I couldn’t wait to get my grubby hands on this book. It was right up my alley and I’m happy to say that this book does not disappoint.
Stalking Jack the Ripper is set in the 1880s, right around the time of the famous Jack the Ripper killings. Our protagonist, Audrey Rose, is a 17 year old girl born into wealth and privilege. Instead of doing what most propery girls do, Audrey Rose loves to spend almost all of her free time in the morgue learning the ways of science with her uncle. She is not like other girls, that is for sure. She jumped at the chance to follow her uncle when he was asked to help investigate the recent Jack the Ripper murders. Audrey Rose finds that she is quickly drawn into the decaying streets of Whitechapel in hopes of bringing the horrific and gruesome murders to an end.
I loved Audrey Rose’s character. She is a take charge, strong willed, brilliant young woman who knows what she wants and is not willing to back down. She was so confident in who she was and what she wanted to do with her life. I really enjoyed reading her in this story and cannot wait to see how the rest of the books play out (this is book one of an unnamed trilogy). I really liked how Maniscalco was not afraid to write a strong female lead is a role that was not typical of the British time period. Audrey Rose was still bound by the customs and traditions of the day, such as young single women had to be supervised by adults if in the same room with young single men. She was often in the company of the charmingly handsome Thomas Cresswell. They found themselves sneaking around the streets of Whitecastle in search of “Leather Apron” and escaping the danger that is around every turn.
There is not much romance in this book, and I think that made for a better read. There was not the dreaded love traingle to worry about, only the thrill of the hunt. Do they like each other? Will they get together? The reader never knows until the very end. What the reader is given instead of instalove or a love triangle is a wonderful friendship that is built on mutual understanding and acceptance. Audrey Rose and Thomas start out as classmates and things build from there. It is a progression and it is beautiful to watch. That’s not to say Thomas isn’t snarky, challenging, and frustrating at times, but that makes him so much more endearing.
This book had so many twists and turns! Just when I thought I figured out who Jack the Ripper was, I was given a huge curve ball. The mystery itself is very well written. I always struggle with historical novels set in the 1800s as I can easily be bored with filler talk of weekly tea parties full of gossip and what is propery for a young lady to do. In case you are curious, that is needle work and shopping. If a lady shows even so much as an ankle or touches a young man with a bare hand, it is scandalous! Honestly, I don’t like stories like that. Thankfully this story was not so dull and kept my interest with mystery instead.
I highly recommend this book to everyone! As a member of the Knights of Whitechapel, I hope you pick up this one and love it as much as I do. If you have already read it, let me know what you thought!