn’t he mad at Audrey Rose? It’s admirable that he tells her that he will never force a decision on her, and will respect whatever she chooses – whether it’s him or Mephistopheles. He’s a good, honorable guy- we KNOW that. However, he’s letting her off so easily? I know some people can still forgive and be with people who cheated on them. I personally can’t wrap my head around it. And even though I know I wouldn’t be able to forgive, I also don’t understand why Thomas is not even remotely going to feel indignant, like “Hey, we are engaged. We are supposed to be committed to each other, remember?” Like if you have to forgive, please at least get mad that they cheated! And perhaps her conflicted emotions are “realistic” because sometimes, people do get confused and need reaffirmation that the person they love is truly the one they want. I get it even though I don’t like it. Even if we have to show this for the sake of “being realistic,” Audrey Rose doesn’t deserve him. And I’m not saying that because I glorify him as a fangirl, I’m saying it because Audrey Rose’s actions in this book have shown her to be unfaithful and inconsiderate. Also, I noticed that while she said she would tell Thomas the truth and tell him everything after the pact is over, she never told him. She never told him about the almost-kiss, or the actual kiss, or the kiss after she and Thomas finally talked about her conflicting emotions. So even her attempt at transparency never went into fruition, so this whole thing still ends feeling sordid. And she didn't even apologize at the end to Thomas, or explained everything about how she has been feeling and about how she has come to realize she loves him. I need a big ol' declaration to redeem herself at least 1%. Right now, she's at -50000% Grrr I’m just so mad because I fell in love with this series after the last book, but now, I’m back to square one or negative something. I don’t think I can see this series the same way because Audrey Rose has shown to be a cheater and a liar. A liar – I can handle, but damn, her logic for her cheating and lying sucks ass. At least she owns up to her confusion by the end of the book, but it’s still terrible that she cheated. It’s still unpleasant to read all her thoughts of temptations throughout the book. We know she loves Thomas, but I don’t know, it just doesn’t feel sweet and as great anymore. It’s frustrating because I really did love them as a couple, and I did love the mutual respect and the learning of the balance of independence and relying on someone. Unfortunately, this book took it way too far in the testing IMO. Damn it, what a shame. They were so cute! They are still cute – but my heart is just not really into it anymore after the *betrayals* Like hey, it’s great that Audrey Rose reaffirmed her love for Thomas and reaffirmed that she CHOSE him over anyone else especially after he proved once again that he is the most respectful and loving person ever, but dang it, girl, why did you have to cheat? I don’t even actually hate Mephistopheles as a character – he was kinda interesting. I just didn’t care for him, and I was more disappointed in Audrey Rose’s actions. Like if my fiancé was solving a crime, and he was lying to me as he tried to get close to a girl for clues, and he ends up imagining kissing her and ACTUALLY kissing her and doubting his feelings for me – you better bet I’d be pissed. What a great way to start a marriage, not. And ugh it’s so annoyingly typical for a YA to throw in a love triangle just to test the relationship of the main couple. It always get too angsty and problematic for my taste. (hide spoiler)] So putting this aside, the mystery is an interesting one. I was able to somehow guess early on who exactly the killer was in each of the 1st 2 books. This one was way, way harder, possibly because there were way more characters. In addition, keeping up with the theme, there are “sleight of hands” to the readers in the sense that we are so distracted by the plot, romance, and numerous characters and going-ons that it’s hard to pinpoint anything with everything happening. I love that mirroring. This book had me all over the place that I ended up having 4 guesses. 2 of them non-carnival-performers and 2 of them are. 1 of them is correct, but I have to say that even with these guesses, I didn’t feel resolute about anyone. I was unsure for all of it. So props. When the reveal came and we get the “reason” for the murder, it made sense. So even though I had a lot to complain about one thing in particular (this topic is my pet peeve so it gets to me more), I really do have immense respect for the author. This is such a creative series, and I love, love, love the concept of centering a mystery around a famous figure in history. I’m definitely going to read the final book when it comes out next year. Still, I’m going to have to give this 1.5 stars (sadly. And no one is more sad than me because this was on my way to being one of my favorite YA series ever. Now, idk) On a random note, are we really escaping from Houdini? (view spoiler)[I mean I kinda like that Houdini is not the automatic villain like the character in the title of the other books. But here… hhmm… There was escaping. And there was Houdini. And they even suspected that Houdini was the culprit (but he was hardly the primarily suspect – at least not in my perspective). But escaping from Houdini wasn’t really the point here. (hide spoiler)] Things that you might want to know (WARNING: Spoilers below) Happy/satisfying ending? (view spoiler)[Technically happy (hide spoiler)] Love triangle? Cheating? Angst level? Other things to note? (view spoiler)[Yes, yes, high. More details at the top of the review in the spoilers (hide spoiler)] Tears-worthy? (view spoiler)[Sad things happened, but no tears (hide spoiler)] Humor? (view spoiler)[Humorous bantering, but not actually humor (hide spoiler)] What age level would be appropriate? (view spoiler)[Vague references to sex/sexual things. Teens and up (hide spoiler)]

