Book Review – Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Stalking Jack the Ripper coverSeries: Stalking Jack the Ripper (book #1)

Rating: 3.5 stars

star rating 3.5

“Wield your assets like a blade, Cousin. No man has invented a corset for our brains. Let them think they rule the world. It’s a queen who sits on that throne. Never forget that.”

Stalking Jack the Ripper is the first YA book in James Patterson’s imprint ‘Jimmy Patterson’ and it follows Audrey Rose Wadsworth, a curious high born 17-year-old girl who likes pretty dresses, but also spending her time in her uncle’s laboratory learning forensic science and dealing with dead bodies. As you can guess from the title, this historical fiction takes place in the late 1800’s Victorian London at the time where the infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper was terrorizing the city.

I enjoyed this book, but what I liked the most about it was the protagonist.

Audrey Rose, in all her british glory, is what I call ‘classy sassy’. She is wonderful and definitely a female character worth reading about. This girl has a way with words, she is intrepid, and ahead of her time. She’s also a bit too fearless for her own good at times. I think Audrey Rose speaks well with modern society because she firmly believes in gender equality and faces daily criticisms because of all her interest in forensic science, something considered then as “non lady-like”. This girl is a new favorite of mine for sure.

I also really enjoyed all the banter in her relationship with Thomas. He is quite bold, arrogant, and loves to teaser her much to my entertaining. I couldn’t help but notice he had a bit of a Sherlock Holmes inspired deducing ability going on, which was interesting.

Now the setting and its atmosphere were great, I could picture and feel the gray streets of old London perfectly, as if I were there myself – but the mystery plot itself was just okay. I was already certain of who the murderer was veeery early in the book (like 25% early). I do not know if it was my Ravenclaw showing, or if it was simply that obvious to guess, but regardless, I think that took off some of the fun.

This book had old black and white pictures at the beggining of each chapter, usually related to the subject of said chapter. I don’t know why this creeps me out a bit, most of them have things like letters and people, but this type of old picture has always given me chills. Oh, in the matter of gruesome factor, well, Audrey Rose does help her uncle perform authopsies and stuff, so there is a few descriptions of it, but no big deal. I’m not too fond of gore, and considering there was a ripper out there, I think the book manages to show you well enough what happens, but without being too graphic. I mean, it is YA after all, not Stephen King or something.

This was the author’s debut novel, so there is a good chance the next ones will be much better. To be honest, my love for Audrey Rose is more than enough to get me thrilled about picking up the sequel Hunting Prince Dracula and seeing what bloody adventures she’ll find there. Oh and did I mention how much I love the titles for this series? Well, I do. A lot.

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