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nastassja

    **Full review now posted on my blog** Real rating: 2.5 stars You don't need to be a detective to see how immature and disappointing this book is. One of the greatest failures of the year. *Mild spoilers below* Look at the gif above, this is a real life case when I want to go drinking for a week to forget all about this book. This is the moment I was dreading since book 2 came out and I had my doubts regarding it, and this is the case when I intentionally overrated this series by giving book 2 - 3 **Full review now posted on my blog** Real rating: 2.5 stars You don't need to be a detective to see how immature and disappointing this book is. One of the greatest failures of the year. *Mild spoilers below* Look at the gif above, this is a real life case when I want to go drinking for a week to forget all about this book. This is the moment I was dreading since book 2 came out and I had my doubts regarding it, and this is the case when I intentionally overrated this series by giving book 2 - 3.5 stars and book 3 - 2.5, when really they deserved at least half a star less. Why have I done it? Because I adored book 1, which you can see in my absolutely insane fangirl review. I don't know why I am still doing it, but I think it's time to add some snark to the whole story. So be done with introspection, Nastassja, and let's start the snarky party. Why Escaping from Houdini is a fiend pretending to be worthy of its predecessor? I can give you some reasons. >> The plot is absolutely erratic and messy. If you want to find a thread of deductive thinking here in the best Sherlock Holmes tradition - which this series originally was successfully accomplishing - you are for a great deal of disappointment. The whole time I was reading this book, I couldn't fathom why the mystery was so unimportant that it was almost fully replaced by teenage angst and inner cringy heroine's monologue. It felt like all Audrey Rose cared about is romance: give her a daisy and she will pluck petals all day long, asking the flower to foretell her if 'he loves her or not'. Pathetic and boring. Why when a lot of people where dying on that fucking ship, in most terrific and gruesome ways, characters didn't particularly care and kept living their lives as if nothing was happening. Have you seen or read "Murder on the Orient express"? Do you remember in what state of fear and desperation characters were when murder happened on a train in a closed space in the middle of nowhere? There's a brutal killer on a loose and all you do is keep say, Show must go on? This is so wrong on so many levels. If I were not lazy, I'd quote the whole book and give you prove as why the detective part of the book is fake. But then I will have to do the same with characters and the romance. Oh boy, this book does feel like an evil changeling. What happened to Audrey Rose? - Changeling! What happened to Thomas Cresswell? - Changeling! What happened to their sexy banters and smart dialogues? - Fairy fucking Changelings!! Audrey Rose was immature and stupid. All her talk of science is bullshit; all she really cared about - new boy in circus town (I'll get to it yet). What happened to Thomas Cresswell?! Ah yeah, feminist heroine's spineless sidekick. Shoot him and spare us the embarrassment of pretending we still love him. Get used to disappointment Ow, and now is my favorite reason to hate this book. Drummmmmmmmmmm-ta-da ---> fucking love triangle! This is what practically happens: Audrey Rose starts to have 'tender' feelings toward - attention - a clone of Cresswell! *gasp* They guy is darkly handsome and mysterious and he does sexy banter. Oh my, Audrey Rose starts to doubt her feelings toward Cresswell *gasp again* Am I the only one who feels cheap soap opera vibes? I am very sorry I had to let all that spontaneous snark out on one of my ex-favorite series, but my disappointment is so high I had to let it out of my system. Grand finale: P.S. I will give book 4 a chance to rehabilitate, because no matter how harsh I am I still believe in second chances and do really really want my OTP Cressworth back.

  13. 5 out of 5

    ambsreads

    Trigger Warnings: gruesome murders, descriptions of death, PTSD references, anxiety THIS REVIEW OF ESCAPING FROM HOUDINI WAS FIRST FEATURED ON MY BLOG @ AMBSREADS If you know me, then you know I am absolutely obsessed with Kerri Maniscalco’s Stalking Jack the Ripper series. This particular series is one that I just can’t get out of my head. In between the release of each book I can’t get the characters out of my head and find myself desperately yearning for the next book each year. As soon as I co Trigger Warnings: gruesome murders, descriptions of death, PTSD references, anxiety THIS REVIEW OF ESCAPING FROM HOUDINI WAS FIRST FEATURED ON MY BLOG @ AMBSREADS If you know me, then you know I am absolutely obsessed with Kerri Maniscalco’s Stalking Jack the Ripper series. This particular series is one that I just can’t get out of my head. In between the release of each book I can’t get the characters out of my head and find myself desperately yearning for the next book each year. As soon as I could get my hands on Escaping from Houdini I did. I waited patiently (not really) for this book and was absolutely devastated when I realised I was actually rostered to work the day that this book released. It felt like a form of torture to not be able to read one of my favourite books on release day and have to spread it out over several days. It didn’t take away from my absolute enjoyment of it though. I was so absolutely enthralled with this book and just the spectacular world building that I am almost left rendered speechless. Kerri Maniscalco’s Audrey Rose and Thomas are such reflections of real life that it is incredible. I can’t speak about the era of Victorian England but, I love the atmosphere that is created. At the end of Hunting Prince Dracula our formidable duo, their chaperone and Audrey Rose’s uncle were bordering a ship set to head to New York to solve a new crime. The pair had faced horrific circumstances of the two major crime investigations they had been a part of and are looking forward to some possible relaxing on an entertainment ship. Nothing is ever that easy so when a lady dies during a circus act on the first night Audrey Rose, Thomas and her uncle jump straight into the investigation. The trio has to solve the crime before the criminal gets off the ship in New York or else they’ll never be able to work it out. Problems arise and flirtations begin to confuse our dear lead main character. I’ll talk more about that one later though. This story follows closely with the carnival that is on board the ship. In a time where PT Barnum was creating show business and it is something spectacular throughout Escaping from Houdini. Kerri Maniscalco knows how to use description. She weaves it so damn well that it makes you feel as if you’re aboard the ship or even Audrey Rose. It is such a unique experience and one that I rarely experience with books now. However, each of Kerri’s books has managed to take me to her unique historical settings. Some may say there is a love triangle in this book as well or that Audrey is unfaithful towards Thomas. I don’t see it that way. Our main characters are seventeen. I was seventeen only a few years ago and in a relationship, I remember finding other people attractive but that didn’t mean I was unfaithful to my boyfriend of the time (it was super toxic but still). Audrey is clearly struggling with her feelings for the ringmaster and that is clear in the book. It is so damn clear what she feels for Thomas is on a whole other playing field. The romance and ship stay put but Audrey is allowed to explore her internal feelings of attraction without being slandered I believe. I think it was an incredibly realistic insertion by the author and give her major props for it! Audrey is ultimately a complex character who I want to see stab someone. No, but seriously. She has so many layers and after the ending of this book, I am so excited to see where Kerri takes her character! Thomas is so damn charming as well. I mean I absolutely adore him and I know many others do so it’s not a shock. But can we like all acknowledge that is he basically the ‘men doing the bare minimum’ meme on Twitter? He gives Audrey Rose free choice and allows her to choose between men without any of his input. He says he will always support her choices and everything he does shows that. But, like, every man should do this. It is absolutely lovely to see, don’t get me wrong! But it is straight up that Twitter meme. I guess I should talk about the mystery element of this book considering it is a young adult mystery. I didn’t actually guess the killer in this one. Someone take my detective hat from me because it is all over for me folks. The mystery really kept me on the edge of my seat. It seemed that unlike the other murder that this one was random and that is probably the scariest part. It was so damn intriguing to see how the murders all came together and the characters reactions. I think the only thing that bothered me slightly about Escaping from Houdini was that the PTSD representation was pulled back a little. It is still present in underlying conversations and thoughts but after everything that Audrey Rose has been through, most of it with no discussions, I don’t think it should have all but disappeared from the book. Overall, I am so glad to say that Escaping from Houdini met all of my expectations. It quite literally blew my socks off and I feel so lucky to have had the chance to read it. It was such a spectacular story and the showcasing of the authors writing is so clear. Gosh, I could rave about these books for days. I just think everyone should give these a try, even if you aren’t particularly interested in historical fiction or mystery. Kerri Maniscalco creates the perfect harmony between the two that anyone would love.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rachel E. Carter

    I NEED THIS BOOK. NOOOOOOW!!!!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    this... is a gorgeous cover

  16. 5 out of 5

    Maram

    The cover is absolutely stunning! 😍 Can’t wait to get my hands on it 😭😭😭

  17. 5 out of 5

    celeste

    i'm going to RANT because i have a lot of feelings towards this book and they are not particularly positive. listen, i fell in love with these characters so much that i was highly anticipating this book mainly because of them. from the get-go the murder mystery in this one wasn't really appealing to me ever since we heard that houdini was gonna be in it, i honestly couldn't have cared less unlike with the previous two books but everything was fine because i still had audrey rose and thomas being i'm going to RANT because i have a lot of feelings towards this book and they are not particularly positive. listen, i fell in love with these characters so much that i was highly anticipating this book mainly because of them. from the get-go the murder mystery in this one wasn't really appealing to me ever since we heard that houdini was gonna be in it, i honestly couldn't have cared less unlike with the previous two books but everything was fine because i still had audrey rose and thomas being that dynamic duo of crime investigators, right? right....... i was surprised to find out how kerri completely sidelined what was so unique about these books, which is of course the relationship between the two main characters. and i'm not even talking about the 'romantic' aspect of the relationship (though that also played a huge role in my disappointment), but of their professional relationship. the dynamic these two characters had, the constant banter between them and simply them working together and solving crime was what made them unique and so refreshing in my opinion. and that was taken from us in this book for the sake of introducing the third side of a completely unnecessary love triangle. and i guess i would have been more accepting towards this new character if he hadn't happened to be extremely fucking annoying. i couldn't stand the guy or the things he said or the way he kept invading audrey rose's personal space. i just couldn't deal with him, and the fact that him and audrey rose took the spotlight and the majority of this book's scenes pissed me off. it pissed me off because as a consequence of that, thomas cresswell was sidelined and barely in the book. audrey rose didn't make any fucking sense in the way she behaved towards this new character, and don't come at me with the excuse that she was doing it for 'the sake of the bargain'. bullshit. she said so herself, she was confused about her feelings towards him. you expect me to believe that she's gonna second-guess her feelings for thomas over a guy she just met 5 DAYS AGO?!?! ARE YOU FUCKING WITH ME RIGHT NOW???? unbelievable. i could understand her having doubts over marrying thomas because that's a huge deal, but to second-guess her FEELINGS? not realistic. this book just turned into another ya cliche where authors have to ALWAYS create drama or drive a wedge btw a couple once they become canon, and it's always through a love triangle. it's always the same damn thing. it's like they can't come up with something new or at least something mildly interesting to seperate them. i was half-way through this book and i honestly wanted it to be over. the only good and redeeming thing in this travesty of a book was thomas cresswell, as little as he was in it. not even the murder mystery was intriguing in this one, it was all over the place, with 0 clues given to the readers for us to at least be mildly engaged into guessing who could be the murderer. this was such a disappointment of a book, and one that i was highly, highly anticipating because i do love these characters but the way that they were written in this one was just not right and i'm really pissed about it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ann (annreads)

    “If you wish to go, I’ll never make you stay. I might not do and say the proper thing all the time, but I do know that I love you enough to set you free.” DEAD Please resurrect me when the next book comes out, thank you *goes back to the coffin* 4.25/5 ★★★★

  19. 5 out of 5

    Samhita Peechara {Multi Dreamer}⚔

    By far the best in the series! I absolutely loved this one! It had me second guessing everything and Kerri's writing is absolutely beautiful. The character growths in this book were definitely one of the plus points other than the writing, plot, romance and Thomas Cresswell. Please read this series if you haven't already because it will definitely suck you in and won't let go.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Faye*

    3.5 stars This series is a bit like those cosy murder mysteries, and listening to them on audio is just a whole lot of fun. Unfortunately, I think this instalment may be my least favourite. It wasn't bad but I felt myself getting distracted while I was listening, and it just didn't hold the same charm as books 1 and 2. I sincerely hope it was just me this time as I'm definitely planning on listening to the fourth (and final) book. ~~~~~~~~~~~before reading~~~~~~~~~~~ Look at that cover, it's so pr 3.5 stars This series is a bit like those cosy murder mysteries, and listening to them on audio is just a whole lot of fun. Unfortunately, I think this instalment may be my least favourite. It wasn't bad but I felt myself getting distracted while I was listening, and it just didn't hold the same charm as books 1 and 2. I sincerely hope it was just me this time as I'm definitely planning on listening to the fourth (and final) book. ~~~~~~~~~~~before reading~~~~~~~~~~~ Look at that cover, it's so pretty!! I need this book now!!!! 😍😍😍

  21. 5 out of 5

    Veronika

    A shit ton of books have been battling for "biggest disappointment of 2018" but I think we finally have a winner!? Jokes aside, this was B A D. The plot was awfully boring and repetitive, the characters felt... different and less well-made than before, and I was SO! ANGRY! at them for how they acted. Audrey Rose, the girl who was finally 1000% in this relationship at the end of book 2 was suddenly flirting with a new guy (?) and Thomas somehow lost all his charm and personality. Oh, and don't ev A shit ton of books have been battling for "biggest disappointment of 2018" but I think we finally have a winner!? Jokes aside, this was B A D. The plot was awfully boring and repetitive, the characters felt... different and less well-made than before, and I was SO! ANGRY! at them for how they acted. Audrey Rose, the girl who was finally 1000% in this relationship at the end of book 2 was suddenly flirting with a new guy (?) and Thomas somehow lost all his charm and personality. Oh, and don't even get me started on Liza or Audrey Rose's uncle - filler characters at their worst. As for, Mephistopheles - has their EVER been a character who was trying THIS hard to be mysterious and brooding? He is the worst example of a character feeling like, well, a character, instead of a person who could be real. The mystery didn't exactly save the story either - whereas in the first two books my problem was that the culprit was easy to guess, here the main problem was how the killings and especially how their aftermath was handled was unrealistic. Don't tell me that two young women are murdered and brutally showcased during the circus performance of the first two nights, AND no one goes "oh wow, MAYBE we should cancel these??". And I GET IT, the performers and the captain decided against it for their own gain. But the passengers? How on EARTH were they not freaking out, DEMANDING to have their meals taken to their rooms? Also, WHY do you title a novel after Houdini, and then barely have him in the novel? I expected him to have a central role - like mother-effing Mephistopheles - but all that Houdini added to the plot could have been added by any character whatsoever. Will I read the fourth book? I really don't know - this being the utter disappointment it was, I feel kinda done with these characters and the "mysteries" we've been served so far.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    "New Year’s afternoon aboard the Etruria began like a fairytale, which was the first indication a nightmare lurked on the horizon, waiting, as most villains do, for an opportunity to strike." The first chapter can be read here. Trust me, you want to read it!!! 20/01/18: Read the first chapter. I'm even MORE excited (if that's even possible) for this to be released!!! And can we talk about the "creative ways of stealing kisses" ?!?! AHHHHHHHHkkjnkjNKBjrbkgkfd!!!!!!! 19/01/18 OMG. The cover reveal "New Year’s afternoon aboard the Etruria began like a fairytale, which was the first indication a nightmare lurked on the horizon, waiting, as most villains do, for an opportunity to strike." The first chapter can be read here. Trust me, you want to read it!!! 20/01/18: Read the first chapter. I'm even MORE excited (if that's even possible) for this to be released!!! And can we talk about the "creative ways of stealing kisses" ?!?! AHHHHHHHHkkjnkjNKBjrbkgkfd!!!!!!! 19/01/18 OMG. The cover reveal was today. ITS SO PRETTY 😭💛!!!!!!! Hello precious. 03/10/17: 2018? Okay, okay. I can do that but like, I need a month. Like a date to work towards. SOMETHING!?!?! Really hoping it won't be September 2018 because that's WAY TOO LONG of a wait LOL. *slightly crying*

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mel

    So, in the end I think I decided to rate this a 4.5 stars. I think this is the highest I've rated a book in this series so far. Actually, looking back I think I did rate book two 4.5 stars, but I rated down. This will possibly contain minor spoilers for books 1 and 2. They will not be tagged. Any spoilers for this book will be tagged. Firstly, I need to say that the mystery in this one was a lot more well done than in the two previous books. I have stated in the past that I knew who the killer was So, in the end I think I decided to rate this a 4.5 stars. I think this is the highest I've rated a book in this series so far. Actually, looking back I think I did rate book two 4.5 stars, but I rated down. This will possibly contain minor spoilers for books 1 and 2. They will not be tagged. Any spoilers for this book will be tagged. Firstly, I need to say that the mystery in this one was a lot more well done than in the two previous books. I have stated in the past that I knew who the killer was in book 1, so that didn't help, but in both books I found Audrey Rose very 1 track minded and it leads the reader to have an easier time deducting who the killer was. I found that SOMEWHAT still present in this book, but it's hidden a lot easier, and Audrey has grown in her detective work. She does at some point suspect everyone so there's not the same level that there is in books 1&2. I found the book generally overall enjoyable. I liked the setting, the plot, and the new characters. However, We need to talk about the elephant in the room; more importantly: Mephistopheles. (view spoiler)[ What a dumb fucking plot that Kerri Maniscalco decided to introduce. Like, I get the purpose. She wanted Audrey to be sure about Thomas, she wanted Audrey to like remind us that she wants a grand life and she wanted to show us that Audrey is okay giving up her freedom for a life with Thomas. I get that, but what a stupid way to approach this. We all know that Thomas and Audrey are endgame, there's not really like any chance it won't. So it was just kind of annoying that when we had the chance to see them happy together, she introduces some potential love triangle dude. That being said, I did like Mephistopheles. (hide spoiler)] The last chapter before the epilogue I cried a little bit, and almost threw my book off the 3rd floor balcony. Thank god for epilogues.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Linda ✿

    the full spoiler-free review is up on my blog! Love was a tricky, complicated thing - so morally gray. Both grand and terrible things were often done in its honor. But could anything truly be done out of love if it had the potential to hurt the one at its heart? I wavered. I will try and keep it short because I have already said everything in my blog post but: this book was so enjoyable, magical and perfectly fitting for this time of the year! 🌟🎭 I fell in love with the Moonlight Carnival, the p the full spoiler-free review is up on my blog! Love was a tricky, complicated thing - so morally gray. Both grand and terrible things were often done in its honor. But could anything truly be done out of love if it had the potential to hurt the one at its heart? I wavered. I will try and keep it short because I have already said everything in my blog post but: this book was so enjoyable, magical and perfectly fitting for this time of the year! 🌟🎭 I fell in love with the Moonlight Carnival, the performance crew and their acts, the dark descriptions of the ship and everything around it. I missed Audrey Rose and Thomas so much that I was more than excited about starting this book especially after having read and given a 5-star rating to both SJTR and HPD. This one couldn't get a 5-star rating from me but that is totally fine since I would probably give it a 4.5 if I could. The atmosphere was great, mysterious and fascinating. Just what I expected from the series. Mephistopheles shook his head. "You're quite smart, aren't you?" "Of course I am," Thomas said. "Is that supposed to be insulting? Whatever will you comment on next; the golden flecks in my eyes? The sharpness of my jaw?" "The extraordinary size of your ego?" There are so many quotes I have annotated but the ones mentioned above are just 2 of them I really liked.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nadia

    01/19/18 - OKAY BUT THAT COVER!! IS SO BEAUTIFUL!!! I CAN'T HANDLE MYSELF!! PLEASE JUST LOOK AT THAT!! IT'S GORGEOUS HOW CAN I EVEN BEGIN TO SUM UP MY FEELINGS???? IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL! Like, seriously, I want that cover to come over to my house and just give me a masterclass on what to do to look better because I think I can use some advice. 12/18/17 - WE HAVE A TITLE AND A RELEASE DATE AND A SYNOPSYS AND I'M WAY TOO FUCKING EXCITED FOR THIS. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WAIT UNTIL NEXT SEPTEMBER????!! Orig 01/19/18 - OKAY BUT THAT COVER!! IS SO BEAUTIFUL!!! I CAN'T HANDLE MYSELF!! PLEASE JUST LOOK AT THAT!! IT'S GORGEOUS HOW CAN I EVEN BEGIN TO SUM UP MY FEELINGS???? IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL! Like, seriously, I want that cover to come over to my house and just give me a masterclass on what to do to look better because I think I can use some advice. 12/18/17 - WE HAVE A TITLE AND A RELEASE DATE AND A SYNOPSYS AND I'M WAY TOO FUCKING EXCITED FOR THIS. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WAIT UNTIL NEXT SEPTEMBER????!! Orignal - you seriously expect me to wait for a year after that ending without at least trying to steal the manuscript?

  26. 4 out of 5

    Karima chermiti

    #1)Stalking Jack the Ripper : 4 stars #2)Hunting Prince Dracula : 5 stars Spoiler warning : This review is filled with spoilers. If you haven’t read this book then you need to stay away unless you don’t care about being spoiled. After reading and falling in love with Stalking Jack the Ripper and Hunting Prince Dracula , Escaping from Houdini was one of my most anticipated sequels of the fall. It’s really sad that I didn’t love anything about this book. Not only that but my love for the whole series #1)Stalking Jack the Ripper : 4 stars #2)Hunting Prince Dracula : 5 stars Spoiler warning : This review is filled with spoilers. If you haven’t read this book then you need to stay away unless you don’t care about being spoiled. After reading and falling in love with Stalking Jack the Ripper and Hunting Prince Dracula , Escaping from Houdini was one of my most anticipated sequels of the fall. It’s really sad that I didn’t love anything about this book. Not only that but my love for the whole series is now tainted and broken and my heart is no longer in it. This book changed the way I looked at the characters and the relationship between them, It changed the way I feel about them as partners and as a couple and it changed my feelings for Audrey, the female protagonist from admiration and love to hate and contempt. Escaping from Houdini follows a very hormonal Audrey rose while she’s trying to choose between Thomas Creswell, the boy she loved since book one, the boy who stood by her, loved her and was there in her most traumatic experiences and another boy she met only few days Ago. In other worlds, this book is a nightmare of over-used YA tropes and it’s going to haunt me forever. Love triangles, insta-lust portrayed as love and so many other things made me dislike everything about this book. I could’ve understood the whole mess if this was the first book of the series but this is the third one, I thought we were beyond that, apparently we weren’t. The thing is I don’t mind love triangle when they’re written well and even when they’re not, I just ignore them. But this one is so cheap, so unnecessary, so wrong and so distasteful, that I felt like I was physically in pain. Watching Audrey rose toss everything aside for a boy that she knows nothing about, that spends the time manipulating her and that she just met for few days is simply ridiculous and it made the book like a long journey filled with mediocre angst and drama. Well, I didn’t sign up for that, I came here for a great murder mystery and that didn’t happen. The mystery was chaotic and nothing the characters did made sense at all and I wasn’t intrigued by the whole Who-Dunnit question, I actually figured it out half through the book and if Rose hadn’t been so focused on her romances, she could’ve too. And what the hell is wrong with the people on that ship, people are being murdered in the most gruesome ways and the passengers are just there enjoying their cruise and having fun. You don’t get the sense of danger, you don’t get the sense of urgency and the characters are so uncaring about everything that’s going on, so why should I care again. You would think that if a murderer is using the carnival to stage the murders than the carnival will stop making any other show but no they all go on with their lives like nothing tragic has happened giving the murderer many other chances to get away with it. The characters were destroyed in this book, it feels like it was written by another author who knows nothing about the characters and what they’ve been through. Audrey rose spend the book lying to the people who loved her, especially Thomas, sneaking away with another man, cheating on her boyfriend with that man and being a complete idiot who didn’t notice that she was being used and manipulated. Thomas spend the book being a brooding side kick who just let Rose do whatever she wanted and waited silently for her to finish her cheating and come back for him. I mean really ? and he actually takes her back. Pathetic. And they don’t even discuss what happened between them, how much it hurt him and how he’s not okay with her doing all the shitty things she did not only to him but to Lisa too. They just kiss and everything is dandy again. like I don't think this how cheating is solved in real life you know, it's ugly, destructive and it creates a rift between people, it's not solved easily like that. I guess I'm asking too much from this book when I want a genuine portrayal of all of that. Nothing was done well in this book, nothing, from the characters and how they acted, from the mystery and how little development it got. The whole pot made no sense to me. This book is simply that bad. You know, I can't think about this anymore or I'm gonna catch on fire, so Here’s what I’m going to do, I‘m going to forget I even set eyes on this book, I’m going to pretend that I’ve never read it and I’m going to convince myself that this sequel never happened. It didn’t happen. ------------------------------------- Buddy reading this book with My partner in crime ------------------------------------- Before reading: This series hasn't disappointed me so far, let's hope that Escaping from Houdini will keep the magic going.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Abbey

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Escaping From Houdini was one of my most anticipated books of 2018. This has been one of my favorite series since I first read Stalking Jack The Ripper, I even preordered this one because I was that excited (and I wanted those beautiful preorder cards) and then I finally get my hands on it for it to just be the biggest disappointment ever. I never imagined going into this one that I'd come out giving it just 3 stars. I found myself skipping a lot throughout this as well. In EFH Audrey Rose, Thoma Escaping From Houdini was one of my most anticipated books of 2018. This has been one of my favorite series since I first read Stalking Jack The Ripper, I even preordered this one because I was that excited (and I wanted those beautiful preorder cards) and then I finally get my hands on it for it to just be the biggest disappointment ever. I never imagined going into this one that I'd come out giving it just 3 stars. I found myself skipping a lot throughout this as well. In EFH Audrey Rose, Thomas and her uncle Jonathan are on their way to America to consult on a murder case. The board the RMS Etruria, on the boat is the Moonlight Carnival. On the first night of the carnival one of the passengers is found dead. Audrey Rose and Thomas then sit out to find out the identity of the killer because they strike again. Everything I loved about the first two novels just seemed to be missing in this. EFH seemed very different, the characters didn't act right and to be honest the murder aspect seemed to be just a side story in this one and the romance was front and center. Now if the romance was just Thomas and Audrey, I wouldn't have minded so much but the author had to come and throw a fridgen love triangle in there.... a completely unnecessary, unwanted, not adding anything to the plot love triangle. Like I can't even wrap my head around the idea that Audrey Rose was so sure of her love for Thomas to the point of them wanting to marry each other, (then assuring Thomas that another could never take her heart) to questioning everything after meeting Mephistopheles for all of two days. Like I can't guys it just irks me so much. I understand that people's feelings change but don't sit there and lie about it. Also you can't just be wanting to marry someone and then have feelings for someone else a couple days later. Seems very unrealistic to me. Plus Mephistopheles was just a lair who used Audrey Rose and tricked her. I'm just saying, I'm honestly to believe that Mephistopheles could have been bettter then Thomas? ☕️🐸 Then we have my precious Thomas who honestly was crapped on in this novel and honestly deserved better. At this point I don't even care if he straight up left Audrey Rose and her none sense. One thing that bothered me most was Audrey Rose knew that she was hurting Thomas, yet instead of trying to fix things she made them worse and then Thomas never even discusses his feelings. I'm hoping they discuss things in book four because Audrey Rose to me didn't learn anything from her actions. This series to me has always been about the dream team Audrey Rose and Thomas solving murders together. It was seriously lacking in EFH, Thomas wasn't in this one enough for me and every time Audrey Rose got a clue she went to Mephistopheles instead of to Thomas.... like why? It was stupid. Then the murder aspect of this book seemed like a side story, one of my favorite things is trying to guess who could possibly be the killer. Plus we are lead to believe that one of the carnival performers is the killer. Which is what leads Audrey Rose to making a deal with Mephistopheles to "get close to him and learn about the performers" and we barely even get to know much about them. Any one of them could have been the killer. Also, a surprise in this novel is that we got more of Liza, Audrey Rose's cousin who they learn was missing to only be found as one of the performers because she was in love with Houdini. I laugh at this because we barely even got to meet Houdini and the book is named after him 😫😂🙈 I don't know I'm just highly disappointed, I think the only thing I liked in this novel was the carnival theme. I will definitely read book 4 and I'm hoping to all hope that it'll be better and earn my love for this series back.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Brunson

    Thank you Jimmy Patterson Books for providing me with a copy for an honest review. "I inquire once more, which will you lose before the week is through? Your heart? Your head? Perhaps, you will lose your life, your very soul to this magical traveling show." This a very dark and fun ride! I always enjoy the books in this series and Escaping From Houdini was no different! When I heard that this would take place on a cruise ship to America I was sold. I was once again impressed by Kerri Maniscalc Thank you Jimmy Patterson Books for providing me with a copy for an honest review. "I inquire once more, which will you lose before the week is through? Your heart? Your head? Perhaps, you will lose your life, your very soul to this magical traveling show." This a very dark and fun ride! I always enjoy the books in this series and Escaping From Houdini was no different! When I heard that this would take place on a cruise ship to America I was sold. I was once again impressed by Kerri Maniscalco's writing and ability to keep me on the edge of my seat. My favorite character from this series will always be Thomas freaking Cresswell. That shouldn't surprise anyone really. Any moment with Thomas was grand. I loved reading about him and his knacks for seeing the things that others don't. Along with his humor and wit. I could live off his humor alone! "Actually, I was contemplating a murder." "Not mine I hope. Though I am rather handsome in this suit. I suppose if it's my time to go, I might as well go in style. Be sure to keep my face intact. I want you to swoon and mourn at my funeral." We are introduced to a different side of Audrey Rose here. She has a darkness in her that was hinted at in the other books but we get a bigger glimpse here. While she wasn't my favorite in this book, her storyline was good and full of mystery. Audrey Rose and Thomas are perfection together. I will always be greedy to read a scene about those two. All I know is, Thomas and Audrey Rose better be married before this series is over because my heart can't take much more. I need them to seal the deal! The plot was great! I couldn't tell who the murderer was the entire time and she shocked me with the big reveal like always. I will say this always, only Kerri Maniscalco can make me read a murder mystery. Not even just a murder mystery, but historical fiction. Those are not genres that I will read. But for her? Give me everything!!!! Now take my review and quotes with a grain of salt because I heard that she rewrote the ending after ARCs went out. So pick this up in September and let's be surprised together! Long live CRESSWORTH!! Follow Books and Blends on: Blog | Instagram | Twitter **Quotes are from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. Buddy read with Amy and Destiny! ♥

  29. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Omg this book was AMAZING! This series only just gets better and better! There has been so much growth with both Audrey Rose and Thomas since Stalking Jack the Ripper and I love. And the mystery in Escaping From Houdini was really well done. For once, I had pretty much no idea who the murderer was - everyone seemed suspect to me! This book also made me so emotional. I swear my heart broke several times during reading this book. But I loved it so much, and I am really excited to pick up the finis Omg this book was AMAZING! This series only just gets better and better! There has been so much growth with both Audrey Rose and Thomas since Stalking Jack the Ripper and I love. And the mystery in Escaping From Houdini was really well done. For once, I had pretty much no idea who the murderer was - everyone seemed suspect to me! This book also made me so emotional. I swear my heart broke several times during reading this book. But I loved it so much, and I am really excited to pick up the finished copy because the ending is different, and I am so curious as to what changes were made! This is seriously one of my favorite series and I highly recommend it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Haadiya // Hiatus

    this cover has blessed me in more than one way

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